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  • Description & Objectives
  • Expected Student Outcomes
  • Required Texts
  • Required Films
  • Course Components
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  • Avoiding Plagiarism
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  • Governors State University College of Arts and Sciences
    Division of Liberal Arts
    LAS 410, Spring 2012, 3 Credits
    Professor David Hamilton Golland
    Office Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1:00-4:00

    Online Course Guide

    Description & Objectives: (Top)
    This course studies the major debates over the dominant paradigms which guide the various social research disciplines (e.g. history, sociology, political science, psychology, and economics). In particular, the status of social knowledge, theories of "human nature," the social basis of collective action, the role of the state and the sources of social diversity and historical change will be considered.

    The content matter of particular discliplines is usually the focus of most courses in the social sciences. By contrast, the focus here is on the underlying "meta-theory" which orients, guides, and directs the scholarly research in these fields. As such, the major thrust of the course is to expose the student to the pluralistic universe of the "hidden paradigms" which structure our modes of social investigation across the various social science disciplines.

    This is a reading-intensive course. Students can expect to read one book per week in preparation for class. This is more than you may have come to expect from your other classes, but in the tradition of the 40+ years of GSU students who have come before and the many hundreds of students who have taken this course in the past, students in this class are expected to "rise to the occasion." The rewards for completion of this course are immesurable and go far beyond simple assignment of a grade or completion of a graduation requirement. This course is designed to make well-rounded, well-versed, "renaissance people" out of GSU graduates. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to take pride in a major accomplishment in higher education, and GSU will be better able to take pride in its graduates.

    Please note:Due to low enrollment, this course will be held as a tutorial and we will not meet regularly as a class. Each student is expected to meet with Professor Golland during his office hours at least one every two weeks.

    Expected Student Outcomes: (Top)
    In this course, students will:Assessment:
    Develop an appreciation of the grand theoretical debates generated by the pursuit of social research and human understanding.Text questions; participation; library activity, annotated bibliography
    Distinguish between and understand the importance of the disciplines of social inquiry.Text questions; annotated bibliography
    Use Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style accurately and consistently.Plagiarism quiz
    Develop and understand critical thinking and its processes.Text questions; participation; library activity, online class, annotated bibliography
    Become familiar with the critique of primary sources by other authors.Book review

    Required Texts, with minimum and maximum prices at Amazon.Com as of September 11, 2011: (Top)
    Book Min. Max.
    Aristotle, Politics $0.00* $11.80
    Camus, Albert, The Stranger $0.00* $19.95
    Franklin, John Hope, Mirror to America (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2005) $0.01 $11.70
    Freud, Sigmund, Civilization and Its Discontents (CreateSpace, 2010) $3.95 $13.43
    Locke, John, Second Treatise of Government $0.00* $26.70
    Machiavelli, Niccolo, The Prince $0.00* $13.12
    Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto $0.00* $8.99
    More, Thomas, Utopia $0.00* $13.04
    Plato, Republic $0.00* $33.95
    Rousseau, Jean Jacques, The Social Contract $0.00* $10.83
    Shakespeare, William, The Tempest $0.00* $6.95
    Smith, Adam, The Essential Adam Smith (W.W. Norton, 1987) $5.99 $18.24
    Stowe, Harriett Beecher, Uncle Tom's Cabin (Simon & Brown, 2011) $0.01 $14.35
    Total $9.96 $203.05
    *Available on reserve at the GSU library.

    Required Films, both available online through the Netflix "Watch Instantly" service: (Top)
    Egypt: Engineering an Empire
    Mysteries of the Bible: Archenemy: The Philistines

    Course Components: (Top)
    There are six components to this course:
    Text Questions10%
    Plagiarism Quiz5%
    Library Activity20%
    Annotated Bibliography20%
    Book Review10%

    Explanation of Course Components:

    Text Questions. Each Tuesday by 12:30, each student must e-mail Professor Golland two questions based on the text assignment for that week. The questions should be the starting point for discussion, and should not be about the text or film per se but should be stimulated by the assignment--a genuine quest for further knowledge inspired by the homework. Professor Golland will compile all of the questions and distribute them to the other students in the class.
    Good historical questions...
  • are argumentative;
  • are open-ended;
  • address causes or effects; and
  • possess the appropriate level of specificity.

    Plagiarism Quiz. This brief quiz will be based on "Avoiding Plagiarism," which can be found below. Students must take the quiz at the University of Indiana School of Education Plagiarism Test Site. Successful completion of the test will result in a certificate, which you should print, complete and sign, and leave in Prof. Golland's faculty mailbox (in the CAS office) by 12:30 on Tuesday, February 21 (or hand it to him earlier).

