Honors 171: The Human Event

Download 45.47 Kb.
Size45.47 Kb.
Honors 171: The Human Event
Dr. Jacquie Lynch Class Times : MW 10 :40-11:55, 12:15-1:30

Office: Irish A-208 Office Hours: M&W 9:30-10:30 & 1:35-2:00

Phone: 965-6780 T 2:00-3:00 & by appointment

Email: Jacquie.Lynch@asu.edu (see p. 4 for more on OH)

Honors 171 is a discussion-based seminar that provides students with an interdisciplinary, multicultural history of ideas. Beyond introducing you to some of the masterpieces of world literature and philosophy, this course allows you ample opportunity to refine your critical reading, thinking, writing, and speaking skills. It also invites you to think deeply about some of the “eternal questions” concerning human existence and culture.
The objectives of the course are as follows:

  • To broaden the student’s historical and cultural awareness and understanding;

  • To improve the student’s skill in analyzing written material;

  • To develop the student’s critical speaking and writing skills;

  • To encourage the student to think critically and seriously about the nature of human existence and to formulate his or her own views and insights regarding ethics, philosophy, religion, history, etc.;

  • To refine the student’s ability to develop thoughtful and logically-articulated academic argument essays that convey his or her critical insights;

  • To instill intellectual breadth and academic discipline in preparation for more advanced honors courses.

Required Texts:

  1. The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Second ed., Volumes A, B, C. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.

  • Course readings and required course materials will be posted online via Hayden Reserve and the Class Web Page: http://www.public.asu.edu/~jacquies/171.htm. Use of this page is mandatory.

Graded Assignments:
Required assignments consist of quality participation in class discussions and other in-class activities (20%), six 1 page (single-spaced) reading responses (20%), three 6 page (double-spaced) formal academic essay papers (20% each), and a collaborative final exam. See http://www.public.asu.edu/~jacquies/171.htm#grading for the grading scale. You must complete all assignments to pass this class.
Assignments and in-class activities seek to fulfill the course objectives in the following ways:
Reading Responses (20% of course grade) strengthen your critical reading skills, help you prepare for class discussion, demonstrate your personal engagement with a text in less formal prose than is required in the three academic essays, and allow you to practice various critical and possibly creative writing techniques. Examples of successful reading responses will be posted on our class web page for the purpose of providing the class with models for future response writing. These responses may also generate further class discussion.
You will write a total of six responses to specific questions or analyses of specific passages from the assigned reading. At least three of these assignments will be take-home exercises and should be typed in a single-spaced format. One to three responses will be written during the first 15 minutes of class. No make-ups or late submissions are permitted, but I will drop your lowest grade.

Class Participation (20 % of course grade)

Participation Grading Criteria are posted on the class web page. I will assign participation grades two times throughout the semester, normally during weeks 5 and 10, but students are welcome to see me at any time for further feedback on their participation to date.

Class Discussion is the heart of our seminar. Students will shape the discussion and refine critical reading, thinking, and speaking skills by bringing in questions about the reading, participating in round-robin concept or plot summaries, responding analytically to questions posed by the instructor and fellow students, supporting ideas with textual or logical evidence, posing and addressing counter-arguments, and interacting with other class members by supporting or challenging the ideas under consideration. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice articulating our views orally by speaking in a non-threatening seminar environment.

  • Focus Questions posted on the class web page fuel critical thinking and class discussion by helping students to read critically during their first encounter with a text; they help us look beyond the surface plot or statements for larger thematic concerns. Ideally, students will formulate responses to these questions before coming to class, so that we can get right into lively discussions. Students are always welcome to bring in questions from the reading, and occasionally I will assign the responsibility for generating a particular day’s focus questions to one or more students.

  • Role-Playing Activities, such as Character Tribunals, Class Debates from assigned positions, and Believing/Doubting Leader Positions encourage students to consider multiple perspectives and to address conflicting possibilities as they formulate or revise their own views on the ideas and issues we’ll be studying. These activities combined with the multicultural, interdisciplinary reading we are doing aim to broaden your historical and cultural awareness and understanding.

  • The Human Event Players: Students will have several opportunities to act out scenes from dramatic pieces we’re reading this semester, which can greatly enhance the enjoyment and learning of ancient, medieval and renaissance works for both the actors and audience. I’ll normally ask for volunteers about a week before the scheduled class, and we may also be joined by guest actors from previous Human Event seminars.

  • Knowledge Testing Activities, such as Human Event Jeopardy, The Weakest 171/172 Link, and World Literature Survivor, reinforce key concepts and information from our reading in a fun, competitive team format.

Academic Argument Essays (60% of course grade) allow you to showcase the critical reading, thinking, and writing skills you practice each week. These papers require students to read and think critically, to synthesize course material, to identify significant cross-cultural connections, and to craft a polished, insightful argument that adheres to the conventions of standard academic prose. In addition to Reading Responses and the Class Participation activities listed above, the following LTW (Learning to Write) and WTL (Writing to Learn) activities aim to help you create successful academic essays.

  • In-Class Writing encourages students to reflect before they discuss, a process that can be especially effective in encouraging quieter students to share their perspectives. It can also help jumpstart the formal paper-writing process by inviting students to brainstorm on subjects and ideas relevant to the assigned essay topic. In addition, much of the short, in-class writing we do will focus on specific aspects of the argumentative essay, which enhances student learning by giving developing writers the opportunity to practice the conventions they will be expected to follow, not only in this class, but also in their academic and professional writing.

