Sacred Places
Past and Present

Department of Classics
Monmouth College


Summary of Goals and Requirements

Your final grade will be determined in the following way:

The average of these twenty units will determine your course grade.
Grading Scale for information about the equivalence of numeric and letter grades.

In-Class Work
There are no exams in this course. Instead there will be a series of quizzes, both announced and unannounced, in class writing assignments, group work and other in-class activities. The average of these activities will be weighted as six units towards your final grade.

Short Writing Assignments
There will be one short response paper every week, based upon topics discussed in class. These papers will include accurate and specific reference to course materials as well as your own response to this material. A suggested topic will always be provided by the instructor, but you are also invited to use any other topic of your choice appropriate to the course material for that week. These weekly papers must be at least 600-words in length (two full pages) and follow Prof. Sienkewicz' Writing Guidelines.  One of these written assignments will be a mid-course evaluation. The instructor reserves the right not to accept any paper submitted after the due date. The average of these papers (and quizzes) will be weighted as seven units.

Individualized Project
Each student will pursue a semester-long project which combines individual reflection and scholarly research in pursuit of a personal definition sacred space. This project must include a comparison of one ancient sacred place examined in the course with another major sacred place (ancient or modern) from outside the ancient Greco-Roman world. Preparation for this project must include use of both ancient (primary) and secondary (scholarly) material, library research, significant analysis, and original work. See Individualized Project for further information. The grade on this project counts as four units toward your final grade.

Class Presentation
During the final weeks of class, student will give 15/20-minute presentations to the class on their individualized projects. An appropriate hand-out must accompany this presentation. The grade for this presentation will be based upon 1.) the appropriateness of the presentation to the topic; 2.) the presenter's ability to explain the project orally to this audience; 3.) accuracy; 4.)  the quality and appropriateness of the handout (required). Handout must include an abstract, at least two significant images, author's name and a short bibliography. 5.) the quality and appropriateness of additional visual features accompanying the presentation (i.e., Powerpoint). For further information, see Some Hints about Preparation, Presentation and Grading of Oral Reports. The grade on this project counts as two units toward your final grade.

Final Statement
During final exam period (and in lieu of a standard final exam) students will present to the class five-minute final oral statements on how their concepts of sacred place have evolved over the semester. The grade for this presentation will be based upon 1.) the intellectual quality of the presenters' reflections; 2.) the extent to which presenters address the question of their own evolving sense of sacred space; 3.) relevance of the presentation to course material. The grade on this oral presentation will count as one unit toward your final grade. Do not miss this session. There are no make-ups.

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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