Assignments and Projects


Grades (100 points total)

  • Writing Assignments (4) — 20 points
  • Class Participation — 15 points
  • Midterm — 20 points
  • Final project — 45 points
    (Your final project proposal is worth 5 of these points.)

Grading Scale

A = 94-100          C = 74-76
A- = 90-93          C- = 70-73
B+ = 87-89          D+ = 67-69
B = 84-86            D = 64-66
B- = 80-83          D- = 60-63
C+ = 77-79          F = Below 60

This course site ( will be the core hub for the class. Students should bookmark it and refer to it often, as it will house all up-to-date information and assignments.

Writing Assignments (20): It is my goal to get you comfortable with writing for public consumption, which is something you will have to do once you’ve entered the workforce. To help you practice, we will have four writing assignments that will ask you to respond to the work you’ll be doing. In each week with a writing assignment, I will post a prompt to the course portal where you will then respond. These written responses should be at least 300 words; they should be written in a semi-formal scholarly style (with complete thoughts and correct spelling, grammar, and syntax); and are due on Friday by midnight each week they are assigned. Partial responses (including responses that fail to meet the minimum word length or clearly fail to answer the prompt) will receive partial credit.

Class Participation (15): I expect each student to be an active participant in class discussions. Participation begins, obviously, with attendance, but it requires more than that. Please come to class prepared to exchange ideas about the readings or assignments, to raise questions, and to speculate on our topics of discussion. (That means you need to do the readings before you come to class.) Your grade for this part of the course does not depend on providing the “correct answers” to my questions, instead it will reflect upon your thoughtful contribution to our discussions. Failure to participate in our discussions will not only have a negative impact on your final grade, but will also make the class less enjoyable for you and for everyone else in class.

Midterm (20): On October 14, you will take a Midterm, which will consist of short answer and essay questions. This examination will cover all of the technical material covered in the first half of the course and will serve as proof of mastery of many of the core elements of the General Education Information Technology Requirements. You will be required to provide your own bluebooks for the examination. (Available from the University book store.)

Final Project (45): Each student will complete a digital project that answers a significant question about the history of Chicago between 1870 and 1930. You are required to turn in your preliminary project proposals to me on October 20. This proposal is worth five of your total 45 possible points and is required. These projects are not simply busy work; they will allow you to demonstrate your mastery of the digital skills that are central to the course. We will cover the expectations for this assignment extensively in class.

Important Dates

  • August 25 – First day of class
  • September 1 – Labor Day, GMU closed.
  • September 2 – Last day to add.
  • September 26 – Final Drop deadline
  • October 13 – Columbus Day recess, we meet on Tues., no Tues classes.
  • November 26-30 – Thanksgiving Recess
  • December 6 – Last day of classes
  • December 15 – Final projects due.

For the complete list of important semester deadlines, please see the Registrar’s Fall calendar.



Last updated: November 19, 2015 at 22:57 pm