Course Catalog Information
Peace Studies (PEA_ST)
Introduction to Peace Studies - Writing Intensive
Interdisciplinary overview including theories on the nature of aggression and war, case studies of contemporary conflicts, consideration of various peace proposals, conditions making war or peace likely.
Lecture/Standard with Laboratory
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
sophomore standing. Writing intensive not fulfilled unless ENGLSH 1000 or equivalent has already been taken.
The Campus Writing Program conducts a two-day faculty workshop to assist with the design and implementation of your writing intensive course. Once your course proposal has been approved by the Campus Writing Program, you will receive information on time, date and location of the workshop.
Indicate below if additional instructors are planned, but specific individuals have not yet been chosen. Check all that apply
Honors Course Information
Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.
Writing Intensive Course Information
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the Peace Studies Program. Accordingly, it will emphasize the four primary areas of the program: international and civil war and peace, global environmental policy and justice, nonviolent social movements and change, and cultures, intellectuals, and war and peace. In covering these subjects,students will research and analyze complex issues from multiple perspectives. Thus, critical thinking is not only encouraged, it is a necessary condition for success in this course and thus is a skill that all students will learn to develop. Furthermore, because this is a Writing Intensive (WI) course, a majority of assignments will emphasize writing, including analytical research papers that will require students to write and revise multiple drafts. In addition to writing four separate papers, students will be required to write and submit weekly discussion question via email. A discussion board will also be used to allow students the opportunity to further develop analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills and to apply them in discussion of course topics relevant to their other writing assignments.
The writing assignments in the course seem to be doing a good job at helping students with the process of continually writing (with their weekly assignments) while also helping them understand how the research process unfolds with the larger papers. The short writing assignments are helping students gain experience with both formal and informal writing styles. Changes to the course for next semester are designed mainly to help students with technical issues in the writing process like proper grammar, essay form, and evidence-argumentation. I've designed special handouts for the students which will hopefully precipitate more critical/reflexive thinking about how to effectively and efficiently communicate ideas.
Should this course be considered for funding?
Large Enrollment Courses:
The course is designed to make sure that each student is not only getting the help they need to improve and development their writing skills, but to also make sure that they're learning the art of critical thought. To that end, the course is designed with a standard lecture component with a weekly lab session where students are expected to actively participate in discussions surrounding the lecture and reading material. Each assignment is designed to help our students develop skills for a range of different writing styles. Weekly assignments are designed to allow students the space to summarize and reflect on the key concepts presented that week. There are two large writing assignments that require a proposal, an initial draft, a peer-reviewed draft and a final draft. In addition to both large writing assignments and the weekly papers, students also write two shorter papers (one at the beginning of class and one before finals week) that are meant to not only evaluate how well students are understanding the most crucial concepts within the field, but to also see how students have progressed over the sixteen week course.
The structure outlined above allows for students to measure their course success each week. I explicitly ask each TA to keep a progress record of how students are performing in each of their respective lab sessions. Doing this not only allows us to see which specific part of the course a student might be struggling with (writing, comprehension, critical thought, etc.), but it also affords us the ability to intervene and help the student receive the attention they deserve. When a student receives a poor grade on any assignment, the TAs and/or myself, take the initiative to meet one-on-one with that student during office hours. While Canvas and Blackboard have the ability to allow greater communication between instructors and students, there really isn't a substitute for personal guidance. These techniques allow us to find early in the process student who might need extra attention as well as provide them with the resources they need to have whatever level of success they wish.
I meet with the TAs each week to make sure that everyone understands what to expect from the students as well as to define for each assignment what exactly constitutes an appropriate grade. This process of 'grade-norming' affords us the greatest consistency over the various lab sessions as well as another opportunity to see if any students are failing to meet the standards required for a positive grade in the course.
Short Writing #1: Addressing Peace
Short Writing #1: Addressing Peace: The purpose of this assignment is to gauge student's aptitude for writing and their initial grasp of course materials. It requires students to respond to the following questions: What is peace? What does it mean to study peace? In what ways is peace tied to broader social issues? In their responses, students will be expected to draw from and cite relevant course materials. As in all written assignments, students will be evaluated based on composition, understanding of course material, application of course material, effort and original contribution. This paper should be 2-3 pages in length and will be worth 50 points. Evaluated by the lab instructor.
