Assignments

Participation, including one class presentation:  25%

  • Guidelines for Presentations:  Each member of the course will be responsible for a brief, 10-minute presentation, which will involve outlining a set of questions for discussion. One copy of the questions will be due to me the night before the scheduled presentation; please bring copies for everyone to class or let me know if you would prefer to use the projector.
  • Participation in any course involves both general attentiveness and active contribution to discussion. Since this course is an upper-division seminar for majors, attendance and participation in discussions will be particularly important, and more than two unexcused absences will significantly and adversely affect your final grade. Please read the assigned material before class and come prepared with questions and issues you would like to address (at times I will give you more specific instructions for this).

Précis assignment – 15%

  • One of the assignments for this course will be writing a critical summary, or précis, of a text of your choosing. What this means is that you will read the piece thoroughly, process it, and restate the highlights and key points in your own words. You will not be expected to communicate all of the complexities and minutiae of the argument; think instead about presenting a basic picture of the text.
  • You should begin your précis with explicating a short passage, which will function as a springboard and provide you with a way into the argument. There are no right and wrong passages to choose per se, but some might be better chosen than others. After this first passage, try to the best of your ability to put the rest of the précis in your own words: the emphasis should be on your comprehension of what the author has to say.
  • Guidelines:  The only structural requirements, apart from that of length, are that you (1) begin with a short passage that for you contains a central point of the text; and (2) thereafter keep quotation to a bare minimum.
  • Technical Format:  One page, single-spaced, very narrow margins, approx. 500 words.
  • Due Date: Your précis will be due in hard copy in class the day we are to discuss your chosen text. If you were going to write about Friedrich Kittler, for example, your précis would be due no later than September 24.

Midterm paper (6-7 pages):  25%

  • Questions and topics to be assigned. Papers due in hard copy in my box in the English department by October 26.

Final Seminar Paper (10-12 pages):  35%

  • The final paper should be based on the material we study this quarter, but you are welcome to incorporate additional texts if you wish. Part of the planning for this paper will involve a short proposal, which is required, and you are encouraged to discuss your topic with me during office hours.
  • As you work on the written assignments, you should be concerned to avoid plagiarism and copyright violation. Please take note of NYU’s explicit policies about academic integrity.
  • One-page proposals due November 26.  Final papers due December 19.
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