Earning Extra Credit in PolS 111: Comparative Politics
Gordon L. Bowen, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
Mary Baldwin College, Staunton VA 24401
This webpage has four sections:1. Section one explains the extra credit options overall.
2. Section two demonstrates how doing extra credit in 111 can improve your final course grade.
3. Section three gives detailed guidance on how to write the extra credit book review essay.
4. Section four lists the books about which extra credit book review essays may be submitted.
1. Overview: There are two methods through which a student may improve their grade in PolS 111 by doing extra credit projects: a book review option, and an oral report option.
Extra Credit Option No. 1: Book Review. To earn an additional 10% grade points to be added to your course GPA, select a book from the supplemental books list (at the bottom of the course syllabus), and compose a book review essay that demonstrates how reading the book enlarged learning about the content or themes of the course. Writing a book review is optional. Due dates:
- Written reviews of Fogelman, Conscience and Courage, and of Hallie, Lest Innocent Blood…, should be submitted at the start of class on Feb. 16 , 2012. (see Oral Report section, below)
- All other written extra credit book reviews must be received by the instructor in final form no later than the start of class on April 10 , 2012.
Extra Credit Option No. 2: Oral Report. To earn an additional 10% grade points to be added to your course GPA, deliver an oral report on a book about which you have written an extra credit book review (above).
Schedule of Oral Reports:
- Oral Reports on Eva Fogelman's Conscience and Courage and on Hallie, Lest Innocent Blood…, will be delivered on Feb. 16, 2012.
- All other Oral Reports: April 10 , 2012 have been set aside for presentation of all other student oral reports about their books under review. Participation is voluntary. Students interested in earning this extra credit should please indicate this desire as early in the semester as possible so that a schedule of presentations can be made.
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2. Explanation of How Extra Credit can Improve your PolS 111 Grade:
a. The Basic PolS 111 Evaluation formula is:b. But in PolS 111 Extra Credit two extra credit assignments exist and can improve your grade if completed:
Oral Participation, attendance: 20%
Midterm Examination: 30%
Comprehensive final examination: 30%
c. An example to illustrate the impact of PolS 111 Extra Credit:
(1) A student's course grade without Extra Credit:Quizzes/attendance score = B(.20 X 3), or .60 grade points(2) The same student's course grade with Extra Credit:
oral participation = B+ (.2 X 3.3), or .66 grade points
Midterm exam = C+(.3 X 2.3), or .69 grade points
Final exam = A-(.3 X 3.7), or 1.11 grade points
Total = 3.06, or a B in the course
a. 10% Extra Credit is earned by writing a book review; if it is graded B+, then:
.10 X 3.3 =.33
b. An Extra credit oral report (10%) also is done. If its grade is A, that adds another .4 to the course GPA
d. In PolS 111 Extra Credit Options are entirely voluntary. The choice to do them, or to not do them, is up to you.c. These Extra Credit scores are added to the course GPA
3.06 + .33 +.4 = 3.79
3.79 overall is an A- in the course.
3. Detailed Guidance on how to write the PolS 111 Extra Credit: Book Review Assignment
In the near future you may elect to compose a review essay or to deliver a well organized analytic oral report about a book selected from the supplemental books part of our course syllabus. This section of the syllabus offers advice and guidance about how to proceed. The most important thing to remember in selecting a thesis and in composing your essay is that your reflections about the book(s) should speak to the central issues of this course.
Plan Before Writing. As you are reading the book(s), take notes that will help you remember key portions of the book and which will help you later to find key quotes that encapsulate its/their essence(s). After you have finished reading, take time to think about how the messages in the book(s) complement, or contrast with, major themes in our course. It is important to select an analytic theme around which to organize your observations: don't just describe the structure of the book. Since this is a short essay assignment (i.e., five page maximum), it is not really feasible to convey the whole of the book(s) comprehensively. Therefore, you need to try to find that which you find most significant and structure your writing to illustrate that.