    Participation. Each student is expected to actively engage in discussion during every class session.

    The Library Activity is the equivalent of a midterm exam. It is due on Tuesday, March 6, at 12:30. For this assignment, graduate students must choose ten of the authors listed below (undergraduates choose five), then write a minimum of 100 words each on the importance of each author's work to the development of the social sciences. The "about the author(s)" section in each book can serve as your starting point, but your research must go deeper.
    Authors from whom you can choose:
  • Aristotle
  • Albert Camus
  • John Hope Franklin
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Harriett Beecher Stowe
  • John Locke
  • Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Karl Marx
  • Thomas More
  • Plato
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • William Shakespeare
  • Adam Smith
    For a sample component of the library activity, click HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat reader.)

    The Annotated bibliography comprises the first component of the final exam. It is due Tuesday, May 1, at 12:30. The annotated bibliography must include a paragraph on each of the course's books. Each paragraph must begin with standard bibliographical information (author name[s], title, location of publication, publisher name, year published, and number of pages) as well as a brief synopsis of the book. In other words, write a citation and a brief explanation for each book. Please note: failure to submit the annotated bibliography by the deadline will be the equivalent of being absent from the final exam, and will result in a grade of "Incomplete" for the class if the student would otherwise pass the course, and a grade of "F" if the student otherwise would not pass the course.
    For a sample entry from an annotated bibliography, click HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat reader.)

    The Book Review comprises the second component of the final exam. it is due Thursday, May 3, at 3:20. Students may review any one of the required books for the course. Reviews should be 2-3 pages in length and briefly explain the purpose and scope of the work, note the work's strengths and weaknesses, and discuss the importance of the work to the field. Please note: graduate students failing to submit the review by the deadline will be the equivalent of being absent from the final exam, and will result in a grade of "Incomplete" for the class if the student would otherwise pass the course, and a grade of "F" if the student otherwise would not pass the course.
    For a sample scholarly book review, click HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat reader.)

    The mathematical scores will strictly translate into letter grades as follows:
    90 or higher: A
    80 or higher: B
    70 or higher: C
    60 or higher: D
    Less than 60: F

    Note: all students will receive the exact grade they have earned, and grades will NOT be rounded up. For example, a student with a mathematical score of 89.999 will receive a B; a student with a mathematical score of 59.999 will receive an F.

    Schedule of Assignments: (Top)
    Remember that text questions are due every Tuesday at 12:30.
    Due DateAssignment
    January 25Plato
    February 1Aristotle
    February 8More
    February 15Machiavelli
    February 22Shakespeare
    February 29Locke
    March 7Smith
    March 21Rousseau
    March 28Stowe
    April 4Marx & Engels
    April 9-12Watch both films
    Class to be held online this week.
    April 18Freud
    April 25Camus
    May 2Franklin

    Other Important Dates: (Top)
    February 21Plagiarism quiz certificate due 12:30 today.
    March 6Library Activity Due 12:30 today.
    March 26Last day to withdraw without penalty
    April 4Lab Day. In lieue of class, each student is expected to submit via e-mail lengthy answers to at least two homework questions posed by other students.
    May 1Annotated bibliography due 12:30 today.
    May 3Book review due 3:20 today.

    Online Class: (Top)
    In lieu of class on April 11, we will holding an online discussion of the two films online from April 9-12. This will be on discussion board, part of the Blackboard platform. Watch both films in preparation for this class. Then, on April 9, log on to discussion board and read professor Golland's question for your group. You are required to answer the question in no fewer than 100 words, and then respond to at least one other student's answer from your group. Your response cannot be limited to "I agree with..." but must drive the discussion further along by making a new point or asking a pertinent question. The discussion will be closed at midnight Thursday, April 12.

    Classroom Etiquette: (Top)
    This is an upper-division course and students are expected to comport themselves in a manner similar to behavior standards in the workplace. Please remember to silence your phones and pagers and put them away for the class (except for times when their use is appropriate).

    Avoiding Plagiarism by Good Paraphrasing, Quoting and Documentation (Top)
    From Prof. Timothy C. Gsell
    Give credit to your sources, because they deserve it. Many students inadvertently plagiarize the intellectual work of others, and run the risk of receiving an F. It is easy to plagiarize, especially with all the information on the web! Simply fail to give credit where credit is due, and you are a plagiarist. That is all there is to it. But how can one know when credit is due, you ask? Read this carefully:

    Document your source if you paraphrase or quote. Failure to do so is an act of plagiarism, even if it is innocent. It is easy to plagiarize even though one does not intend to steal another?s work. Therefore, it is very important to understand the essentials of paraphrasing and quoting discussed below.

