The precis as the core document for interacting in a class

by Mr. Sheehy

Précis: By Noon the Monday prior to respective sessions, submit to us (vis-à-vis an email attachment to and a one single-spaced page précis reflecting on the session’s assigned readings. Your précis should:

  1. Summarize (without overmuch quoting) what you take to be the reading’s primary argument/theme;
  2. Articulate whether or not, and why or why not, you take the argument to be persuasive/salutary for your own thinking; and
  3. Connect that reading to our course’s ongoing conversation. (Précis may be formatted however you’d like—e.g., a single integrated précis, three numbered points, etc.)

Précis will be graded for the following three elements:

  1. Comprehension (how well you understand the argument/theme of the reading);
  2. Argument Cogency (how well you make your argument about the reading); and
  3. Course Reflection (how well you connect the respective reading to the course as a whole).

Each student is responsible for ten précis by the end of the semester. Cumulative précis grade will count 40% of your total grade.

Paper: By the end of the term, submit to us a persuasive/salutary 8-10 page single-spaced paper that displays comprehension of, cogency toward, and reflection over course material. Your paper will count 60% of your total grade.

– From a course description belonging to Alan Jacobs, at Baylor University. I grabbed it as a picture of the kind of work some college humanities professors are assigning.