IDS 4003 – Senior Seminar
L. Gobbel Library
Phone #: 425-3479 (ext. 1236)
Course Description: IDS 4003 is one of
courses required of all Lambuth students.
The purpose of this course is to provide an exploration of some of the
major issues and ideas of the 20th century. The topics of discussion and
be diverse including education; science; technology; the environment; ethnic,
racial, and gender relations; economics; warfare; cultural differences and
similarities; and others.
familiarizing students with concepts, ideas, and major problems and issues that
have been important during the last hundred years. Students will exercise their critical thinking and analysis
skills by learning to apply course materials both in writing and verbally, in
order to improve their ability to communicate thoughts and to work out
Although this course is not specifically about certain
thinkers or writers of the 20th century, we will explore relevant themes
through the writings of various individuals, including Albert Einstein, Sigmund
Freud and other noted psychologists, William J. Mitchell and Ursula Franklin on
technology, Maynard Keynes and other economists, Martin Luther King, Mohandas
Gandhi, and others. Some of the
ideas dealt with in the course are:
Free will and determinism
Genocide, torture, just war, moral
responsibility, and human dignity
The impact of technology on work
Influence of technology and
advertising on self worth and the Supersize mentality
Education and socialization of the
Human nature – are humans good or
Individualism vs. collectivism and
the rights of all
Economics and the appropriate role
Racism and civil disobedience
George Orwell, 1984.
New York: New American Library, 1961
(originally published in 1949).
RAmy Demorest, Psychology's Grand Theorists: How Personal Experiences Shaped Professional Ideas.
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2005 (netLibrary).
Grading: Your course grade will be based
Class presentation – 15%
Writing assignment – 20%
2 Tests - 10% each
Meaningful class contribution – 10%
Senior thesis – 35%
A=100-92, B=91-83, C=82-72, D-71-62, F=61 and below
Attendance policy: Attendance and class
a necessity. More than two (2)
unexcused absences will result in a lowered grade for each future absence. Excused absences must be discussed with
the professor prior to the absence, and all work must be made up
immediately. I will reserve the
right to lower a student’s grade because of excessive absences and/or lack of
preparation. Class participation,
measured both through attendance and quality of in-class contributions, will be
an important part of the final evaluation. Therefore, adequate preparation for class is essential. Assigned material
must be read before
coming to class in order to be prepared adequately.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is passing off another’s
work as your own. It is a form of
cheating and lying. The plagiarist
learns nothing. Any act of
plagiarism will result in failure of the assignment and possible failure of the
course. In order to avoid
plagiarism, you should avoid those sources most often connected with
plagiarism. Avoid the fraternity
or sorority house when writing your papers. Never ask to see someone else’s paper nor let others see
turn OFF all cell phones and turn pagers to “silent mode”!
Format of Class: This course is a
“seminar” course. That means that you, the student, will
be responsible for presenting material and for leading class discussions about
the material to be covered in the course.
The instructor will act as moderator, organizer, guide, and inquisitor.
The effectiveness of your role in leading these discussions will be the basis
for your class participation grade.
Turning in papers: Papers are due by
the class time
indicated on the class schedule.
All late submissions are marked down one letter grade for each day they
are late. Having to deal with computer failures is a way of life for us all. Save your paper often as you type and
put it on a flash drive or CD as a back-up copy.
Style guide – The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Papers. It will be sufficient to list the works you are using in a
bibliography and to cite particular passages you are referring to in
parenthetical notes. Thus, if you are
quoting or paraphrasing Johnson, your bibliography should contain: Johnson, Paul. Modern
Times: The World from
the Twenties to the Nineties. HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.
And parenthetical notes would follow the quoted or
paraphrased words, thus:
“In a scientific sense, Einstein
was a determinist” (Johnson 4).
Expectations on Writing:
The number four in IDS 4003 indicates that this is a senior-level course. I expect students to write at a college
senior level. Without question,
your papers should meet the basic composition criteria of proper grammar,
proper sentence and paragraph structure, accurate use of punctuation, and
accurate spelling. Excessive
errors in basic composition will result in a lowered grade. So, please proof your papers for accuracy
and readability. Your ideas should
be supported with accurate and reliable evidence. The readers of your papers
should walk away feeling as though they have learned something. With regard to content, four factors
will be evaluated: correctness, coherence,
comprehensiveness, and creativity.
“Correctness” simply means that your statements must be accurate
representations of a thinker’s position or argument. “Coherence” refers to two things: does
it make sense and does it flow in a logical manner –
does it promote clarity rather than confusion? “Comprehensiveness” pertains to the need to say enough about
important points in the paper. In
other words, support main points by way of explaining what these mean and
providing reasons for accepting or rejecting those points. Finally, “creativity” concerns the
manner in which you deal with the topic.
In a nutshell, I am looking to see how you demonstrate its “importance”
and how you deal with the topic so as to inculcate “interest” within the
Essays: Each student will write one out-of-class
paper in response to the study and discussion material. Incorporate practical or theoretical
considerations from any of the course readings or from outside sources. The out-of-class paper must be word-processed
and NO LESS than three (3) but NO MORE than four (4) double-spaced pages of
text (not including the required title page and bibliography/reference
list/endnotes pages) with one-inch margins (right, left, top, bottom). In addition to the quality of analytical
content, grammar, spelling, syntax, etc., will count substantially.
Senior Thesis: The Senior thesis
is a major paper to
be completed according to the following guidelines:
In writing the thesis, the paper should be word-processed
and NO LESS than eight (8) but NO MORE than twelve (12) double-spaced pages of
text (not including the required title page and bibliography/reference
list/endnotes pages) with one-inch margins (right, left, top, bottom). Students will submit their senior
thesis in both hard copy and on disk (or by email), written in Microsoft Word
or WordPerfect. Citations and
works cited should follow the format found in The MLA Handbook for Writers
of Research Papers or other appropriate style
The topic is as follows: Every discipline has its own controversies,
debates, and areas of contention.
Choose a current controversy in your own field of study and select one
thinker from Junior Seminar and two thinkers from Senior Seminar to examine
that issue. Understanding that
technology is a way of doing things, analyze the impact that new technology has
had in your field of study and how it will impact your life after Lambuth.