One Nation Under God? 

Religion and Law in the United States

   

FWIS 154
SPRING 2013 
RICE UNIVERSITY
MWF, 4:00-4:50PM
HERZSTEIN 211

 

DR. ELIZABETH BARRE
HERZSTEIN 111
OFFICE HOURS BY APPOINTMENT (Make an Appointment)

713-348-3360
barre@rice.edu

 

 

 

  Theme | Goals | Assignments that Teach | Assignments that Assess Grading | Schedule | Etc.

 


 

 

What you will explore


Most Americans, whether they are religious or not, are proud of the fact that the United States protects the rights of citizens to practice any religion they want, in whatever manner they see fit. Unlike other countries, the U.S. Constitution ensures that the government will never make a law that prohibits the “free exercise” of religion, nor make any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” We like to think that these prohibitions, often referred to as the “Separation of Church and State,” ensure that the United States will be tolerant of all people and ways of life, allowing us to be the pluralistic melting pot of the world.

Yet, as with most issues at the intersection of religion and law, matters are not so simple.

What happens when a person wants to practice a religion that requires him or her to break the law? What should we do if a religion requires its members to smoke illegal substances, reject public education, or engage in animal sacrifices? Is it ever OK to limit a person’s religious liberty (i.e., coerce them via laws) for the sake of a greater good? For that matter, why do we care about protecting the free exercise of religion in the first place? Isn’t it more important to use the law to enforce justice than to protect unfettered liberty?

And how, precisely, are we to determine what counts as the “greater good” and/or “justice” without relying upon religious arguments? How do we know, for example, that a law prohibiting same-sex marriage is just? What about plural marriages? Can we make these arguments without referencing religion and, if we cannot, how are these laws not an example of “establishing religion”? If we think there is a way to make non-religious arguments, what makes these arguments distinct from religious arguments? What is it, exactly, that we want to keep separated from the state, and how? Does keeping religious arguments out of public debate privilege the views of non-religious individuals, creating a situation in which we have established the religion of atheism?

If these questions reveal that the First Amendment and the ideal of separating church and state is philosophically problematic, what is our alternative? How, for example, should we create laws in a country where some people believe abortion is murder and others believe they have a right to control what happens in and to their own bodies? How do we determine national education policy when some citizens believe, in deeply sincere ways, that women should not be educated? In short, how do we live together in a country that is deeply divided about philosophical and religious matters?

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What you will learn


The first and most important goal of this course is to help you learn how to conceptualize, plan, and produce competent analytic arguments in a variety of academic fields, with or without specific guidance from a professor. To get you to this point, however, we’ll need to work on a variety of other skills. So you will also learn how to:

  1. Critically read academic texts such that you are able to
    • Identify and reconstruct their arguments (i.e., main claims, reasons, assumptions, and evidence)
    • Synthesize their arguments with other arguments you’ve read and what you already know
    • Apply their arguments to new questions and/or problems
    • Evaluate the strength of their arguments by assessing whether their reasons, assumptions, and evidence actually support the claims being made.
  2. Raise questions about academic texts that are authentic, responsive, original, and important
  3. Generate your own responses to these questions that are original, clear, concise, and capable of being successfully defended
    • With the resources available to you (access to appropriate evidence, etc.)
    • Within the limits of the assignment (time to complete project, page length, etc.)
  4. Formulate reasons to defend your response that are both plausibly true and logically relevant.
  5. Assemble appropriate evidence to support your reasons, taking into account
    • The standards of evidence adhered to by your audience (usually, your discipline)
    • The types of evidence necessary to support the sort of claim you are defending (Descriptive? Causal? Moral?)
  6. Uncover and defend your assumptions—the taken-for-granted, and often unspoken, ideas you must also believe for your argument to be valid.

