Grade Components:

Professionalism & Participation (10%):

Your active participation in class activities and discussion are crucial to the success of the course.  You are expected to come to class fully prepared to discuss the day’s readings; this includes bringing copies of your reading assignments so that you can support your ideas with specific examples, as well as your notes and questions on the material.  You will be graded on the quality of your contributions to our class discussions.  You cannot earn an excellent grade (A) in a discussion-based class like this one if you do not regularly contribute to our discussions.  Simply attending class without any further involvement in our discussions will result in a participation grade of “C” or “Satisfactory.”

You will be given the chance to evaluate your participation and make a case for what participation grade you deserve several times during the semester.  This is a chance for you to reflect on your involvement in the class, and to let me know how you feel you are doing.  I take your personal assessment very seriously.

You are also required to attend a few campus event (outside of class meeting times):

  • Tuesday, September 19th at 7pm: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Wednesday, October 4th at 7pm: Feijoada Night

Research & Writing Exercises (20%)

Frequent, short writing assignments are essential to your development in critical thinking and effective writing.  Throughout the semester, you will contribute short posts to our shared blog in which you reflect on your progress.  You’ll also draft articles on your WIkipedia talk pages.  On average, you will complete three short exercises a week.

Blog Posts

Short, critical reflections on course readings and assignments.

Peer Review

Feedback from a wide variety of readers is an essential part of writing, but this process is only useful when reviewers read attentively and make constructive comments.  You will be graded not only on your own drafts, but the quality of feedback you give your peers.

Rough Drafts & Writing Exercises

You will complete short homework assignments to help improve your command of writing mechanics, proper citations, and clear communication.  You are also responsible for completing the Wikipedia training modules by the dates indicated in our schedule.

Community Connections Program (5%)

Active engagement with the wider Wooster community as you embark upon your college career.  You’ll volunteer at a local elementary school and write two reflective essays on your experiences with service learning.

Cabeza de Vaca Essay (10%)

This short paper (750-1000 words) will allow you to hone your skills analyzing a first-hand European account of the American Southwest, and arguing how you think this portrayal of Latin America and its environment should be understood in light of Résendez’s’ research. Upload to Moodle before by 10pm on Wednesday, September 13.

Noticias: Latin America in the Media (10%)

Bi-weekly written analysis and in-class discussion of current events and their relevance for course themes.

Wikipedia Article (10%)

You will improve and expand your choice of Wikipedia entries on Latin American cultural history.  This assignment will help you think about appropriate tone, content, and use of evidence for different digital formats, and how to evaluate online sources of information.  You’ll write a short memo analyzing the entry before your edits, and explaining how and why you changed it.  Due before class on Wednesday, November 29.

Annotated Bibliography (10%)

The research required for your annotations will refine your skills performing college-level scholarly investigation, familiarize you with the most common print and online tools available at Wooster, and give you practice evaluating authors’ use of sources and point of view when compiling evidence for your project. Upload your pdf to Moodle by 4pm on Friday, October 6.

Research Presentation (10%)

Multi-media presentation analyzing any aspect of Latin American encounters and identity formation, drawing on primary and secondary source evidence.

Wooster Encounters (15%)

This semester-long creative project uses Instagram posts (#holtfys) and a short video to chronicle your perceptions of your emerging identity and developing community connections within the “new world” of the larger College of Wooster community.  Final project due during our exam period on Thursday, December 14 at 7pm.

Grading Standards:

I follow the College of Wooster guidelines for grading.  “A” grades reflect excellent work, “B” grades very good work, “C” grades adequate work, and “D” minimal work.  Grades of “F” are reserved for work that is unsatisfactory in its content, relationship to the assignment, and/or degree of effort.  Plagiarism will always result in a failing grade.

Technology assignments will be graded according to several criteria including: content (adherence to the assignment, mastery of course materials and quality of thought), form (including aesthetics/appearance) and mastery of the technology.