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Western Nevada College • Other • Other • Other

Core Humanities: Ancient and Medieval Cultures CH-201

  • Spring 2017
  • Section 4001
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/23/2017 to 05/20/2017
  • Modified 01/24/2017

Meeting Times

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, Bristlecone 350M

Office Hours

  • Thursday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Bentley 109 (Douglas Campus)

Office Hours

  • Friday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Bristlecone 350M

Contact Information

Instructor: Professor Chad McCully

For prompt responses to your questions, use the message tool in Canvas (within the online environment for your enhanced or online course).  With the exceptions of holidays and weekends, I will make every effort to respond within 24 hours.  Phone messages on the Douglas Campus will receive a delayed response, since I spend much of the week on the Carson Campus.  If you cannot visit my regular office hours, you may contact me to make an appointment at an alternate time.


Catalog Description

Provides an introduction to Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian culture through the Middle Ages.



In this class you will study various cultures from the dawn of human history to the Late Middle Ages, focusing particularly on the various art forms and their ability to express each culture’s values.  The visual arts, literature, architecture, music and every other means of human expression can be shaped and imbued with a lasting power.  It is this wondrous power that resonates long after civilizations have vanished in the dust of history.  You will study some of these performances that endured and perhaps discover as much about yourself as you discover about the past.

Apply a positive attitude toward your participation in class discussions and assigned readings and you will better prepare yourself for success in the rest of this class.  Be sure to be an active thinker and reader while completing this class and assigned homework.  



Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:

  • Exhibit factual and conceptual knowledge of the major cultural periods of the ancient world, from the beginnings of civilization to the Medieval Period,
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of cultural diversity through an examination of various civilizations,
  • Examine cultural change through a study of primary and secondary sources,
  • And draw conclusions from an analysis of literature and other historical and cultural documents.



How this Course Meets General Education Learning Outcomes

  • WORKING KNOWLEDGE – Demonstrate working knowledge of key concepts, principles, themes, and major content areas needed to explain and solve discipline-specific problems.
  • DIVERSITY AND SOCIETY -Describe diverse historical and/or contemporary positions on selected democratic values or practices.
  • CRITICAL THINKING – Use critical thinking and appropriate problem solving methods to address significant or enduring problems.


Arts and Culture, Volume 1

  • Author: Janetta Rebold Benton, Robert DiYanni
  • Edition: 4th
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore

Beowulf (Signet Classics)

  • Availability: Campus Bookstore

Inferno (Bantam Classics)

  • Author: Dante Alighieri/ Allen Mandelbaum
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore

The Epic of Gilgamesh: An English Verison with an Introduction

  • Author: N. K. Sandars (translator)
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore

The Odyssey: The Fitzgerald Translation

  • Author: Homer
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore

Canvas Access

An activated WNC NetId and weekly access to a Canvas class through a personal computer.


Other Hardware and Software Requirements

• Modern computer with a modern operating system


Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, or Open Office (free from or

The Bedford Handbook

  • Author: Diana Hacker
  • Optional

(or a similar handbook)



Resulting grade and related performance levels
Grade Range Notes
A 94-100

Highly exceptional work

A- 90-93

Exceptional work

B+ 87-89

Well above average

B 84-86

Above average

B- 80-83

Above average

C+ 77-79

Slightly above average

C 74-76


C- 70-73

Slightly below average

D 60-69

Below average

F 0-59



Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Peer Review Writing and Participation 5%

This credit is earned by submitting your first draft by its deadline and completing two reviews of peer work for the essay.

Midterm and Final Exams 25% Reading and other course material

This class requires a proctored exam for both the midterm and the final.  See the exam instructions for more information.

Weekly Quizzes 25% Assigned Reading & Course Notes
Discussion Assignments & Essay Outline 20%

600-800 words each.  Review the general discussion requirements and minimum expectations at the end of this syllabus.   Also, carefully follow specific instructions for each discussion throughout the semester and submit your writing for each on time (according to the deadline in the calendar).

Research Essay 25%

6-8 pages

Course Policies

Attendance & Late Work

Students who do not complete the "syllabus and introductory notes quiz" with a score of 100% (by the deadline specified during the second week of class) will receive an automatic "F" from the instructor and will then be advised to withdraw from the course.

By participating in an online class you undertake an even larger responsibility for your own progress and time management.   Pay attention to deadlines and do not forget them (keep your own calendar of deadlines if it helps).  You are expected to read and understand all assignments.  Assignments are to be completed according to available instructions and notes. 

Do not just glance at an assignment before attempting to complete it (this is likely to result in a poor grade).  Spend considerable time ensuring that you understand instructions, expectations, and then use sufficient time to properly complete the assigment.  If something is unclear to you, give yourself time before deadlines to ask for clarification in the class "help" forum.  Last-second requests for help may not be answered in time, so ask for help well in advance.  All effort will be made to answer questions or calls for help within 24  hours after your initial inquiry.