Because this course is part of Rice’s Program in Writing and Communication, learning how to construct an argument—as complicated as that task might be—will not be our only goal this semester.  You will also learn how to effectively communicate these and other arguments in written, oral, and visual forms.   Toward this end, you will learn how to:

  1. Plan and organize the structure of your essays/posters/presentations to ensure that your audience
    • Recognizes the question you are addressing
    • Is convinced of its importance
    • Understands your argument enough to assess its quality
    • Is not fatigued by unclear or unnecessary content
  2. Begin and complete the drafting process
  3. Create rhetorically compelling introductions and conclusions for your essays/presentations
  4. Use metacommentary and appropriate transitions to help your audience understand the functions of various parts of your essays/presentations
  5. Integrate sources into your essays, following the conventions of academic citation.
  6. Revise your essays/posters/presentations with or without feedback from peers and professors.

Finally, because all of your reading and writing will address the questions highlighted on the first two pages of this syllabus, completing this course should also allow you to:

  1. Explain the basic principles of U.S. Constitutional Law and First Amendment jurisprudence.
  2. Synthesize seemingly disparate Supreme Court opinions to understand the complex, and sometimes contradictory, nature of legal precedent on these issues.
  3. Narrate the historical development of this precedent over the last 150 years.
  4. Apply previous legal precedent to contemporary, not yet decided, cases before the Court.
  5. Reconstruct, compare, and critically evaluate Supreme Court opinions.
  6. Reconstruct, compare, and critically evaluate arguments about the nature of the First Amendment and the history of First Amendment jurisprudence.

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How you will learn


In this course, you will be asked to complete a number of assignments, or participate in a number of activities, that promote learning. These assignments are not designed to evaluate your performance; they are designed to improve it. As such, they are not “graded” in the traditional sense of term. However, taken together, all of these assignments contribute to an overall “participation” grade that accounts for 25% of your final grade.  For more information about how this participation grade is calculated, see the grading section below.

Reading

The success of this course depends upon you (and your classmates) reading, and reading closely, all that is assigned throughout the semester. Alongside your near-weekly writing assignments, you should expect to read an average of 50-60 pages a week (more in weeks with light writing requirements; fewer in weeks with heavy writing requirements). Reading assignments appear on the schedule below, and are to be completed by the date indicated.

Some, if not most, of what you will read will be difficult. You may not get everything the first, second, or even third time you’ve read it.  You should take careful notes on what you’ve read in your course notebook (see below), summarizing key points, highlighting unclear passages, raising further questions, and noting where you agree or disagree.

Although some of your reading will be available on Owl-Space, you must also purchase the following books within the first week of classes:

I also highly recommend you pick up a copy of:

Because I only allow electronic devises to be used for in-class activities, and expect you to have copies of the day’s reading assignment with you in class, you will need to buy hard copies of each book and print out hard copies of the material you access through Owl-Space.

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Taking Notes

In my experience, Rice students approach note-taking in one of two ways:

Some of you are freakishly obsessed with writing down every single idea you encounter so that you can memorize the most amount of material possible in all-night cram sessions just before exams.  And even when your course doesn’t assess your performance via exams, you continue to take copious notes so that you’re never in a situation where you forget something you read or heard.  Your notebooks are sometimes true works of art, involving various carefully selected color combinations.  You probably like lists.  And organizing your closets.

And then there are those of you who have never taken a note in your life.  You may not even bother buying notebooks for classes.  And if you do, they’re usually for doodling.  You’re pretty confident in your memory and don’t see the need to store what you’re learning in written form.  You can understand why some people might need notes, but you—and your brain—are special.  And your performance in school over the last 12 years, without taking a single note, proves it.  Your room is probably a mess, but you “know where everything is.”

We all know these people.  Some of you are these people.  And you often wonder how the other group managed to get into Rice in the first place.

As it turns out, both groups have a lot more in common than it seems.  Both approach note-taking as a task that is fundamentally about storage.  According to this model, we take notes because it allows us to store facts so that we can recall those facts when necessary.  This is why waitresses write down your order before walking back to the kitchen.  And why those who have particularly good memories don’t bother.

But how would our practices change if we thought about notes in a fundamentally different way?  What if taking notes wasn’t an activity designed to help us store information, but to understand it? What if our notes were not attempts to transcribe, but to process? To reconstruct, synthesize, apply, question, and evaluate? 

