An important part of this class is active weekly discussions. Because good discussions depend on the participants being prepared, each student is to write up their thoughts and observations about the readings for the week. This enables the student to come to class prepared, with a clear set of comments, observations, and questions to contribute to the class discussions.
The memos are not to be summaries of the week’s readings; instead, they should contain your observations, comments, criticism, questions, and comparisons with other authors. Memos should include key excerpts from the readings to refer to and discuss, a list of discussion points or questions to ask the class regarding the readings, and some practical inquiry about the nature of how the planning history and theory topic relates to planning practice. Memos should contain your opinions and original thoughts – I want to know what your opinion is – even if it differs from mine. If you don’t agree with the author, say so. You may cover all of the weeks readings, several of them, or just one. Only one memo may be turned in per week.
The weekly memos should relate the readings to current planning practice. A good idea is to come to class with a recent news clipping or discuss a current event that demonstrates how the subject of the readings relates to planning practice. This can also be a starting point for discussions about how planning practice could be improved by thinking about planning history and theory.
Rules for weekly memos (students who fail to follow these rules will receive no credit for that particular memo):
No more than 50 words of text (total) may be quoted.
The citation guide The Chicago Manual of Style must be followed
If you miss a class, the instructor will not allow you to turn in a memo for that week.
Students shall not cite Wikipedia
Students shall not cite course lectures
Students shall not simply summarize the weekly readings
Students shall not plagiarize
The pages of memos shall be stapled.
If you disagree with the author or the professor and present a good argument why you are correct, you may get extra credit.
If you disagree with the professor and present a good argument why you are correct – and change her mind (or at least make her question her own assumptions) about an issue – you will get extra credit.
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