Write a paper on one (1) of these three books:

  Guibert of Nogent, Monodies, translated by Joseph McAlhany and Jay Rubenstein (Penguin Books, 2011)   Galbert of Bruges, The Murder, Betrayal, and Slaughter of the Glorious Charles, Count of Flanders, translated by Jeff Rider (Yale University Press, 2013)   Peter Abelard and Heloise, The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, translated by Betty Radice, revised by M. T. Clanchy (Penguin Books, 2003; original edition 1974)   IMPORTANT NOTE: Each of these works has been translated more than once. You MUST use the translation specified above so be sure to acquire the right one.   Detail of the assignment: Each of these books presents the personal reflections of someone (in the case of Abelard and Heloise, two persons) who lived and wrote in the first half of the twelfth century. They are among the first works of personal reflection in the modern western tradition.   Your assignment is to read one of these books, identify in it three (3) themes that have been prominent in this course, and discuss how the source you have chosen casts light on the themes you have identified. Sample themes are: the organization of upper-class society, the lives of peasants, the new piety (how to be a good Christian), development of the cult of the Virgin, church reform, the revival of thought, the growth of schools, the rise of towns, opportunities open to and constraints on women, opportunities open to and constraints on men, attitudes towards the Jews. Note four things. First, this list is by no means exhaustive. It is perfectly fine for you to identify and discuss one or more themes which I have not listed. Second, not all themes will be found in each of the three works. Third, if you have any question about whether it would sensible for you to address a particular theme on the basis of a particular work, by all means come talk to me. Fourth, do not choose as one of your themes the psychology of the author(s): the temptation to analyze the relationship between Abelard and Heloise or that between Guibert and his mother is great, but the effort is profitless.   You will need to read the book at least twice: once (probably quickly) to settle on the themes you plan to discuss, and again to work out in detail what the book tells us about those topics. One way to think about the latter task is to ask yourself this: if this were the only source we had from the twelfth century about this subject, what would we know about it? Another way to conceptualize it is to ask yourself this: in what ways does my reading of this source amplify or modify what I have learned about this topic from reading Bennett and Geary and from the lectures in the course?   Date due: The paper is due Wednesday, April 8, at the beginning of class. Note the following two preliminary dates:   1. Deadline for choice of book: By Wednesday, March 25, at the end of the lecture on that day, you must inform me on which of the books you will be writing your paper. You may tell me of your decision before March 25, and you may change your mind up to March 25; but your decision as of March 25 is final–a penalty of 0.5 will be deducted from your grade on the paper if you either do not inform me of the topic of your paper by the deadline or hand in a paper on a different book. The purpose of this requirement is to force you to be thinking about the paper at least several weeks before it is due. No exceptions will be made to this policy in any respect.   2. Discussion class on the paper: I have set aside the lecture period on Monday, March 30, which is nine days before the paper is due, for a discussion of the paper. While I will be prepared to make a presentation on what you should be doing in the paper (probably largely repeating what is said above), the purpose of this class is for you to try out ideas and arguments and to ask questions about how you might approach what you want to say in the paper. This means that you should, by Monday, March 30, have read your book through and thought about it in terms of what themes you might address and what you would want to say about them.   Length: As short or as long as you need it to be. Given that you are writing on three topics and that you need to state what you know about each topic on the basis of Bennett, Geary and lecture and then discuss how your source amplifies or modifies that knowledge and to prove it by citation and discussion of what the source actually says, ten (10) pages seems to me to be about the minimum length in which you can do a good job. You may find yourself writing a good deal more. There is no maximum length for the paper. If it is getting really long, however, you want to check for two things: First, you may be quoting too much or individual quotations may be longer than they need to be. Often, you do not even need to quote a whole sentence to make a point. Second, you may be repeating yourself. It is tempting first to say that an author says something, then to quote what he or she says and finally to repeat in your own words what the quotation says. Usually, you do not need both to quote and then to repeat the substance of the quotation in your own words. You do need, as the occasion demands, to explain why a quotation proves that some assertion you have made is correct or point out some particularly telling aspect of the wording of a quotation.   Procedures for handing in papers: Papers are due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, April 8. Papers which are handed in, without an extension, later than that will be penalized at the rate of half a grade point per day of lateness, including weekend days. Extensions will be granted rarely and only for extreme and documented reasons. Mere pressure of work is not a sufficient reason for an extension. Nor will I be sympathetic to pleas based on the misbehavior of computers or printers: given the ample warning you have about when this paper is due, there is no reason why you should be working so close to the deadline that such a problem renders you unable to hand in your paper on time, and you should get into the habit of backing up your work as you do it.   Papers (whether on time or late) will be accepted only if handed to me personally or placed in my mailbox in the History Department office (241 Old Horticulture). If your paper is being left in my mailbox later than the day on which it is due, it is your responsibility to see that the date on which it was submitted is recorded on the title page by one of the secretaries in the History Department office (256 Old Horticulture), which is open from 8:00 to 5:00 P.M. Mondays through Fridays.   