Recent research has found that emphasis on storage and recall (i.e., memorization) leads to surface-level learning that disappears as soon as new information is introduced. If you’ve ever completely forgotten what you’ve “learned” in a course mere months after taking it, you’ve experienced this firsthand.  And this is true whether you’re relying on notes to store the information or the sheer power of your own oral and visual memory.

Yet, we also know that taking “notes” in a way that processes the information you encounter can help you to learn the material in lasting ways.  And this holds true regardless of whether you ever go back to “review” those notes in the future.   That is to say, engaging the ideas you encounter, as you encounter them, can help you to process them in a way that allows you to remember, understand, and successfully apply them for many years to come.

There are, of course, many ways to engage the material you encounter in a course.  Yet, we know that personalized, written reflections are especially effective at increasing your understanding of the material. 

For these reasons, taking notes is a requirement of this course.  Because I do not allow electronics in class on a daily basis, you will need to buy hard copy notebook to use for this class and this class only.  I will collect this notebook twice throughout the semester, and will be checking to see that you have engaged both the reading material and our class discussions in interesting ways.

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Attendance

While much of your learning will occur while you read, take notes, and write, being present in class is equally important.  In this particular course, we will spend a number of class periods working on your writing in class. As a result, attendance is required. You are, nevertheless, allowed three unexcused absences throughout the semester. All judgments about excused and unexcused absences will be at my discretion, but if you wish to receive an excused absence, you must receive approval from me before the missed class period. The only exceptions to this rule are medical emergencies affecting yourself or your family. In all cases, I may or may not ask for supporting documentation for excused absences. 

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In-Class Discussions

For you to take full advantage of our class time, it is not enough to simply show up and take your own personal notes. You must also contribute to our conversations. If you consistently comment on the course readings, ask questions when perplexed, or answer questions I raise in class, you will have met my expectations in this regard.  And if you respond to the comments of other students, or constructively disagree with a claim being discussed, your contributions will be considered exemplary.  If you are not able to answer questions about the reading, not listening, pretending to be listening while texting or being otherwise distracted, speaking without being recognized, or making fun of other students, you will have failed to meet this requirement.

I take notes about who has contributed what, but you should keep track, as well.  At the end of each class period, take the time to note your contributions in your notebook, indicating the date, the question you asked, the answer you gave, or the comment you made.  When I collect your notebooks in the middle of the term, I will compare your notes with mine, let you know how you are doing, and give you suggestions for improvement.  I’ll compare our notes again when I collect your notebook at the end of the term, and will use the results when calculating your final participation grade.

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In-Class Activities

Because I think you are more likely to achieve the learning outcomes of this course by engaging the content and practicing the skills, I will spend very little time lecturing.  And to make sure you get the kind of focused practice you need, we will not default to in-class discussions, either.  Instead, our class time will be a mixture of mini-lectures, discussions, and numerous in-class activities designed to help you learn the material and improve your skills. These include, but are not limited to, close reading activities, in-class writing, “pair and share” discussions, argument workshops, peer-review, and immediate assessment via the audience response system, “Socrative.” 

To ensure that you are prepared for some of these activities, you are required to download the Socrative app to your smart phone, and to buy a set of colored index cards by the second week of classes.  If you do not have a smart phone, you can use your laptop for the same purpose, and do not need to download the app.  If you have neither a smart phone nor laptop, please send me a personal message within the first two weeks of classes.  The index cards are available at the bookstore, but because we will be cutting them in half, you may prefer to buy pre-cut cards, available on-line here: http://amzn.com/B002JFV30U

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Diagnostic Assignments

You will complete three “diagnostic” assignments within the first two weeks of classes. These assignments are designed to give me (and you) a sense of where you stand at the beginning of the course. Think of these as the sort of “pre-tests” you may have taken in some of your high school classes. Each of these assignments will be evaluated according to the rubric I will use to assess your later essays, but the evaluations will not be incorporated into your final grade. As diagnostics, these assessments are designed to help us see the areas in which you need the most help, allowing us to plan the best course of “treatment” throughout the semester.

