While all assignments will be graded on a point scale (15/20) and the running tally of the semester grade on ANGEL will be displayed as percent, final grades will be given on a 4.0 scale. When calculated, the final course grade will be mathematically converted to a grade on the 4.0 scale, and then rounded either up or down to the nearest 0.5 increment (ex: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0). For example, a 78% (overall) in the class would convert to 3.12 on the 4.0 scale. This would then be rounded down to a 3.0 (which is the grade that would be received). What this means is that a 90% in the class (overall) does not mean that you will receive a 4.0.

The final grade for the course will be based on the following criteria:

Blog Posts (30%) – throughout the semester, students will be expected to post a number of entries (or comments) to the course blog.  The majority of the time, these will be a discussion of the book you bought that week.  In other (rare) cases, students will be asked to respond to a specific question.  The exact topic of the blog post will be listed (by week) in the Schedule section of the course website.  Blog posts should thoughtfully address the topic in question.  This is especially important in the case of the weekly book discussion.  A post filled with “dude, this issue was AWESOME.  Batman totally jumped from from the building and KAPOW…hit the other dude right in the face” is not what I’m looking for.  Restrain your inner fanboy/fangirl.  You can be enthusiastic or critical – just be thoughtful.  A critical analysis of the storytelling is definitely good.  Using the book as a way to talk about larger issues is cool also.  Posts have to be a minimum of 300 words (longer is just fine).  If students want to comment on another student’s posts (say you both read the same book), that is fine as well.  The comment must be at least 300 words as well – and must be respectful.  Unless otherwise stated, the posts are due by Friday at 5pm (in the week in which they appear on the Schedule)

Final Exam (25%) – The final exam will be an essay question designed to allow students to aggregate what they’ve learned throughout the entire semester and explore a specific topic.

OGN/Trade Research Paper & Presentation – Students will work in teams of 3 to prepare a research paper & presentation based on one of the books in this list.  The paper must be at least 4000 words, and should be broken into several sections: discussion of the book itself (plot, themes, etc.), discussion of the creative team (include as many of the creative team as you feel is important – writer, artists, inker, colorist, letterer, editor, etc.), discussion of the book’s history, discussion of the book’s impact (on the industry and the medium), and discussion of the book’s place in the overall history of the industry/medium.  In sddition to the paper, students will also be expected to prepare a minimum 20 minute presentation of their research paper.  More details on this (and the research paper) as we get later into the semester.  Papers will be submitted electronically (more on this later in the semester)

Here are the guidelines we talked about in class:

Thoughtful analysis and discussion of of the work and creators – focusing not only on the work itself, but on the place of the work (and the creator) in the larger historical context of the medium and the industry.

  1. Exploration of the creators involved with the book (artists, writer, etc.).  Part history, part biography.
  2. Exploration, analysis, and discussion of the story – both art & writing.  Innovation?  Why?
  3. Analysis and discussion of the place that the book has in the overall historical context of the medium and the industry.

Here is the rubric I will be using to grade the assignment: 110 paper rubric

Instructor Grading Philosophy

Unlike some instructors who are unwilling to award an “A” for a given assignment just because they don’t like giving high marks, the instructor for this class has no problems with giving high marks. If your work deserves to get an “A,” you are going to get one. Alternatively, the instructor for this course has no problems with giving students an “F.” The bottom line is students are never guaranteed a good grade, it is their responsibility to work for one.

Under no circumstances will students be graded on a curve or relative to one another. Each assignment will be graded on the merits of that assignment and no other factors.

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