Historical Writing Project

Journal Assignment

UCSB Hist 33D, Fall 2005
The Holocaust: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Prof. Marcuse

Website: http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/33d/33d05/33d05JnlProj.htm

Hist 33D: Journal & Final Project Handout


You should keep a journal on a regular basis throughout the course. You will write about two one entry per week (total of 8), with each entry averaging about 450 words in length. That is about 3/4 page, single-spaced, in 12 point font. Include the word count at the end of each entry!
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 article or experience to the course. For articles you should include a clipping, copy, or printout; for course materials just hand write the reference.
There should be a rough balance of entries about articles and on course materials.
For the entries on course materials, 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 the seriousness of your questions and ideas, not on whether you agree with me.
Tip: Jot ideas down during lecture or whenever, and develop them later.
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 source and date, and a short descriptive title. Example:
1. LA Times, Sept. 21, 2005, "Nazi Hunter Loyal to the Dead / Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005"
2. LA Times, Sept. 18, 2005, "Katrina's Aftermath: The Race Factor"
3. Oct. 4, 2005, Maus and the "Gray Zone" Grid [from lecture]
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. (For course materials no photocopies are necessary.)
Please single space so that each journal entry fits on one page. Each entry should begin with the date and a short headline indicating the source and topic of your entry.
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. Include the word count at the end of each entry.
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 examples on the course web site.)
Journals will be collected several times over the course of the quarter.
Collection dates will be announced in advance. I expect 1-2 entries per week.
The journals will be graded as follows: each entry can receive up to 4 points for a total of 32.
The grading scale will be check-, check, check+, or +; no entry: 0 points; late entry: -1 point per day.


Project ideas. A good way to find a topic is to look though the course readings and web site. When you find something that piques your interest, look for a book or books about it. If you have trouble finding a topic, or books about that topic, please be in touch with me!
Each project idea should be listed with some of the elements of the proposal (see §10, below).
A list of project ideas is due in class on October 11 (beginning of week 3).
Groups. I would like you to work in groups of 3-4 students. I will facilitate the formation of groups, based on the lists of project ideas.
Proposal. Due at the latest on Nov. 1 (beginning of week 6).
The purpose of the proposal is to outline your final project. It should have three main elements:
a descriptive title that indicates the topic and main question or issue.
a description and explanation of your topic, including questions that you will explore.
full reference or bibliographic information on 2-4 books and web sites that you think are relevant, including library call number, or URL and site author and publication information.
Proposal grading. The proposal will be marked check -, check, or check+.
A check- must be resubmitted until the project is approved.
Project Draft. By the end of week 7 (Nov. 10) each group should submit a draft version of ALL parts of their final project. Each project should include most of the following (see also §15):
a) narrative introduction, with thesis statement(s), and description of rest of project;
b) main discussion, including assessment of differing positions;
c) annotated bibliography and linkography;
d) copies/printouts of relevant images, with captions and sources (URLs or books);
e) "authors" page with a narrative about the research process and a paragraph about each author.
Individual contributions. It should be clear who made or contributed to each part of the project. Your name should appear on a page you alone created, each bibliography and linkography annota -tion should be initialed, and collaborative texts co-signed (e.g. "written by x and y, edited by z").
Half of each student's grade will be based on your contribution, half on the overall project.
Final version. Due Nov. 17. It must be submitted with the draft version.
Grading. When I grade, I look for five things.
First, a thesis statement tells me the purpose of the project, what it is trying to explain or argue.
Second, an argument supporting that thesis.
Third, concrete evidence—specific examples—used to support the argument.
Texts and annotations with any two of these three is a "C;" all three elements earn a "B."
Fourth, I look counterevidence or comparisons—whether you assess your evidence relative to other works. If the first three elements are present, this brings a contribution into the "A" range.
Finally, I look to see whether the texts are carefully written and proofread, and have clear organization. This can lift a project up a grade; numerous errors and typos can drop it down.
Due dates. Topic ideas Oct. 11 (beginning of week 3); proposals Nov. 1 at the latest;
project drafts Nov. 10 (end of week 7); final version Nov. 17 (end of week 8).
Late submissions will be penalized one point per day, beginning at 9:30am.
Note 11/17: The actual due dates were changed because of circumstances beyond the professor's control: topic ideas 10/20 and again 10/25; complete drafts 11/17 or 11/22; final version 12/1.
Web option. Final projects achieving a B+ or better may be published on the course web site, and their authors may elect to take an oral final exam. In this case projects should also be submitted by e-mail (or on a disk or CD). They can be in word-processor format or in html. I will work with qualifying groups to publish the projects on the web. Latest due date: Nov. 30.
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. Offenses will be reported to university authorities for disciplinary action.

Assignment developed by Prof. Marcuse of University of California - Santa Barbara