The first way I will diagnose your skills is by reading your previous work.  Toward that end, you must find a copy of what you take to be the best piece of writing you’ve ever produced and submit a copy on the second day of class. There are no limits on the type of writing you can submit, or the context in which the writing was produced (it doesn’t have to be a class paper, for example). I simply ask that you submit the writing with a cover letter explaining why you think the writing is strong and what you think could be improved (if anything).

To get a sense of where you are now, I will also ask you to complete two assignments from scratch. The first will be a short, informal essay written during the second day of class on a prompt I distribute that day.  The second will be a 6-8 page essay, due at the end of the second week of classes, mirroring the formal assignments you will be writing throughout the semester.

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Scaffolded Assignments

In addition to diagnostic essays, you will also be asked to submit evidence of your work as we progress through the discrete stages of writing your second full-length essay.  Unlike the first and final essays, the second essay is designed to teach you about the process of writing an academic essay.  As such, you will write this essay in stages, over a series of weeks, and with extensive guidance and feedback from me and your peers.  For this to work, you can’t wait until the last minute to put your essay together, and must be submitting your work in a form that can be assessed. These assignments—which constitute the “scaffolding” of a complete essay—include drafts of research questions, theses, reasons, evidence, sources, assumptions, and a final draft to be reviewed before the essay is submitted for a grade. Like the diagnostic, these assignments will be assessed, but the assessments will not be incorporated into your final grade.  The goal of the assessment is to improve the final product, not evaluate for a grade.

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Office Hours

You are required to attend at least one of my office hours within the first two weeks of classes. You don't need to prepare anything for this meeting and I will be happy to set up appointments to accommodate your schedules. The purpose of this meeting is simply for us to get to know one another and should last no longer than 30 minutes.  You can sign up for an appointment here: http://goo.gl/HJQ2p5.  I will maintain a similar appointment calendar throughout the semester, and I encourage you to sign up for appointments any time you would like further individualized feedback on your work.  You are also required to attend at least one further meeting to discuss the draft of your second essay.

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Practice Presentations

To help you improve your oral presentation skills, you will present a 2-minute practice presentation in front of your peers during the last week of classes.   This presentation, along with the peer-feedback you will receive, should help you prepare for your final 5-minute presentation you will give during exam week.

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Peer-Review

As with most writing classes, this course is going to leverage the skills and insights of students in the form of peer-review.  Apart from engaging my feedback, there are few activities that will improve your writing more than engaging with a peer who has spent hours reading and thinking about your work and the ways it might be improved.  But for this process to be successful, every student must take their responsibilities as a reviewer seriously.

Thus, another major requirement of this course is that you take the time to carefully read and comment upon the work of your peer-review partner at various points throughout the semester.  The most significant review processes will take place after the first completed draft of the second essay is submitted, but you will also be asked to review their many Scaffolded assignments and their practice presentation.

To ensure that this process runs smoothly, and that you get comfortable working with your partner at an early stage, you will be paired with a single partner who you will work with throughout the semester.

To help make sure the pairing is successful, I will ask all of you to fill out a questionnaire by the end of the first week of classes.  I will then distribute these completed questionnaires to the class and ask you all to (anonymously) note which classmates seem like good potential “matches” (a la, Tinder).  From there, I will match you up as best I can, and distribute the assignments by the end of the second week of classes.

During the third week of classes, you are required to go on a “peer review date” where you do nothing but get to know one another over coffee, food, or whatever else it is you plan to do.  To document that this date happened, you must post a fun picture to our Facebook group.

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Facebook

Because our 50-minute class period is unlikely to provide enough time for us to cover all the material we would like to discuss each day, students are encouraged to continue (and initiate) class conversations via Facebook. To facilitate that process, I have created a group page for the class. So that you can join without becoming Facebook friends, the group is currently "closed." This means that anyone can send a request to join if he or she has a link to the group page, but the group and its members will be visible in search results and on member timelines. Once you all have requested membership, I will convert the group to "secret," which hides all information about the group from everyone but its members. You can request membership at the following address: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RICE.FWIS.154/.

You are required to post three substantive messages/links/responses throughout the semester. If your messages consistently exceed my expectations (in both number and content), this will be reflected in your final participation grade. If you do not have a Facebook account, you can make up these points by sending three e-mails to RICE.FWIS.154@groups.facebook.com.

