There will be three types of graded activities in this course – Discussion Forum postings, Read- ing Opinion Essays, and a Research Proposal and Paper. The breakdown of each activity, in terms of points and percentage of the overall course grade, is given in the table at the end of this section. A brief description of each of these activities follows. For more complete in- formation on the work, see the Assignments section as well as the folders in the Resources section of the course site. The Assignments section will have due dates and point values for the assignments, and the Resources section will have folders with instructions and samples of the assignments for viewing. All of the various assignments are intended to promote and pro- voke critical and analytical thinking on the part of the students, not simply to regurgitate facts. Assignments may be turned in before the required due date.
The Forum discussion topics are the most frequent of the graded assignments. There will be a total of four different group topics, one every other week, beginning along with the Virtual Introduction of the first week. See the Course Outline section of this syllabus, as well as the Calendar and Forums sections of the class site for the due dates. The first topic will begin the first week of the term, and will continue until the due date listed in this syllabus, when the next topic will begin. Participation in the discussion topics will be graded on both the number and the quality of a student’s postings. Students will be expected to post both an Initial Response to the instructor’s original subject/questions, as well as at least two Respons- es / Replies to other student’s posts.
The Initial Post for a given topic will be due the first Sunday of the two week period, while the Responses will be due the following Sunday. For example, for the first topic, the Initial Post will be due at the end of Week #1, and the Responses for that topic due at the end of Week #2. The topics will be developed in part to encourage the students to do the assigned reading, but also to provoke further investigation, research and thought about the subjects. Initial Response posts are expected to be at least 500 words in length, while Response posts are expected to be at least 250 words each, although in both cases they may be longer. All Forum posts are expected to be substantive, and to reference readings, both the assigned texts as well as outside reading. For further information on the discussion groups and the ex- pectations for them, see the Instructions in the Discussion folder in the Resources portion of the class site.
The Reading Opinion Essays will be based on the various books assigned as course reading. Note that while these essays will discuss the books assigned, they are NOT traditional “book reviews”. The point of the Reading Opinion Essays is to discuss your personal reaction to the book – what you felt about it, what you liked and didn’t like, and why. These essays are not intended to be an objective analysis of the book, but rather a purely personal reaction to it.
The purpose of these assignments is to help students understand and identify the degree to which their own personal reaction to a book influences their analysis of it.
The Reading Opinion Essays are to be a minimum of three full pages of text, exclusive of the required title page and any end matter. Complete instructions for the Essays may be found in the Writing Assignments / Opinion Essays folder in the Resources section of the class site.
The research proposal and paper constitutes the largest single portion of the graded assigned work. The proposal will be due at the end of Week 3, and the paper will be due at the end of the course, the end of Week 8. The paper will be a minimum of 15 pages of text, exclu- sive of title page, notes, or bibliography, although it may be longer. The paper must be about some aspect of ancient warfare. The paper subject could be a biographical study, an exami- nation of a battle or war, a look at the military system of a particular culture or empire, or the design and use of a particular type of weapon – almost anything that relates to the period between the beginning of warfare during the Summerian Empire and the fall of the western Roman Empire.
Instructions for the paper and proposal, and an example of the format for the proposal can be found in the Writing Assignments / Research Paper folder in the Resources section of the class site. The annotated bibliography in the Bibliography folder in the Resources section, as well as the bibliographies in the course texts can serve as a starting point for the research for these papers. The paper should follow the appropriate guidelines for form and style listed in the Policies section of this syllabus. There is also a Research and Writing Tools folder in the Resources section containing a PDF file of the US Army’s Center for Military History’s official Writing Manual – an excellent resource for working on the paper.
For students with a more interactive bent, there is an option that can be used in place of the traditional research paper. This involves purchasing and installing a computer simulation, one of AEGOD’s Alea Jacta Est games. These simulations cover the range of Roman military histo- ry, from the Birth of Rome to wars in the East against Parthia. The student will be required to to write two After Action Reports (AAR) based on this simulation, one covering the tutorial and one covering a campaign of the student’s choosing. The tutorial AAR is substituted for the proposal, and the AAR on the larger campaign substitutes for the research paper. The grade for these AARs is based not on the results of the simulation, but on how well the stu- dent reports on what has happened and what they learn from the experience. Further details on these optional alternate assignments can be found in the Game folder in the Resources section of the class site. If a student wishes to choose this option, they must inform the in- structor before the end of Week 2. For further questions about this option, contact the in- structor.
|Forum Topic #1 - Initial Post
||Forum Topic #1 - Responses
|Forum Topic #2 - Initial Post
||Forum Topic #2 - Responses
|Forum Topic #3 - Initial Post
||Forum Topic #3 - Responses
|Forum Topic #4 - Initial Post
||Forum Topic #4 - Responses
|Reading Opinion Essays
||Textbook Opinion Essay # 1 - Matthew
|Textbook Opinion Essay # 2 - Noble
||Textbook Opinion Essay # 3 - Nossov
|Textbook Opinion Essay # 4 - Casson
|Optional Extra Credit Opinion Essay
||Optional Extra Credit Opinion Essay