Form of the Review Essay. Select a title to your review essay that captures your main point. Put it, with your name, at the very top of the essay, just above the bibliographic information. A written book review essay then should supply full bibliographic information about the book(s): author's name, underlined title, place of publication, publisher, and year of publication. Use your main point from the title clearly in a thesis statement that emerges from and is contained within the first paragraph of the body of your paper. Use the ideas involved in your thesis to give a coherent structure the rest of the paper.
Body of the Paper. Develop your essay in coherent pieces, paying close attention to the use of clear style and proper grammar. If reviewing a memoir or diary, a book review helpfully can portray the larger context in which the supplemental author(s) lived, then turn to decisive events in the memoir that made an impact on the reader, or which enlarged on a point made elsewhere in our course. Nearly all types of books are more effectively reviewed, and the reviewer's thesis is more effectively understood by the reader of a review, if the reviewer stands aside at times and lets the original author's words be heard. Use direct quotes to increase the effectiveness of your interpretations. Remember always to cite page numbers when quoting or when recounting details. Use the in-text method of citations, or use footnotes or end notes if you prefer. Whatever form of documentation you elect, follow it consistently throughout the review.
Criteria used in Grading. The overall quality of the review essay will be the basis for all grades on this extra credit assignment. Overall quality includes following directions, being well organized, having clear style. Overall quality also is demonstrated by the ability of the author to connect course themes to the content of the book(s). Students unsure what is meant by "course themes" are encouraged to re-read the course syllabus, and to discuss the matter among themselves, and with the instructor during office hours.
4. List of Books Appropriate for Use in completing the PolS 111 Book Review Assignment. For an updated list, consult the current course syllabus:
4A. Books held in the general stacks of MBC's Grafton Library
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel (New York: The Free Press, 2007).
Alicia Appleman-Jurman, Alicia: My Story (NY: Bantam, 1987).
Susan Bachrach, Tell them We Remember (Boston: Little Brown, 1994).
Janina Bauman, Winter in the Morning: A Young Girl's Life in the Warsaw Ghetto and Beyond, 1939-1945 (NY: Free Press, 1986).
Halina Birenbaum, Hope is the Last to Die: Coming of Age Under Nazi Terror (Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1996).
Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews (NY: Holt, Rinehart, Winston: 1975).
Alison De Forges, Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (NY: Human Rights Watch Publications, 1999).
Lucjan Dobroszcki, The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto, 1941-1944 (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1987).
Deborah Dwork, Children with a Star: Jewish Youth in Nazi Europe (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1991).
Irene Eber, The Choice: Poland, 1939-1945. (New York: Schocken, 2004).
Haleh Esfandiari, My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity in Iran (New York: Ecco, 2009).
Marguerite Feitlowitz, A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture (NY: Oxford UP, 1998).
Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War (New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1985).
Martin Gilbert, Shcharansky: Hero of our Time (New York: Viking Penguin, 1986).
Eugenia Ginzburg, Within the Whirlwind (NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1981).
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (NY: Knopf, 1996)
Philip Gourevitch. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda (NY: Picador, 1999).
Phillip Hallie, Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed (NY: Harper and Row, 1980).
Phillip Hallie, Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life (NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1989).
Rezak Hukanovic, The Tenth Circle of Hell: A Memoir of Life in the Death Camps of Bosnia (NY: Basic Books, 1993).
Nahum Kohn, A Voice from the Forest (NY: Holocaust Books/Waldon Press, 1985).
Jeri Laber, The Courage of Strangers: Coming of age with the Human Rights Movement (New York: Public Affairs press, 2002).
Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret (Boston: Little Brown, 1980).
Primo Levi, The Periodic Table (NY: Schocken, 1980).
Deborah Lipstadt, Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (NY: Free Press, 1986).
Zhores and Roy Medvedev, A Question of Madness (New York: Knopf, 1971).
Vladka Meed, On Both Sides of the Wall (NY: Holocaust Library/Waldon Books, 1985).