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Meeting Deadlines

Assignments that are designed to help you learn come with deadlines.  These deadlines are there so that I can have time to provide feedback and so that you can have time to begin other projects.  In each case, the purpose of the deadline is to create conditions that facilitate your learning.  As such, you are expected to meet the deadlines for each assignment in this course (including the evaluative assignments explained in the following section).

Any student who feels she or he is unable to submit work on time may request an extension, but these requests must be made before the deadline.  You are limited to two extensions throughout the semester, so use them wisely.  So that you will receive feedback in time for later assignments, all extensions are limited to 2 days.  For obvious reasons, extensions will not be granted for class-participation, Facebook participation, presentation, or the submission of your final essay.

Illnesses, family emergencies, or accidents that require extended periods away from school and prevent you from meeting these requirements should be referred immediately to the Committee on Examinations and Standing.  This University committee reviews petitions and handles other special problems that involve the academic rules of the University.  More information about when and how to file a petition can be found here: http://students.rice.edu/students/Exams2.asp

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Academic Honesty

At the most general level, I will hold you to the standards of the Rice Honor Code, a code that you pledged to honor when you matriculated at this institution. If you are unfamiliar with the details of this code and how it is administered, you should consult the Honor System Handbook at http://honor.rice.edu/honor-system-handbook/. This handbook outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of your academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.

Because a central purpose of this particular class is to help you learn the rules of paraphrasing and scholarly attribution, as well as the appropriate uses of different types of evidence, I will take an educational approach to transgressions of these rules when it appears they are unintentional. That is to say, you will not be reported to the Honor Council, but will be required to revise your work and your final grade on that assignment will be lowered by 10%.

In keeping with the spirit of the Honor Code, however, intentional violations of these rules--pursued with intent to acquire an unfair advantage over other students in the class--will be treated as matters for the attention of the Honor Council and will be reported immediately.

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How your performance will be evaluated


As we all know, participation in a course is not always correlated with performance (whether innate or learned).  As a result, this course also includes a number assignments designed to assess the extent to which you have achieved the goals stipulated at the beginning of this syllabus.  These assessments are as follows:

  • Five bi-weekly quizzes designed to test your knowledge of the communication process, as well as your ability to perform the discrete skills we’re learning at the time.
  • One 6-8 page essay, written in a series of scaffolded stages, with extensive feedback from professor and peers
  • One 5-minute oral and visual presentation
  • One 6-8 page essay, written without any feedback from professor or peers

The rubric I will use to grade each of these assignments will be distributed 2 weeks prior to the day the assignment is to be completed. Work that is submitted late (without a pre-approved extension) will lose 1 letter grade for each day it is late (including Saturday and Sunday).  At three days beyond the due date, no work will be accepted.   NOTE: If any of your electronic submissions are “lost in cyberspace,” that is your responsibility.  Owl-Space provides clear indications of when your work has been successfully submitted, and it is your responsibility to ensure that it has been.

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How you will be graded


Each of the grades you receive will be a letter that sits on a traditional 4-point scale, with the following points assigned to each letter grade (and with an “F” earning no points):

A+        4.2 B+        3.2 C+       2.2 D+        1.2
A          4.0 B          3.0 C         2 D          1
A-         3.8 B-         2.8 C-        1.8 D-         .8

Participation

Your participation grade, determined by the extent to which you participated in the learning activities highlighted above, will make up 25% of your final grade in this course.  The general rubric I will use to assign this grade is as follows:

A         Exemplary levels of participation in all required course activities
B Exemplary levels of participation in most required course activities, and acceptable in the remainder
C Acceptable level of participation in all required course activities
D Acceptable level of participation in most required course activities, and unacceptable in the remainder
F Unacceptable level of participation in all required course activities  

When I assess the quality of your notes at the mid-semester point, I will also assess the overall quality of your participation, communicate your mid-semester participation grade, and suggest ways you might improve that grade by the end of the semester.