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Paper #1: Conflict Analysis/Research Paper
Paper #1: Conflict Analysis/Research Paper. The purpose of this assignment is to assess students understanding of course material and their ability to apply it critically through an analysis of a conflict of their choice. Students must draw upon academic sources addressing their chosen conflict and must also research other dynamics at stake in the conflict. This may include usage of citizen and new media sources, although guidelines will be imposed regarding when and how such sources are appropriate. Drawing upon each of these resources, papers must contextualize the conflict and analyze it using relevant course material. Each draft should be 4-6 pages in length. The final draft must be at least 5 pages,1250 words. This assignment requires three drafts as well as an initial proposal: the proposal, first and final drafts will be evaluated by the assigned lab instructor. The second draft will be evaluated by lab section peers. 225 points total: Proposal 25 pts., First Draft 50 pts., Peer Review/Draft Review Participation 50 pts., Final Draft 100 pts.
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Paper #2: Movement Analysis/Research Paper
Paper #2: Movement Analysis/Research Paper: The purpose of this assignment is to asses students understanding of course material and their ability to apply it critically through an analysis of a non-violent social movement of their choice. Students will be required to research a contemporary movement for peace, social justice, and/or human rights by collecting information on the movement. Data may be drawn from online and/or face-to-face interactions. Guidelines will specify what constitutes appropriate primary or secondary data. Drawing upon these resources, papers must explain and contextualize the movement as well as analyze it using relevant course material. Each draft should be 4-6 pages in length. The final draft must be at least 5 pages, 1250 words. This assignment requires three drafts as well as an initial proposal: Proposal, first and final drafts will be evaluated by assigned lab instructor. Second draft will be evaluated by lab section peers. 225 points total: Proposal 25 pts., First Draft 50 pts., Peer Review Draft Review Participation 50 pts., Final Draft 100 pts.
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Short Writing #2: Attaining Peace
Short Writing #2: Attaining Peace: The purpose of this assignment is to assess students’ progress throughout the course. It requires students to respond to the following question: Having spent the semester learning the subject, what would you suggest is/are the best ways to pursue/attain peace? In answering this question, students should also briefly reflect back on the issues raised in their first writing assignment and discuss how their understanding of these issues has or has not changed over the course of the semester. Students will be evaluated based on composition, understanding of course material, application of course material, original contribution, effort and personal development. This paper should be 3-4 pages in length and will be worth 75 points and will be evaluated by the lab instructor.
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Discussion questions: Students will be required to submit discussion questions via email to their lab instructor each week prior to lab. Lab instructors will gather discussion questions each week before lab for grading and use in class. 100 points total 10 questions worth 10 points each.
Online Discussion: During each of four units, students will be required to submit one original response post of approximately 250 words to questions posed by the professor, or selected from student discussion questions. In addition to their original post, students must also submit two brief response posts of approximately 100-150 words to posts from other students. So as to encourage genuine discussion rather than hit-and-run posting, students will be required to submit posts over the course of multiple two or more days. Selected discussion topics will address issues of relevance to each unit and will encourage students to develop ideas applicable to their other course papers. Posts will be graded by lab instructors on the following factors: original contribution, effective use of course material, respectful consideration of divergent perspectives, writing and syntax. Each lab section will have its own discussion board. 200 points total 50 per unit: 30 for each original post, 10 for each response.
Contribution: Students will be expected to actively attend lecture and lab, and to contribute significantly to class discussion. 75 points total. To clarify assignments and TA responsibility each breakout session will have approximately 20 students. The TAs that are half-time appointments will have two section (so yes, they will collectively have 40 students) while the quarter-time TA will only have one lab session. As the instructor, I read all of the work for the students in my particular lab. I meet periodically with the TAs to look over their grading and to make sure that students are receiving consistent grading throughout each section. The TAs are expected to grade on both issues related to critical thought as well as lower order writing issues like grammar and mechanics. I provide each TA with a grading rubric that is designed to make sure the students are not only understanding the complexities of the course material, but that they are also developing strong writing and proofreading skills.
Writing Intensive Teaching
Instructor provided feedback
Given the subject matter of this course, practically all assignments will require students to think and write critically about complex topics for which there are multiple appropriate responses. See above.
Students will have the ability to write their weekly summary/reflection and discussion question papers for ten of the thirteen weeks available. The first short writing assignment will be due during the third week of the semester and the second short writing assignment will be due during finals week. The two large papers (each requiring proposals, first drafts, peer reviews and final drafts) will be assigned during weeks four and ten
The TAs will be selected by the Peace Studies department chair. I still would review everything before handing it back, TAs will also be required to facilitate the lab sessions where student participation is vital.