Papers submitted in other ways will not be accepted: they will be ignored as though they did not exist. These inappropriate ways include, but are not limited to, the following: slipping the paper under the door of my office or the History Department office and delivering it to my home. In addition, please note that delivery during class (as opposed to before or after class) is not acceptable. If you arrive at class after I have begun lecturing, please enter as unobtrusively as possible and hand the paper in after I have finished lecturing.   Hand in the paper yourself. Do not entrust it to a friend: many a beautiful friendship has ended that way.   Second copy required: In addition to the hard (paper) copy of your paper, you must submit a second copy as an electronic attachment to an e-mail to me at . Please do not use Angel or D2L to send this e-mail. Use the regular MSU e-mail system. This electronic copy is due at the same time as your paper copy and should be exactly the same text in exactly the same format as the paper copy. This is a back-up copy. I will grade only the hard copy which you submit, not one that you ask me to print out from your attachment.   Form:   1. Papers must be typed. They should be double-spaced, except for long quotations (those containing more than fifty words), which should be indented and single-spaced. Indented, single-spaced quotations should not be surrounded by quotation marks.   2. Papers should have adequate margins: at least an inch on each side and not more than an inch and a half. A well designed double-spaced page normally has twenty-six lines of type. The size of type on your printer may lead you to want to modify this slightly on esthetic grounds; but, if you have fewer than twenty-five or more than twenty-seven lines, you need to reset the type size on the printer. 3. Papers should be as technically correct–in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and the like–as you are capable of making them. See and follow the Rules of Style and Usage (in Angel and D2L) on various items which I consider especially important. You may also want to consult Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, the Style Sheet of the Modern Language Association, or any similar guide.   4. There should be a separate title page. Your name should appear only on the title page. The title page is not numbered and does not count in the numbering of pages.   5. Except for the title page, all pages should be numbered.   6. Your paper should be held together by a staple in the upper lefthand corner. Loose sheets are likely to get lost; paper clips fall off; elaborate bindings and folders get in the way. Use a staple in the upper lefthand corner. (If you do not own a stapler, buy one. It will come in handy throughout your life.)   7. Notes: Not merely direct quotations but all statements which are not common knowledge should be attributed to their sources by means of notes. You may use footnotes, endnotes or parenthetical citations, as you prefer. If you use parenthetical citations, you must provide a bibliography of works cited at the end of the paper. If you need further guidance on accepted academic practice in the matter of citations and note forms, consult me and/or Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, the Style Sheet of the Modern Language Association, or any similar guide.   8. All words that you take from someone else must be quoted as well as cited to their sources. Quotations of fewer than fifty words should be in quotation marks. Quotations of fifty words or more should be indented and single-spaced. Single-spaced quotations do not take quotation marks: the single-spacing and indentation tell your reader that this is a quotation.   9. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE OR PARAPHRASE (itself a form of plagiarism). Either quote what an author says, using his or her precise words within quotation marks (or indented and single-spaced, if the quotation is more than fifty words), or say it in words which are entirely your own. In either case, cite your source in a note. You are guilty of plagiarism either when you fail to use quotation marks when quoting (even if you cite your source in a note) or when you use someone else’s idea without citing your source in a note (even if the idea is stated entirely in your own words). Using the assistance of anyone else in researching and/or writing all or part of a paper also counts as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense. The penalty is at the discretion of the instructor. It may consist merely of receiving a grade of 0.0 for the assignment, but it may also entail failing the course. If the instructor chooses to fail the student for the course, the University requires that he or she write a letter to the dean of the student’s college explaining the reason for the failure. This letter becomes part of the student’s permanent record. For more information on the general subject of academic dishonesty, including links to various sites which, among other things, provide exercises on what is and is not plagiarism, see the web site of the MSU ombudsman: . This link has been posted in Angel and D2L for this course.   10. Papers should be proofread before being handed in, and all typographical errors should be corrected in ink. It is both counterproductive and discourteous to hand in work which contains technical and/or mechanical errors. Please note that reliance on a spell-checker to proofread is not sufficient: many errors consist of typing the wrong but correctly spelled word. Because it is difficult to proofread well on a monitor screen and because a spell checker will not catch all errors, I suggest that you print out your paper, proofread the printed version, make the corrections to the text, and print it out a second time. IMPORTANT NOTE: If I decide that you have not made a good faith effort to proofread your paper and to correct the typographical errors, I will deduct a 0.5 penalty from the grade on the paper.   Questions? If you are unsure about what you ought to be doing in writing the paper or if you wish to consult me about the material in your book or about what you plan to say, please feel free to talk to me as often as you wish, either during my office hours or by appointment.    

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