Performance

Your performance grade, determined by how you perform on the evaluative assignments, will make up 75% of your final grade in this course.  The weight of the various assignments is as follows:

25% Bi-Weekly Quizzes (5% per Quiz)                 
15% First Essay
10% Final Presentation
25% Final Essay

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When you will learn


Week One

 

January 13

IN CLASS:

  • Introduction to Professor
  • Introduction of Students
  • Introduction to Course
  • Distribute Syllabus
  • Distribute Peer-Review Questionnaire

 

January 15

AT HOME:

DUE:

  • Writing Sample and Cover Letter

IN CLASS:

  • Syllabus Quiz (via Socrative)
  • In-Class Diagnostic

 

January 17

AT HOME:

DUE:

IN CLASS:

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Week Two

 

January 20

NO CLASS (MLK DAY)

 

January 22

AT HOME:

IN CLASS:

  • Discussion
  • Distribute Peer-Review Preferences Sheets

 

January 24 [CLASS CANCELLED FOR WEATHER]

AT HOME:        

DUE:

IN CLASS:

  • Discussion

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Week Three

 

January 27

AT HOME:

  • Read The Craft of Research, “From Topics to Questions,” 35-50.
  • Read That Godless Court, “Flashpoints and the Future,” 155-184.
  • Highlight the Research Question in “Flashpoints and the Future.”
DUE:

IN CLASS:

  • Practice Identifying Research Questions
  • Practice Constructing Research Questions

 

January 29

AT HOME:        

  • Peer-Review Date
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Making Claims,” 120-126.
  • Read Reynolds V. United States (1879) in The Constitution and Religion, 414-419.*
  • Read Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940) in The Constitution and Religion, 420-426.*
  • Highlight Claims in Reynolds and Cantwell

IN CLASS:        

  • Practice Identifying Claims
  • Practice Constructing Claims
  • Announce Peer-Review Pairs 

 

January 31

AT HOME:        

  • Peer-Review Date
  • Study for Quiz
  • Draft 2 Research Questions for Second Essay
  • Draft 2 Main Claims for Each Research Question (4 Total) for Second Essay

DUE:                

  • Peer-Review Date Picture
  • Draft of 2 Research Questions for Second Essay
  • Draft of 4 Main Claims for Second Essay

IN CLASS:        

  • Quiz on Research Questions and Claims
  • Peer-Feedback on Drafts

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Week Four

 

February 3

AT HOME:        

  • Peer-Review Date
  • Revise Drafts of Questions/Claims

IN CLASS:        

  • Workshop on Questions/Claims (with special substitute teacher)

 

February 5

AT HOME:        

  • Peer-Review Date
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Reasons and Evidence,” 130-138.
  • Read Sherbert v. Verner (1963), in The Constitution and Religion, 449-453.*
  • Highlight Reasons in Sherbert

DUE:        

  • Peer-Review Date Picture

IN CLASS:        

  • Review of Quiz Material

 

February 7

AT HOME:        

  • No New Reading

IN CLASS:        

  • Discussion

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Week Five

 

February 10

AT HOME:        

  • Re-Read The Craft of Research, “Reasons and Evidence,” 130-138.
  • Re-Read Sherbert v. Verner (1963), in The Constitution and Religion, 449-453.*
  • Highlight Reasons in Sherbert
  • Read Oregon v. Smith (1990), in The Constitution and Religion, 483-501.*

IN CLASS:        

  • Practice Constructing Reasons

 

February 12

AT HOME:        

  • Final Draft of Research Question and Main Claim

DUE:

  • Final Draft of Research Question and Main Claim (to turn in)

IN CLASS:        

  • Draft Reasons for Main Claim with Partner

 

February 14

AT HOME:        

  • Re-Read The Craft of Research, “Reasons and Evidence,” 130-138.
  • Read Church of Babalu v. Hialeah (1993) in The Constitution and Religion, 502-514.*
  • Highlight Evidence in Hialeah

IN CLASS:        

  • Practice Identifying Evidence
  • Practice Distinguishing Reasons and Evidence
  • Practice Constructing Evidence in Argument

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Week Six

 

February 17

AT HOME:        

  • Draft Reasons, Subreasons, and Evidence for Second Essay

DUE:                

  • Draft of Reasons, Subreasons, and Evidence for Second Essay

IN CLASS:        

