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October 5

posted Oct 5, 2012, 5:15 AM by Peter Knowles
Your second assessment is due TODAY (by midnight) and you should be well on your way to completing it. 

But you probably have some questions, so here are answers and links to many of them.

Q) What am I supposed to be writing about?   
A) The main question you need to answer is: How do the decisions of leaders affect those who follow them? 
 Another way to think about this is: Explain how people's lives are affected by the decisions of leaders, either at the time the leaders are alive or afterward, after the leaders have died.  Use examples from a few of the leaders we've looked at in class, but include others that you know about as you see fit. 

Q) How many leaders should I talk about? 
A) To give a good sense of how well you understand things, you'll want more than one or two. Three is a good number, though you may decide to do a bit more. Make sure that you choose a good variety of examples to show that you haven't just looked at a single time of our unit. For example, an essay that deals with 4 leaders but all of them are from Ancient Rome (Julius Caesar, Augustus, Trajan & Hadrian) is probably NOT as strong as one that deals with only 3 leaders, but from different time periods (Hammurabi, Pericles, and Trajan, for example)

Q) Should I talk about other leaders, ones that we haven't discussed in class?
Absolutely. When you come up with examples that we haven't talked about in class it shows that you're really thinking about the concepts and making connections between classroom activities and the rest of your life. Use examples from more modern leaders, today's leaders, or personal leaders from your own life. Of course, those leaders shouldn't be the focus of your assessment -- you need to show you've learned some important things about the leaders we've discussed in class -- but they should be in your assessment somewhere, as comparisons, additional examples, or even a small section where you discuss them in more detail. Don't be afraid to "think outside the class"; bring your own examples to show you're thinking!

Q) Are there certain vocabulary words I should use?
A) Anytime you can show you're learning and using the words that we've studied in class it's a positive. Look for opportunities to use the vocabulary words from this unit whenever you can. You can even call attention to them in your response by putting them in bold or italic or even colored type.  Key vocabulary words for this unit were: ostracism (or ostracize), democracy, patrician, plebeian, code (or codification), republic, digest, and ordinance. And don't forget to use those vocabulary words from earlier units, too. 

Q) Where should my thesis statement go?
A) A good place for it is at the very end of your introductory paragraph. Use the first paragraph to get your reader interested in the topic you will be talking about. Then finish that paragraph with your thesis statement. Here's help for writing your thesis statement.

Q) What goes in my concluding paragraph?
A) Your final paragraph is a place to review or sum up what you've written in your response. Start by repeating your thesis in a different way. Rewrite it to say basically the same thing, but in a fresh way. Then summarize your key points (leaders you've talked about, decisions they've made, followers you've discussed). If you can leave your reader with an idea that resonates and lasts afterward, that's great.

Q) What should my citations look like?
A) Citations should clearly show the source of your information, using standard MLA format. Usually, this means the author's name and a page number inside parentheses, right after the information you're citing, like this:
....lived near the river banks because that allowed them to take advantage of the rich soil and easy irrigation in their farming (Spielvogel 133).
Notice that there is no comma inside the parentheses, and no "pg." or "page". Just the author's name and number. Short and sweet. And notice that the punctuation (the period, in this case) comes AFTER the ending parenthesis. There's more information available here.

Q) What if I'm using a video or web page? What page number do I use?
A) When you use electronic sources, there is no page number. Use the last name of the author inside parentheses by itself, like this: (Wilson).

Q) What if my source doesn't have an author? 
A) Websites often don't show the author's name. Other sources might also be missing that information. It's actually easier if you DO have an author's name, so do your best to find it, but if you can't just use the first word of the title of the source as if it were the author. So if your reference is:
"Egypt's Rich River." National Geographic. etc., your citation would look like this: ("Egypt's").
More information is available to help you understand how to handle different types of references and how their citations should look. 

Q) What do I do with my reference list?
A) If you've created your reference list in a separate file from your assessment, you should combine them. Copy your completed references and paste them at the end of your response. They should be titled "Works Cited" and follow standard guidelines for reference lists (alphabetical order, not numbered, hanging indent, etc.) Here's an example, if you need to see one. 

Q) How do I turn it in when it is finished?
A) Use the DropBox link at the upper left of this screen; follow the instructions there to turn in a link to your Google Document.

Q) What if I don't finish in time?
A) Turn it in as soon as possible, as soon as you do finish. You'll be assigned to come to class at lunch for a working lunch until you do get it finished and turned in. 

Q) How will my assessment be graded?
A) The assessment will be scored in three areas: Civics, Social Studies Skills, and Writing. The better you demonstrate your understanding and abilities in those areas, the better you will score. Use the Assessment 2 Scoring Guide to see how it will be scored, and to see if you've accomplished everything you need. 

Q) What if I'm not happy with my grade? 
A) You can always re-do the assessment and resubmit it for grading. Remember that in this class you should keep working at assignments until you are satisfied with the result. More details later on how to do this; for right now, do your best, and get it turned in on time.

Q) What should I do when I'm done?
A) Give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulations. You've finished the second summative (graded) assessment for this class. If you can offer help to a classmate who isn't done yet, please do so. Otherwise, relax and enjoy your accomplishment.