Participation in all assigned discussion topics will improve performance on exams and may be considered holistically by the professor. Each week you must participate in three discussions:
- Essential Question(s)
- Deep Thought
- Online Learning Center
Each week you will have at least 6 postings – 2 postings in each discussion (Initial posts are worth 4 points/replies to classmates are 3 points with References, Support, and Writing Mechanics worth 3 points). Discussions are informal; however, you are still expected to communicate effectively and ensure that your posting is intelligible as well as original.
All discussions must take place in the Discussions area, meaning that uploading an attachment as your post will not count. Each discussion is set so that you must post your original thoughts before reading the posts of your classmates. Each week’s discussion will take place from Monday to Sunday, except for Week 8 which ends on Saturday, with your initial post due by 11:59 PM Central Time (CT) on Thursday and two responses to classmates due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday. During Week 8, the two responses are due by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday.
This research paper requires you, first, to critically analyze primary sources and, second, to research related secondary sources. Scholarship provides you with the opportunity to develop research and writing skills as well as to synthesize knowledge about an important subject. Moreover, scholars of history not only discuss the matters of fact but also tell their stories with skill.
Week 2: Research Topic Selection
You can must choose a theme of interest to write a blank page research paper. You may choose your topic from Pre-colonial African history to the present. It might also be helpful to approach your topic from the perspective of your academic major. Keep in mind, for such a short paper it will be good to make your topic as specific as possible, so try to narrow it down to specific African countries, figures, events, ethnic groups etc. Once you choose your topic, it must be approved. To obtain topic approval upload your topic to the Research Paper: Topic Selection dropbox located in the Dropbox area of the course..
Week 3: Resource List
Submit a preliminary list of at least five quality sources (academic books, journal articles or news stories) for your paper from Columbia College library resources. At least two of these must be primary resources at this point in your research. Make sure you list your sources in proper MLA, APA or Chicago Style format.
Week 5: Research Paper Rough Draft
Make sure you have a first version of your research paper turned into the appropriate dropbox. I will provide feedback for you to incorporate into your final version as quickly as possible. Be sure to use the annotated research paper posted in the content section as a model for your own work.
Week 7: Research Paper
We have a research paper that requires you, first, to critically analyze primary sources and, second, to research related secondary sources. Scholarship provides you with the opportunity to develop research and writing skills as well as to synthesize knowledge about an important subject. Moreover, scholars of history not only discuss the matters of fact but also tell their stories with skill. In order to earn full credit for this component score, you will submit a paper that:
- Considers the controversial issue announced by the professor in the initial threads for conferencing.
- Identifies at least 2 examples of primary sources (i.e., letters, diaries, publications) related to the issue.
- Constructs a thesis statement based upon the examples.
- Consults a number of additional secondary sources that help to develop a thesis.
- Incorporates an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Organizes paragraphs with approximately eight sentences developing a single topic.
- Elaborates major points with a degree of specificity.
- Clarifies premises using coherent diction.
- Avoids spelling errors, awkward language, improper grammar, flawed punctuation, and other technical mistakes.
- Includes 4 to 6 pages of full typed text.
- Includes a bibliography, with at least 2 primary and 3 secondary sources listed separately.
All sections of the paper must be in a .doc, .pdf, or .rtf format. Your work should be double-spaced, 12-point sans serif font, with 1 inch margins all around. When citing resources, you must adhere strictly to APA, MLA or Chicago style (although you will not be required to provide an abstract for any writing assignment in this course). All assignments must be your own original work and you are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that you have used previously for another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session). You are expected to write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, developing your topic and providing solid examples from our readings, your own research, or your own experiences to back up your statements. All assignments above are due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday of the week they have been assigned.
A Note about the Texts: The main textbooks for this course, An Introduction to African Politics by Alex Thomson and The African Genius by Basil Davidson are considered Secondary Sources, which means that the author (or historian) has written his version of history based on interpretations of historical documents or primary sources. Primary Sources are documents that are used by historians to write about past events. These are such things as diaries, journals, letters, etc. that were written at the time the historian is studying. More information regarding Primary and Secondary Sources is provided in the Content area.
Each week, you will complete a multiple choice quiz over the week’s reading material. Quizzes 1-7 will consist of various true/false, multiple choice, and matching questions. Quiz 8 will consist of one essay question, which will help you prepare for the final. You will have 35 minutes to complete each quiz. All quizzes may be found in the Quizzes area and are not proctored. You will only have one attempt to complete each quiz, so be sure to complete the weekly readings first. While the quizzes are open book, you will not have the time to look up all of the answers. Each quiz is due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday of the week, except in Week 8 when the quiz is due by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday.
You will take a proctored, comprehensive final exam during Week 8 which will consist of various true/false, multiple choice, and matching questions from all of the assigned readings throughout the course. You must provide your proctor information during Week 2. Failure to schedule your exam with an approved proctor will not be considered as an excuse for not being able to take the exam. You will have 2 hours (120 minutes) to take the exam and will be given only one attempt. You may not use your books or any other materials to assist you during this final exam. The exam will open Monday of Week 8 at 12:01 AM CT and is due by 11:59 PM Saturday.