  • Peer-Feedback on Drafts
  • Practice Questions for Quiz

 

February 19

AT HOME:        

  • Study for Quiz
  • Revise Reasons, Subreasons, and Evidence for Second Essay

DUE:                

  • Final Draft of Reasons, Subreasons, and Evidence for Second Essay (to turn in)

IN CLASS:        

  • Quiz on Reasons and Evidence
  • Peer-Feedback on Drafts

 

February 21

AT HOME:        

  • Read The Craft of Research, “From Problems to Sources,” 68-82.
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Engaging Sources,” 84-100.
  • Re-Read That Godless Court, “Flashpoints and the Future.”
  • Highlight Sources in “Flashpoints and the Future”

IN CLASS:        

  • Practice Identifying Sources
  • Practice Selecting Sources

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Week Seven

 

February 24

AT HOME:        

  • Start Finding Sources for Essay
  • Take Library Selfie
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Warrants,” 152-168.
  • Read Determining Warrants” in Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz, Everything’s An Argument, 135-140.*

IN CLASS:        

  • Discussion of "Warrants" (aka, assumptions)
  • Discussion of "Backing" (support for assumptions)

 

February 26

AT HOME:        

  • Continue Finding Sources for Essay
  • Take Library Selfie
  • Draft of Assumptions 
  • Draft Backing

DUE:                

  • Draft of Assumptions
  • Draft of Backing

IN CLASS:        

  • Practice Quiz Questions

 

February 28

AT HOME:        

  • Continue Finding Sources for Essay 
  • Take Library Selfie
  • Read Partner's Draft of Assumptions/Backing
  • Study for Quiz 
  • Tidy up Notes

DUE:                

  • Midterm Notebook Submission

IN CLASS:        

  • Quiz on Warrants
  • Peer-Feedback on Assumptions/Backing
  • Library Selfie

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Week Eight: Spring Break

 

March 3

NO CLASS (SPRING BREAK)

 

March 5

NO CLASS (SPRING BREAK)

 

March 7

NO CLASS (SPRING BREAK)

 

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Week Nine

 

March 10

 

AT HOME: 

  • Respond to Diagnostic Feedback
  • Read They Say, I Say, “Starting with what Others are Saying,” 19-29.
  • Read They Say, I Say, “Saying Why it Matters,” 92-101.
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Titles,” 248.
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Connecting with Your Reader,” 16-27.
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Introductions and Conclusions,” 232-247.

DUE 

  • Response to Diagnostic Feedback

IN CLASS: 

  • Practice Reading and Analyzing Introductions of Academic Texts

 

March 12

AT HOME: 

  • Write Title and Introduction to Second Essay
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Planning,” 173-186.
  • Read They Say, I Say, “Connecting the Parts,” 105-120.
  • Read They Say, I Say, “The Art of Metacommentary,” 129-138.

DUE:

  • Draft of Title and Introduction to Second Essay

IN CLASS: 

  • Peer-Review of Introduction Drafts
  • Discussion of how to Plan Essay and Paragraph Structure

March 14

AT HOME: 

  • Read The Craft of Research, “Drafting,” 188-202.
  • Read They Say, I Say, “The Art of Summarizing,” 30-41.
  • Read They Say, I Say, “The Art of Quoting,” 42-51.

IN CLASS:

  • Practice Reading and Analyzing Metacommentary of Academic Texts
  • Practice Reading and Analyzing Citation in Academic Texts

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Week Ten

 

March 17

AT HOME: 

  • Plan out Paragraph Order and Content
  • (Revise Title and Introduction if Needed)
  • Write First Two Paragraphs After Introduction (with Citations)
  • Read The Craft of Research, “Revising your Organization and Argument,” 203-212.

