History Discussion Question

Review the Discussion Participation Instructions in the syllabus and remember that Discussions include an Initial Post due the fourth day of the academic week and 2 Peer Responses due the last day of the academic week.

Read Efficiently: Efficiency is crucial in an 8 week course. It is a good idea to explore the questions before you read the Learning Resources so that the questions can guide your reading. Jot down notes as you read for how you might use the text to answer questions. This practice will help you be more efficient in using your time in this intense course.

Paraphrase: Paraphrasing is a crucial skill. Refer back to the Academic Integrity Certification as you craft your first few posts. Remember that paraphrasing is more than changing a few words or the order of the words from the text. Paraphrasing means that you have taken in the text, ingested it, so to speak. You comprehend it and you explain its meaning to your reader in your own words. It is a challenging skill to learn, but you can do it, and I will help you!

Cite: Citation tells your readers where to look if your comments prompt them to do their own research. It strengthens the credibility of your written work. Citation backs you up, so to speak. It allows you to associate your name with the names of great scholars like Lynda Shaffer. Finally, citation gives credit where credit is dueCite the required readings at least 3 times, and cite broadly from a broad range, not the same reading 3 times.

Chicago style citation is my preferred method, and you are free to practice Chicago style by using it in your Discussions. However, for the purposes of Discussions, a simplified form of parenthetical citation is all that is required. For example, for Lynda Shaffer, the following would work. (Lynda Shaffer, “Southernization,” 15) I am using 15 simply as an example. Insert the appropriate page in place of 15.

The second time you cite Shaffer, you may use the short form: (Shaffer, 10) Another example from this week would be as follows. (Edgerton) You may cite the background and context your professor provides in the weekly Introductions & Checklists as follows. (Professor’s Last Name, Week 1)

You may use outside sources in addition to the required readings. (3 citations from more than one required reading are still required.) If you use a website that I have not provided, please add a Works Cited section and a link to your source at the bottom of the post for your readers.

No later than the fourth day of the academic week of class, please respond to this thread by writing an essay of at least 300 words that addresses each item in one of the following question sets. Note which question you are answering in your post:

  1. Lynda Shaffer’s article is a ‘revisionist’ work. Having read this work, define revisionism. Provide examples from “Southernization” to show how her work challenged your view (or the dominant view as you understand it) of human history.
  2. Is the History of Technology addressed thoroughly enough in teaching history as a whole? Is it addressed incorrectly? For example, should technology be seen as something that determines the course of a particular society, or is the development of a civilization and its values more complex than this?
  3. Compare Leo Marx’s and Jared Diamond’s perspectives on progress. Which is more persuasive and why?
  4. The underlying assumption for many modern people is that technology = progress. Is this true? What does progress mean? What are some of the many ways people define progress?
  5. This class is entitled “Technological Transformations,” and the focus is on progress as a product of technology.  Drawing on this week’s readings as an introduction to the topic, discuss what you expect to learn in this class.  What is the importance of Aristotle, Archimedes, and the concept of southernization to the big picture?

Your Initial Post is expected to be a 300 word prose essay, with a thesis statement and 2-5 paragraphs supporting and explaining the thesis. Remember to base your response on information and analysis from the readings. Cite the information and analysis you provide. Explain what you learned in your own words, and do your best to synthesize the authors’ analyses into your own original analysis; do not rely exclusively on quotations from the readings to make your points. Please change the title of your post to something unique. Note which question you have chosen to answer.

Your Initial Post should be up by the fourth day of the academic week