20th Century
Home | Research Paper Rubric | Oral Presentation Rubric | How to Avoid Plagiarism | Robotics links | Schedule | Short Paper Topics | Additional Reading Assignments | Presentation Topics | Library research information | Words of Wisdom

IDS 4003 - Senior Seminar

Luther L. Gobbel Library

email professor

IDS 4003 – Senior Seminar

Fall 2010

Instructor:  Dr. Pam Dennis

Office:  Luther L. Gobbel Library

Phone #: 425-3479 (ext. 1236)

E-mail:  dennis@lambuth.edu

Course Description:  IDS 4003 is one of three interdisciplinary 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 study will be diverse including education; science; technology; the environment; ethnic, racial, and gender relations; economics; warfare; cultural differences and similarities; and others. 

Course objectives: 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 problem-solving processes.

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 and play

Influence of technology and advertising on self worth and the Supersize mentality

Education and socialization of the young

Human nature – are humans good or bad?

Individualism vs. collectivism and the rights of all

Economics and the appropriate role of government

Racism and civil disobedience

Required texts

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 on the following:

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 participation are 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 yours.

NOTE:  please 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 reader.

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 guides.

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.


Pamela R. Dennis Website

20th Century