IN CLASS: 

  • Peer-Review of Paragraph Structure and Citation Practices

 

March 19

AT HOME: 

  • Study for Quiz

IN CLASS: 

  • Quiz on Introductions, Conclusions, Planning, Organization, Metacommentary, and Citations

 

March 21

NO CLASS (CONFERENCING)

ROLLING DUE DATES:

  • Second Full-Length Draft Due on Owl-Space 90 minutes before Appointment

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Week Eleven

 

March 24

NO CLASS (CONFERENCING)

ROLLING DUE DATES:

  • Second Full-Length Draft Due on Owl-Space 90 minutes before Appointment

 

March 26

NO CLASS (CONFERENCING)

ROLLING DUE DATES:

  • Second Full-Length Draft Due on Owl-Space 90 minutes before Appointment

 

March 28

NO CLASS (CONFERENCING)

ROLLING DUE DATES:

  • Second Full-Length Draft Due on Owl-Space 90 minutes before Appointment

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Week Twelve

 

March 31

AT HOME: 

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion

TUESDAY, APRIL 1: FINAL DRAFT OF SECOND ESSAY DUE AT 11:59PM

April 2

AT HOME:

Note: Read in the order listed

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion

April 4

NO CLASS (MIDTERM RECESS)

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Week Thirteen

 

April 7

AT HOME: 

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion

April 9

AT HOME: 

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion

April 11

AT HOME: 

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion

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Week Fourteen

 

April 14

AT HOME: 

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion

April 16

AT HOME: 

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion

April 18

AT HOME: 

  • Study for Quiz

IN CLASS: 

  • Quiz
  • Wrap-Up Discussion

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Week Fifteen

 

April 21

AT HOME: 

  • Read slides on preparing and giving a 90-second presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Festa.  Note, I have edited these from the original, and added my own notes.  To read those notes, you will need to open this PDF in Adobe Reader, rather than within your browser.
  • Preview a PowerPoint presentation on Oral Communication by Dr. Tracy Volz (Note that I have adapted this presentations quite substantially.)
  • Watch the five 90-Second Pitches below.
  • Create two top-ten lists of the best and worst things to do in an oral presentation (based on the pitches below, and other things you believe about public speaking).

IN CLASS: 

  • Discussion of top ten lists and all five 90-second presentations
  • In-class speaking activities
  • In-class body language activities

April 23

AT HOME: 

  • Prepare 90-Second Practice Presentations

IN CLASS: 

  • 90-Second Practice Presentations

April 25

AT HOME: 

  • Watch Video Footage of Your Own Presentation
  • Watch Don McMillan, "Life After Death by PowerPoint," below:

  • Watch David Phillips, "How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint," below:

  • Watch the first 3.5 minutes of David Phillips', "How to Avoid Death by Prezi," below:

IN CLASS: 

  • Feedback for Each Student
  • Slide Design Discussion
  • Slide Design Activities

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Week Sixteen

 

April 27

DUE

  • Slides must be submitted on Owl-Space by 12, Noon.
  • Tree Diagram must be submitted on Owl-Space by 12, Noon.
  • Evidence that your partner peer-reviewed your presentation must be submitted in class.

IN CLASS, 2:00-5:00PM: 

  • Final Presentations

April 28

NO CLASS (EXAM STUDY DAYS)

April 30

DUE

  • Slides must be submitted on Owl-Space by 12, Noon.
  • Tree Diagram must be submitted on Owl-Space by 12, Noon.
  • Evidence that your partner peer-reviewed your presentation must be submitted in class.

IN CLASS, 2:00-5:00PM: 

  • Final Presentations

May 2

NO CLASS (EXAM DAYS)

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Week Seventeen

 

May 5

NO CLASS (EXAM STUDY DAYS)

May 6

DUE

  • Slides must be submitted on Owl-Space by 12, Noon.
  • Tree Diagram must be submitted on Owl-Space by 12, Noon.
  • Evidence that your partner peer-reviewed your presentation must be submitted in class.

IN CLASS, 2:00-5:00PM: 

  • Final Presentations

May 7

DUE: 

  • Final Exam Due at Midnight
 

Etc.


American with Disabilities Act

Any student with a documented disability seeking academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me during the first two weeks of class.  All discussions will remain as confidential as possible.  Students with disabilities will need to contact Disability Support Services in the Allen Center, as well.  For more information, visit http://dss.rice.edu/ or call 713-348-5841.

Syllabus Change Policy

This syllabus is only a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.

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