While e-mails and one-on-one messages will be answered at the beginning of the semester, by the second week requests for help should then be posted in the "help and support" forum.  Unless a student message is private or confidential in nature (concerning a specific grade received, etc.), the request for help should be posted on this class help forum.

  • Plan on accessing the class a minimum of three or four times each week to read course notes, take note of any announcements or updates, upload completed work, and to communicate with your instructor and fellow students.
  • I recommend checking for course announcements and e-mail regularly throughout the week.

Late Work

  • Late quizzes and exams will not be accepted for credit.  Be sure to take quizzes and exams before the deadline expires.
  • For peer reviews, essay drafts must be submitted by the deadline for you to have any chance of earning credit for the peer review assignment.  Reviews of fellow students' work must also be submitted by the second deadline in order for you to earn credit for this part of the course.
  • Discussion writing happens on a set schedule.  If you miss the deadline, you will not receive credit for the late work.  Late discussion assignments, as a general rule, will not be accepted.
  • For full credit, the essay must be submitted to the correct Turnitin drop box before the essay's deadline.  Late essays will be penalized 10% for each week that the paper is late until the paper is submitted or until the paper’s overall score is reduced by 30% (An 80% could end up being a 50% if turned in three weeks late).

    If a final draft is not submitted within three weeks of the paper’s due date, that paper will receive a zero points (note: this policy will not apply to papers that are due during the final week of the semester; late papers will not be accepted after the last day of the semester).

You will not be given a grade of “W” if you stop attending class.  You will earn a grade for work completed during the semester unless you properly drop the course through the registration office.

Feedback and Evaluation of Writing Assignments

  • To earn credit for your essay, you must first submit a typed outline that includes the essay's introductory paragraph, a clear thesis, and an organized, numbered list that represents the topic sentence and supporting points of each paragraph in the body of the essay.  In addition, the outline should include an MLA formatted works cited page with the minimim sources for the paper.   If your outline fails any criteria (earns less than 100% of available points), it indicates that your essay, if based on this outline, would earn less than a "C."  Students who lose points on their outline should discuss their work on the essay with a tutor and their instructor or risk failing the essay.
  • In order to earn a grade, all essays must be typed (in blue or black, 12 point, non-script font), be double-spaced with one-inch margins with an MLA formatted heading (refer to or to a current MLA guide for MLA guidelines and sample essays ), and submitted to TurnItIn through the assignment's drop box (within our online class environment).  In order for your format to be preserved by Turnitin and to be accessible for peer review credit, be sure to submit the paper in one of the following file formats (uploaded as a file): .doc or .docx (MS Word and Word format).  If you do not own Microsoft Word, you can use, free of charge, Open Office or LibreOffice to save papers in these formats ( or  Essays that do not follow these basic guidelines will be returned without a grade and the submission date will reflect when the paper was corrected and properly resubmitted.  Note: these rules are for your essays; see discussion instructions and expectations for guidelines on discussion assignments.
  • I will use a rubric to score your essay submitted for a grade (see the .pdf file below).  My rubric will rate several criteria that determine the overall effectiveness of the writing: the paper's focus, development of this focus, effective organization (using paragraphs, transitions, and linking language), attention to audience and the assignment, and finally correctness and style.
  • In instances of plagiarism or very late submissions, a student will not receive a rubric score or substantiative feedback on their papers (and in cases of plagiarism, will fail the assignment and possibly the entire class).
  • All feedback from your instructor will be delivered electronically.  If I check the Turnitin assignment, and it does not indicate you have viewed your feedback, you will be directed to read my existing feedback before I answer further questions about your grade on the paper.
  • I retain the right to use anonymous copies of any essays submitted to my course as examples for future classes and students.  All identifying information will be removed and the examples will only be accessible to enrolled students.
  • Delivery of feedback on your writing assignments may take up to three weeks to arrive, as every effort will be made to give all students sufficient feedback to improve their work.  Your patience is appreciated.

Plagiarism and Originality

I use for all essay assignments submitted to this class.  This tool helps me easily review any unoriginal content in student work. Any plagiarism on an assignment will result in a failing grade for that assignment.  A student will receive an “F” in the entire course for a single act of blatant plagiarism.

Also, it is not ethical for students to submit written work they have previously completed or have written for another class, as original writing for assignments in this class.  Students who wish to reuse any of their own writing should always seek their instructor's permission first and explain the extent of the work they plan on doing for the assignment in question.  Failure to do so could result in a breech of academic integrity and result in an "F" on the assignment.  I also reserve the right to give an "F" on any assignment that does not demonstrate sufficient attention to the assignment's instructions.

