VI. Course Mechanics

A.    Reading

This is the way the course will go week by week.  At the end of each class I will assign you some reading for the following week.  Typically some of it will be required and some will be optional, if you have time.  I have tried to keep the required reading to about an hour a week, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less; in any case it's just an estimate.  If you do the optional reading, it should still be at most two hours total per week.  You are expected to do the required reading, and only the required reading will be needed for class discussion and assignments, although I may occasionally bring in issues from the optional readings.  I do hope you will read everything if you are able, since it is all worthwhile.  (An up-to-date reading schedule is available also on the course website, <>.)

B.    Discussion

When I assign a week's readings, I will often suggest some questions or issues to think about for those readings.  However, if you have any other thoughts or insights, especially as they relate to the environment, you should make a note of them for class discussion.  At the beginning of each class I may ask you some questions to make sure everyone is doing the reading.  Then I will lead a discussion of the passages we have read, highlighting the ideas that I think are important and often beginning with a short presentation.  This is just the starting point and basis for the discussion; I hope you will also raise issues that you find thought-provoking, confusing, or otherwise interesting.  Although the discussion will normally focus on the week's reading, it may range back over prior readings or even look ahead.

C.    Assignments

Towards the end of semester I will assign a short term paper or a set of essay questions.  Details will be settled later.

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Last updated: 2005-01-11.