    If in doubt, consult a handbook on good writing or contact [your professor]. I strongly recommend this if your are not sure about documenting written material. The following quotes are from the Prentice-Hall Handbook for Writers, 10th edition. Chapter 45 (The Research Paper). But there are other good handbooks with similar words of wisdom:
  • A paraphrase is a restatement of the source material in your own words, syntax, and style but preserving the tone of the original?. and of approximately the same length (not as summary). A paraphrase uses the original author?s idea and presents it in your own language. Since in paraphrasing you borrowing someone?s thoughts, you must document the source when you use the paraphrase in your paper (page 470).
  • A direct quotation records exactly the words of the original source (as well as the exact punctuation and even any spelling errors). Like summaries and paraphrases, direct quotations require citations in your paper crediting the source from which you copied them. In general, use direct quotations only for particularly telling phrases or for information that must be rendered exactly as you found it (page 470).
  • Plagiarism consists of passing off ideas, opinions, conclusions, facts, words (intellectual property) of another as your own. Plagiarism is dishonest and carries penalties not only in academic environments but in all professions, as well as copyright law (page 470).
  • Long word-for-word quotations are rarely appropriate to a paper or particularly to a lab report. Use of all or most of a single sentence or an apt figure of speech without acknowledgment from another source is also dishonest and considered plagiarism (page 470).
  • Even if you acknowledge the source in a citation, you are still plagiarizing when you incorporate in your work faultily paraphrased or summarized material from another author in which you follow almost exactly the original?s sentence patterns and phrasing. Paraphrasing and summarizing require that you fully digest an author?s ideas and interpretations and restate them in your own words. It is not enough simply to modify the original author?s sentences slightly, to change a word here and there (page 472).
  • A research report or paper loaded with quotations or consisting of long quotations stitched loosely together with brief comments will almost always be an unsatisfactory paper (page 474).
  • Make use of paraphrases and summaries instead of quotations in most cases where sources are cited. Frequently, the point can be made better in your own words, with proper citations, than in the words of the original (page 474)

    The plagiarism quiz completion certificate is due February 21st. Take the plagiarism quiz now!

    Wikipedia Research Policy, by Prof. Alan Liu (Top)
    Click HERE for the article.

    Writing Center (Top)
    In that writing assignments are weighted heavily in this class, students are encouraged, but not required to attend the Writing Center for assistance in completing the writing assignments. In- depth individual assistance with research papers or any other writing for classes is available through the Writing Center. For one-on-one help, please call 708.534.4508 to make an appointment. On-site tutoring is available by appointment only. The Writing Center desk in the Library offers students the opportunity to ask questions dealing with the research assignments. Click on www.govst.edu/owl to find writing help at home. You may submit a copy of your paper for revision suggestions, obtain information about virtual appointments, and find sources for help with research writing as well as sources for general writing help, including grammar resources.

    Counseling Center (Top)
    The Counseling Center of the Academic Resource Center at Governors State University (GSU) has a staff of experienced professionals who provide a variety of counseling services for GSU undergraduate and graduate students. The counselors support and adhere to the professional, ethical, and legal standards as described by the American Psychological Association, as well as other professional organizations. Our mission is to contribute to the overall quality of campus life for students, and to support the academic endeavors of our students. The Counseling Center is located in the Academic Resource Center, B1215. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For personal counseling, contact Katherine Helm, 708.235.7334. For academic counseling, call 708.534.4508.

    Services for Students with Disabilities: (Top)
    GSU is committed to providing all students equal access to all university programs and facilities. Students who have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability and need academic accommodations, must register with Access Services for Students with Disabilities (ASSD). Please contact the Coordinator of ASSD in Room B1201 in person; by e-mail, assd@govst.edu; or by calling 708.235.3968. If you are already registered, please contact your instructor privately regarding your academic accommodations.

    Contact Information: (Top)
    Professor David Hamilton Golland
    Division of Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Sciences
    Governors State University
    Office Location: E2543
    E-mail: dgolland@govst.edu

    Links: (Top)
  • GSU Homepage
  • GSU Library
  • The New York Times Online
  • Amazon.Com
  • Google
  • Professor Golland's Website

    The content of this syllabus has been adapted--and much of it pulled verbatim--from Professor Larry Levinson's prior syllabus for the same course.

    Disclaimer: None of the above shall be construed to supercede GSU policy or local, state, or federal laws. Any instructions or information on this website found to be in violation of said policies or laws can and should be ignored.

    Last Updated 12 May 2012 (DHG)