  • Focused Peer Reviews of essays help students learn to draft, reflect upon, and revise their writing based upon the kinds of peer response most employees encounter in the workplace. They also require the class members to read their peers’ work critically and to offer constructive criticism. I will review peer critiques and take into consideration the effort and conscientiousness put into reviewing other students' work when assigning final participation grades. On essay due dates, final drafts will be handed in with rough drafts and peer review notes.

The Human Event Writing Center

The Barrett Honors College is piloting a new component of Honors 171 and 172: The Human Event Writing Center. Directed by BHC faculty and staffed by BHC writing tutors who themselves have successfully completed both Hon 171 and 172, the Human Event Writing Center will offer small group workshops and individual tutoring on writing academic essays for your Hon 171 and 172 courses. Its goal is to help you improve your lifelong writing and critical thinking skills, so we hope you will take full advantages of its services. Beginning September 9th, tutors will be available in Best-C 114B for 25 minute appointments Monday-Thursday from 1:00-5:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m. Evening appointments in the adjacent Honors College Computing Lab are available by appointment only T-Th evenings. Go to our web site at http://jmlynch.myftp.org/hewc/ for updated tutoring and workshop schedules and appointment information, academic background on our staff, and internet links that may help you improve your academic writing.


Attendance and preparation are extremely important in a discussion-based, collaborative learning class such as this one, so the absence policy is necessarily strict:

  • If you miss more than two classes, your participation grade will be lowered by ½ grade per absence in excess of the two “freebies.”

  • Any student who exceeds six absences will automatically receive a final course grade no higher than a C.

  • Bring the assigned text to class each day; otherwise, you will be marked absent.

  • Arriving late to class more than once or twice will detrimentally affect your participation grade.

If you must miss a class, make sure you check the class web page the following day and contact a classmate to find out if you missed any announcements or changes to the syllabus. Feel free to let me know ahead of time if you will be missing an upcoming class so that we can discuss any plans for that session.

Due Dates, Late Papers & Assignments:

Readings and other assignments are due at the beginning of the class period indicated on the syllabus. If you have a documented, valid excuse to turn in an assignment after a deadline (serious illness, family emergency, etc.) I must be informed as soon as possible prior to the due date. Otherwise, formal papers turned in after the due date and time will be marked down a full letter grade per class period late (e.g., a paper due on Monday and turned in anytime before class on Wednesday will be marked down one grade, one turned in by class time the following Monday will be marked down two grades, etc.). This policy applies to the first two formal academic essay papers only; late reading responses and final essay papers cannot be accepted.

Electronic Submissions

You are required to submit an electronic version of your three formal papers. Follow these

instructions by 4:00 p.m. on the final due date for each paper:

  1. Save your paper on a floppy disk as a TEXT (.txt) file with a file name made up of your last name-hypen-paper#.txt (e.g., "RUSSELL-paper2.txt").

  2. Then connect to your internet provider and go to http://jmlynch.dhs.org/papers/lynch.php (our class web page has a link to this site).

  3. Click on the BROWSE button and navigate to the location where your file is saved (on the A drive if you've used a floppy disk). After you highlight the file, click on the SEND FILE button. That's it!


Knowingly presenting another person's language or ideas as your own constitutes plagiarism. Don’t do it. The Barrett Honors College utilizes a plagiarism detection service that checks an extensive database of over 70,000 student essays and cliff notes. Repercussions will include failure of the paper AND failure of the course, and may include referral to the Student Conduct Committee of the University, and possible expulsion from the University. Plagiarism, the theft of intellectual property, is a serious crime; if you have any questions, come talk to me.

Student Conduct:

Students must conduct themselves according to the ASU policies posted online at .  These include the ASU Student Code of Conduct and the Student Academic Integrity Policy.  See http://www.asu.edu/honors/forms.html for information on student academic grievance procedures.

Office Hours:

I encourage you to meet with me throughout the semester to discuss your thoughts or questions on our reading, or for feedback on your writing. My office is located on the 2nd floor of Irish Hall, A208. I have office hours Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 1:35-2:00 p.m., and Tuesdays from 2:00-3:00 p.m. To help you schedule your time most efficiently, I will post a weekly office hour sign up sheet on my office door so that several students are not waiting to see me at once. I am also available to meet you by appointment on other weekdays. See me after class or e-mail me to set up such appointments. Finally, after the weather cools down, you find me at Charlie’s Café many afternoons from 3:00-3:30; feel free to join me for either a scheduled or spontaneous meeting.


  • If your cell phone rings in class, I get to answer it.

  • Students are welcome to bring in music that somehow connects to our reading; we’ll play it during the 5 minutes before class begins. Email me if you'll be bringing in music so that I'll know to bring the CD/tape player.

  • Did you know that a class syllabus is, legally speaking, a binding contract?
Daily Schedule

Readings are to be completed before class on the date indicated below. Bring the assigned text to class each day, as you will often be called upon to support your views with textual evidence (plus, if you don’t bring the text, you’ll get marked absent). To meet the emerging needs of the class, this schedule is subject to change; any changes will be announced in class.

  • NWL-A, NWL-B, NWL-C = The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Vols. A, B, C

  • Web Reader = Readings posted for print out on the Class Web Page

  • PRF = Peer Review Focus

Week 1

M Aug 26

Course syllabus & policies, class member introductions, “believing/doubting” strategies. Handouts: Eternal Questions assignment, Syllabus, Student Profile.

M Nov 04

Dante, Inferno (NWL-B: 1826-1870). Reading Response due.

W Dec 11

Reading Day

Final Essay Papers are due in my office during your scheduled final exam time:

10:40 class – Monday, Dec. 16 12:20-2:10 p.m.

12:15 class – Friday, Dec. 13 12:20-2:10 p.m.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page