UCSB Hist 133C, Winter 2000

Prof. Marcuse

Germany since 1945

HSSB 4221, 893-2635

Phelps 3519, T-Th 11:00-12:15



Office hours: Tues. 1-2, Wed. 11-12

Hist 133C: Journal and Term Paper Assignments

  1. For the writing assignment in this course you are required to keep a journal on a regular basis throughout the course. You will write one or two entries per week (total of 8), with each entry averaging about 450 words in length. That is about 2/3 page, single-spaced, in 12 point font.
  2. Each entry will be based on your thoughts about newspaper or magazine articles you read during that week, or readings, lectures and films for this course. Occasionally, web sites, books for another course, conversations or personal experiences may be appropriate.
    You should relate the issues you discuss to the course topic.
    For articles you should include a clipping, copy, or printout.
    Over the quarter there should be a rough balance of entries on articles and on course materials.
    For the entries on the course material, feel free to exercise criticism, ask questions, and raise important issues, especially if you are uncomfortable doing so in class. You will be graded on how insightful your discussion or how convincing your argument is, not on whether you agree with me.
    Tip: Jot ideas down during lecture or whenever, and develop them later.
  3. In a large bluebook, use the first right-hand page to keep a handwritten running table of contents with the entry number (1-8), the date, and a short descriptive title. Example:
    1. Jan. 4, 2000 NY Times article about German payments to forced laborers.
    2. Jan. 17, 2000, thoughts about lecture on the "denazification laundry"
    3. Jan. 18, 2000, Aug. 1961 Time magazine article about the Berlin Wall
  4. In the rest of the bluebook, glue, tape or staple the article (or photocopy) on the left hand page, and attach your typed entry facing it on the right hand page. Write the entry number in the upper right hand corner.
    Please single or 1½-space to fit each entry on one page. Each entry should begin with the date and a short headline indicating the source and topic of your entry.
  5. In each entry you should first briefly summarize the relevant information in the article (or whatever), for about ¼ of the entry. The main portion should be your thoughts and analysis of the article, relating it to the course topic.
    You should not write vague opinions or make unsubstantiated claims.
    Rather, you should explain your opinion, giving clear reasons and pertinent evidence.
    (If you are unclear on this, see the professor's example on the course web site.)
  6. Journals will be collected three times, at the start of class: Jan. 25 (with 3 entries),
    Feb. 10 (with 3 new entries), and March 14 (with 2 new entries).
  7. The journals will be graded as follows: each entry can receive up to 10 points for a total of 80. All together the journal is worth 20% of the course grade.

  8. Proposal

  9. Finding a topic. A good way to find a topic is to look though the textbook, the course reader, and the course web site for ideas. When you find something you would like to know more about, check for bibliographical references. If you have trouble finding a topic, or literature on a topic, please come to talk to me—sooner rather than later!
  10. Format. The purpose of a proposal is to describe the project of your final paper.
    It is due 2 weeks before the paper itself. A good proposal should include:
    • a title or working title. Please select a title that indicates the main theme of your paper.
    • a summary description and explanation of your topic.
    • an explicit statement of the problem or question you will address.
    • a list of the primary source materials and secondary literature you will examine.
    You should use at least 3 sources beyond the course readings, and you should give full citations in a consistent format (historians often use the Turabian handbook).
  11. Proposal grading. The proposal will be marked Ö or Ö +, or be returned for revision and resubmission. This translates into 1 or 2 points that will be added to the paper grade.

  12. Term Paper

  13. Content/Grading. When I grade, I look for five things. First, a thesis statement tells me the goal of the paper, what it is trying to argue or explain. Second, I look for an argument supporting that thesis. Third, I look for concrete evidence—specific cases or examples—used to support that argument. A paper with any two of these three is a "C;" all three elements earn a "B."
    Fourth, I look to see whether counterevidence is discussed—whether you refute evidence that supports a thesis different or contradictory to your own. If elements one, two and three are also present, this would bring a paper into the "A" range.
    Finally, I look to see whether a paper is carefully written (and proofread!), and has clear organization or perhaps even stylistic grace. This can lift a paper up to a "+" or, with two or more typos/errors per page, drop it down to a "."
  14. Length. Your term paper should be about 1500 words—5-6 double-spaced, typed pages, with 1½x1x1x1 margins and proportional space font.
    Number the pages! By hand is ok if you are word-processor challenged. Otherwise one point off!
  15. Due date. The term paper is due on Thursday, March 2, at the beginning of lecture.
    Late submissions will be penalized one point per day, beginning at 11am. I do this because students entering late disrupt the class and distract me.
  16. Scoring. The term paper counts for 40% of your final grade. It is worth taking seriously!
    Papers that are not proofread or do not have numbered pages will be marked down one point.
    (Point values: A: 38; A-: 37; B+: 35; B: 34; B-: 33; C+: 31; C: 30; C-: 29; D: 26)
  17. This course fulfills the general education writing requirement. If you do not submit the journal, proposal and the term paper, you cannot receive credit for this course (i.e., you will fail).
  18. Plagiarism—presenting someone else's work as your own, or deliberately failing to credit or attribute the work of others on whom you draw (including materials found on the web)—is a serious academic offense, punishable by dismissal from the university. It hurts the one who commits it most of all, by cheating them out of an education.
    Offenses will be reported to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action.