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M ID T ERM E XAMINATION GECL21A: M ODERN T HOUGHT F ALL Q UARTER , 2006 I NSTRUCTIONS This message (also posted on the course website) contains several possible questions (I- VI below) for your MidTerm take-home examination. On Thursday, October 26, this list will be reduced to two questions, from which you must choose one to answer. This process asks you to think carefully about several questions before having to choose one from a smaller number. By thinking about several questions, your understanding of how to answer one of them, as well as your writing of that answer, may improve. Your answer is due by 2 PM on Monday, October 30, in two forms; an email copy of your answer must be sent to your TA by 2 PM on Monday, October 30; on the same day you must also bring a paper copy of your answer to the lecture and give it to your TA before the lecture, which means that you should arrive a little early; xstudents with little travel time between classes should discuss this issue with TAs in advance. If either the paper copy or the email is late or if both are late – i.e., if either fails or if both fail to reach your TA by 2:00 PM on the appointed day – your grade on the MidTerm will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade. There will be an additional one-third penalty for every additional 24 hours of lateness. If a paper were e-mailed on the following Wednesday at 2:30 PM, for example, one-third would be deducted for the first 24 hours late, another one-third deducted for the second 24 hours, and then a third one-third deducted because 2:30 is half-an-hour into a third 24 hours – thus turning a B paper into a C paper. If there were also no paper copy by that time, additional penalties would accumulate. Conclusion: lateness has a very high price. There are two reasons for this policy: fairness to all students; fairness to your TAs. The word limit for the paper is 1500 words, but this limit should be understood as a maximum, not a minimum . You may be able to write a better answer in fewer words; there is no reward for greater length, and there is no penalty for brevity. Also, you must record the number of words in your answer at the top of your paper , which means that your word-processor or you must count them. You will be penalized for exceeding the word limit by more than 10% – 150 words is 10% more than 1500 words. This course carries Writing II credit: hence, you should think of the MidTerm not only as a test of what you have learned about early modern thought in the previous few weeks, but also as an opportunity to improve your writing. Your grade will depend both on what you know and understand , in other words, and also on what you write – clarity, coherence and correctness of form. Your paper is not meant to be a research paper ; it is meant to be a well-informed, well-reasoned and well-written essay . Accordingly, the expression
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‘correctness of form’ does not refer to footnotes and bibliography, which are not required; it refers to such things as spelling, grammar and syntax. You will be able – indeed, you will be obliged – to improve the first version of your
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