Rigoberta Menchu, I, Rigoberta Menchu, An Indian Woman of Guatemala (London: Verso, 1984).
Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran (NY: Random House, 2003).
Victor Nekipelov, Institute of Fools: notes from the Serbsky (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1981).
Miriam Novitch, Sobibor: Martyrdom and Revolt (NY: Holocaust Library/Waldon Press, 1980).
Thomas Odom, Journey into darkness: genocide in Rwanda (College Station, TX: Texas A and M University Press, 2005).
Irene Gut Opdyke and Jennifer Armstrong, In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (NY: Knopf, 1999).
Mordecai Paldiel, Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust (Jersey City, NJ : KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 2007).
Irina Ratushinskaya, Grey is the Color of Hope (NY: Knopf, 1988).
Irina Ratushinskaya, In the Beginning (NY: Knopf, 1991).
David Rieff, Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1995).
Robert Ross, So It Was True: The American Protestant Press and the Nazi Persecution of the Jews (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980).
Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs (NY: Knopf, 1990).
Dan Saxon, To Save Her Life: disappearance, deliverance, and the United States in Guatemala (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007).
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (NY: Harper and Row, 1973)... Each of the volumes is acceptable.
Nechama Tec, Dry Tears: The Story of a Lost Childhood (NY: Oxford UP, 1984).
Nechama Tec, When Light Pierced the Darkness (NY: Oxford UP, 1986).
Mamie Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson, Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America (NY: Random House, 2003).
Jacobo Timerman, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number (NY: Vintage, 1981).
Avraham Tory, Surviving the Holocaust: the Kovno Ghetto Diary (Cambridge MA: Harvard U.P., 1990).
Armando Valladares, Against All Hope (New York: Ballantine, 1986).
Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).
4B. Books Appropriate for Book Review Assignment that can be obtained through Inter-Library Loan
(allow 2 weeks to receive):
Vladimir Bukovsky, To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter (New York: Viking, 1978).Vladimir Bukovsky, To Choose Freedom (Stanford CA: Hoover Institution, 1987).
Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (New York: Penguin, 1997).
Romeo A. Dallaire, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda (NY: Carroll and Graf, 2004)
Roland DePury, Journal from My Cell (NY: Harper, 1946).
Ricardo Falla, Massacres in the Jungle: Ixcan, Guatemala, 1975-1982 (Boulder CO: Westview, 1994).
Sarah Bennett Farmer, Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-Sur-Glane (Berkley CA: University of California Press, 1999).
Eva Fogelman, Conscience and Courage (New York: Anchor/Doubleday, 1994).
Eugenia Ginzburg, Journey Within the Whirlwind (NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1967).
Phillip Hallie, Tales of Good and Evil, Help and harm (NY: Harper Collins, 1998).
Jennifer K. Harbury, Searching for Everado (NY: Warner Books, 1997).
Dina Kaminskaya, Final Judgment (London: Harvill, 1982).
Herman Kruk, The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps, 1939-1944 (New Haven CT: Yale UP, 2002).
John Loftus, The Belarus Secret (NY: Knopf, 1982).
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1993).
Guenter Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies (NY: Oxford UP, 2000).
Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (NY: Penguin, 1993).
John Loftus, The Belarus Secret (NY: Knopf, 1982).
Anna Rosmus, Against the Stream: Growing up where Hitler Used to Live (Columbia SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2002).
Anna Rosmus, Out of Passau: Leaving a City Hitler Called Home (Columbia SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2004).
Anna Rosmus, Wintergreen (Columbia SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2004)
Nijole Sadunaite, A Radiance in the Gulag (VA: Trinity Communications, 1987).
Marion Freyer Wolff, The Shrinking Circle: Memories of Nazi Berlin, 1933-39 (New York [838 Fifth Ave. NY 10021], UAHC Press, 1990).
Alexandra Zapruder, ed., Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust (New Haven CT: Yale U.P., 2002).
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This page last updated
April 12, 2012