ISSI402: Classical Mythology and Religion
Goals and Requirements

There are no exams in this course. Your final grade will be based primarily upon  class participation and personal reflections upon the course material.

The grade will be determined in the following way:

I. Class Participation and Quizzes 10%
II. Personal Website 10%
III. Personal Statements  30%

IV. Individualized Project 35%
V. Poster Presentation 15%

I. Class Participation and Quizzes
While attendance is not recorded, you are expected to participate regularly in class discussions. The instructor will keep track of those who volunteer information and opinion. Each student will be expected to introduce the class discussion at least once during the semester.

Quizzes, both announced and unannounced, may be given at the discretion of the instructor. No make-ups for quizzes will be given.

Class participation and quizzes count 10% of your final grade.

II. Personal Website
Each student is expected to develop a personal website which will contain at least the following information: a.) a professional resume; b.) some personal information; c.) links to all materials written for this course, including a statement of personal religious beliefs and the descriptive statement for the individualized project (in HTML format, not Word); d.) at least five different images; e.) at least ten different functional hyperlinks (including hyperlinks to the ISSI402 coursepage in all your coursework); f.) identifying descriptive tags and page names (not "new_page_1.htm") on every page. All of these personal websites will be linked to the website for this course. A sample website can be accessed here. Some Tips on Web Design

Grading of the website:
1 point for having a website
1 point for a resume
1 point for providing some personal information
2 points for links to all materials written for this course 
1 points for having at least five different images
1 point for the ten different hyperlinks (to pages on the internet, outside your own web)
1 point for descriptive tags and appropriate page names
1 point for good spelling and grammar
1 point for general, outstanding webwork

This totals 10 points = 10% of final grade.

III. Personal Statements
Approximately once a week each student will submit a written personal statement on a class discussion and course reading. All of these statements will be posted on your personal website.  These statements, at least 600 words (two full pages) in length, are informal, short, non-research essays on discussion topics. They are not just summaries of what was said or what was read. They should go beyond mere recording of events to include personal analysis and commentary. Emphasis will be on (1) integration of the student's own ideas and thoughts with the subject matter of the course and on (2) coherent and logical expression of these ideas. In these statements you will briefly summarize the main points, offer your own opinion and thoughts about the topics raised, and support your statement with specific data. One of these statements will consist of a mid-course evaluation.  These statements will be graded on a four-point scale. Submission of the work on time earns the student one point. Additional points will be earned for following content and stylistic requirements and for personal analysis and commentary. The average of your ten statements grades counts 30% of your final grade. 

Point System for Statements

4.0 = A
3.5-3.99 = B+
3.0--3.49 = B
2.5-2.99 = C+
2.0--2.49 = C
1.5--1.99 = D+
1.0-1.49 = D
0.0--0.99 = M (=0)

III. Individualized Project
Each student will pursue a semester-long project which focuses on some special aspect of religion and mythology and which relates this material to the student's own beliefs and experiences. Preparation for this project must include library research, analysis of historical evidence, and original work. At mid-semester you will submit a 600-word prospectus for this project. In this prospectus you will outline the topic and an evaluation of at least five works you have consulted on this topic.

Some sample topics: 
an individual god, like Zeus
or a comparison of ancient deities, like Zeus and Apollo
or focus on a particular reading, like the Homeric Hymn to Hermes
or a comparison or two or more readings, like the Homeric Hymns to Hermes and Apollo
a focus on ancient Greek representations of gods in art
an ancient religious idea or practice like sacrifice

In any case the ancient material must be discussed in the context of your own or modern religious ideas in the final product.

Preparation for this project must include library research on both modern and ancient religion, analysis of historical evidence, and original work. The central product of this project can take the form of a research paper, creative writing, artwork, website or any other work which deals with material covered in course readings or discussions. All central products must be accompanied by:
1.) an annotated bibliography of at least ten works consulted (Annotations summarize the resources and explain how they were used in the project.). Sources for both ancient and modern religious beliefs should be represented in this bibliography.
Course books can be cited in the bibliography but only as complements to at least ten additional works. The quality of the material consulted will significantly affect the grade. It is highly recommended that a variety of resources be consulted, including books, journals, and websites. Heavy reliance on a single kind of resource (especially encyclopoedia articles)  is not advised. 
2.) a project overview and self-evaluation (c.750 words) which contains the following information: a.) a summary of the project; b.) a description of its preparation; c.) an explanation of how you used and analyzed sources (originality); and d.) your evaluation of the ways your project meet the project goals (self-assessment). 

All written portions of this individualized project will be posted on your personal website. A prospectus for this project will be submitted around mid-semester. The final individualized project will be 35% of your final grade. For some suggestions on how to begin, please see Individualized Project Guidelines. Evaluation Form.

IV. Poster Presentations
Each student will prepare a poster which presents the topic of his or her individualized project in an appropriate combination of text and images. At the class meeting during the final exam period posters will be presented to other members of the class and to the general public. Grade for this presentation will be based upon 1.) the appropriateness of the poster to the topic; 2.) the visual effectiveness of the poster; and 3.) presenter's ability to explain the project and poster orally to this audience.

This poster presentation will be 15% of the final score.

This material has been published on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at

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