Leading & Participating in Discussions

(Weekly Reading Themes)

Presence, Participating, & Leading Discussion

30 %/ 300 points


____________Your Date to Lead Discussion

______________/ 100 pts

___________/ 200 pts

(Questions assigned in Week #3)

Two Midterms

(Class Themes & Reading)


40 %/ 400 points


3/13 & 5/15 (12:45-2:45)

MT#1________/ 200 pts


MT#2________/ 200 pts

8-10 page Essay (Proposal due Week 5)


30 %/ 300 points


Proposal Due by Wk 8 & Paper Due 5/9

100%/ 1000 pts



_________ % ______


(93% A; 90 % A-; 87 % B+; 83% B; 80 % B-; 77% C+; 73% C; 70 % C-; 67% D+; 63 % D; 60 % D-; 59% F)

There are NO MAKE-UP EXAMS and NO MAKE-UP DISCUSSION DATES. Late papers will automatically have points deducted, exponentially after one week. Please turn-in only your work done for this class. Students who turn in plagiarized papers or work will automatically fail the class, with letters sent to the dean of students. On the other hand, diligent work and honesty are heartily rewarded with the satisfaction felt in truly developing skills and earning your own grade, whatever it may be, proudly earning it on your own. A significant portion of the exams will come from class lectures and discussions, along with the reading. Coming to class will significantly increase your chances of passing--and also, please, be respectful of others. Arrive on time, be here "in the moment" by listening, commenting, and taking notes--and please, no texting or emailing. I will allow for breaks, so please be patient.  Please come see me with any questions or problems early in the term so I can help you to address them. 

The History Department has a Writing Center, and you can make an appointment a couple weeks before your paper is due by calling the department (677-3566). I recommend that you plan ahead.  After you email your draft to the tutor, they read over and edit your essay and are prepared to discuss your writing.  Also, CSUN has a variety of truly excellent programs and centers designed to help you accomplish your best work, and to improve critical skills each semester (take a look at our website, or just ask).


1-Leading and Participating in Discussions:  In the second week, students will be assigned weekly study questions.  Everyone should prepare them, and one student will prepare and present them as a way of opening up discussion (instructions to follow).  Reading and discussion will be the foundational work in this class, and is designed to provide context and ideas for research topics. 


First of all, do the reading. 

Second, make a list of the top 5 most important points you find in the reading.  Why those five?

Third, how would you teach these five points, what examples would you use? 

Fourth, meet with your discussion partner (s) and decide how to structure the discussion, and what Questions to emphasize.  Organize the class discussion, and list the 3-6 discussion questions that best address the major themes of all the reading for the week.  You can choose the best questions among those you have all prepared--you should all do the reading questions, then select the best ones.  Your reading questions should address the larger themes, allowing the class to respond with specific examples.  

Include in your discussion:

      10-15 Minutes of Introduction to the Weekly Reading

      45-50 Minutes for Discussion

                Keep the discussion going

                Try to get everyone to talk

Please do NOT divide up the reading--you should all finish the reading, taking your own notes on the individual books and articles.  Next, considering ALL of the readings together,  each make a list of the most significant themes that you would teach, listing significant examples.  List your important points, culled from the week's reading, and then list your 3-6 overarching discussion questions for the class.

Meet in a group, share your questions, then decide what you first think is important to "teach" the class, and second, what discussion questions will best address the week's themes.  Please email me your group outline, example below, then you can turn in your individual outlines in class.


Assigned Discussion #2: Joe, Angus, Elizabeth, Manuel Monroy, Dakota  (For Example)

1-Brief Outline of Significant Points from the Reading (you can verbally add the specific examples)

2-Class Discussion Questions (3-6 Questions)


2-Two Midterms:  The Midterms will include matching questions to address any material covered in class lectures and discussions, along with essay questions reflecting the themes of the class. They will also include short answer essay questions addressing the reading, based on weekly study questions and discussions.  The Midterms will be given in Weeks Eight and Sixteen (finals’ week). 

3-One 8-10 page Research Paper.  Follow your curiosity in developing a research topic, and your final paper should include Chicago styled reference notes and bibliography.  Please see the “Quick Guide” to The Chicago Manual of Style Online, and use the “Notes and Bibliography Style” (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html ).  You might also use the Purdue OWL, a site that includes a sample paper: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/11/ . Don’t forget to use the department’s writing center, you can call the department for an appointment about 2-3 weeks before your paper is due.  (818/ 677-3566)