Common Civility

Entering a college classroom demands that you treat other students in a manner that is supportive of academic inquiry, curiosity and shared learning.  Do not be quick to make assumptions about others who have different backgrounds, opinions, and values.  Fellow students are potential reservoirs of knowledge, experience and insight.  By respectfully acknowledging your similarities and differences with other students, you will learn a great deal about yourself.  Furthermore, if you are able to argue and discuss topics in a civil and reasoned manner (even those you feel most passionate about), you will have empowered your own voice and increased the likelihood that you will be heard and taken seriously by an academic or professional audience.

I expect students to demonstrate civility toward fellow students and their instructor within all areas of the online course.


Be sure to save all the work that you submit and that I return to you during the semester.  If there is a discrepancy between what you have completed and the credit you have been awarded, you will want to be able to prove your case.  Also, you will want to store or print copies for yourself in the event that there are computer errors or outages that result in loss of data.  You are responsible for creating backups of your work and managing your time in anticipation of any computer crashes, power outages, or other unforeseen difficulties.  Have a secondary location (public library, campus computer lab, etc.) where you can complete online work in case there is an interruption of service or other problem at your primary location.

You are expected to read and carefully consider all course materials and instructions, including student and instructor feedback on your writing. 

The Academic Skills Center & Other Tutoring

Students are strongly encouraged to seek additional help and feedback on their writing throughout the semester.  The WNC Academic Skills Center employs tutors who will assist you in your efforts.  Visit the Academic Skills Center website at to review tutoring hours and more detailed contact information.  Call 775-445-4260 to reach the Academic Skills Center on the Carson Campus and 775-423-7565 ext. 2278 to reach the AcademicSkills Center on the Fallon Campus.

Free online tutoring is also available through Brainfuse for WNC students.  Access this service by using the link provided on the library's web page:

Institutional Policies

Students with Disabilities

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. You will also need to contact the Disability Support Services Office at 775-445-3266 in room 103 of the Bristlecone Building located on the Carson campus.

Transfer Information

This course is designed to apply toward a WNC degree and/or transfer to other schools within the Nevada System of Higher Education, depending on the degree chosen and other courses completed. It may transfer to colleges and universities outside Nevada. For information about how this course can transfer and apply to your program of study, please contact a counselor.

Additional Items

Discussion Rubric

This score card explains exactly how you will earn points for discussion assignments.  I will score your discussion writing with this rubric (you will receive one score card for each discussion), and this score will indicate what you need to improve in order to increase your score on the next discussion and the upcoming essay.  If you have further questions or need more feedback on discussion writing, send me a specific question about your score and your writing and I'll give you further help.

General Instructions and Expectations for Discussion Assignments

See the individual assignment for additional instructions and specific prompts.  For each assignment, you will be expected to follow these assignment specific instructions carefully.


Even though these assignments are called “discussions,” your writing is expected to be college level composition that is carefully edited and formally submitted for credit in this course.


Academic Standards for Discussion Writing Posted for Credit in this Class:


Writing will be submitted as a single post (not in an attachment) to the proper discussion or forum. 


A minimum of five paragraphs consisting of six-hundred to eight-hundred words for discussion posts will be required for each discussion assignment.


You are expected to reply each week to the posts of at least two other students within a discussion.  For each reply, a single thoughtful paragraph of at least 100 words will suffice.


In addition to this, each student's discussion writing should demonstrate the qualities listed below.


Attentiveness and Professionalism:


• Writing will demonstrate attention to the assignment (you will understand and carefully follow the instructions for the assignment).


• Writing will be in complete sentences, in organized paragraphs, will correctly quote language from source material (see my note on plagiarism at the bottom of these instructions), and be free of errors.


• Writing will demonstrate respectful consideration of fellow students’ work (particularly in replies to that work).

Critical Thinking:


• Writing will demonstrate understanding of important concepts covered in course notes, the textbook, and other class materials.
• Writing will demonstrate an effort to move beyond a superficial response and supply a thoughtful, well considered answer to a discussion question.
•Writing will develop a central idea or thesis (a single overall answer to the discussion question).
• Writing will include at least four or five quotes from your reading and/or outside research to support your discussion.
• Writing will be detailed and specific.  A very generalized response does not demonstrate that you have attentively completed the assigned reading.
Writing will be effectively organized into focused paragraphs and will move logically from one idea to the next using clear transitions.

Other Basic Requirements and Advice for Discussion Assignments:


  1. Clearly label all of your responses with a title or “subject” that indicates the subject you are writing about (include, for instance the title of the poem, story, or article to which you are responding).  You can also make a strong first impression in your title by making it unique to your overall post.
  2. Properly introduce us to your subject at the beginning of your post.
  3. Do not attach your discussion as a file.  Instead, use the Rich Text Editor in Moodle to format your post (complete the writing on your own computer first, save a backup, then copy and paste your post into the text editor.  Fix the formatting after you paste your writing into the input form, check your formatting again after submitting, and correct as necessary-- you have a thirty-minute editing window to edit your work after posting, so do most of your substantial editing work inside your word processor-- save the last thirty minutes to address any formatting errors).
  4. Write focused, concise and meaningful discussion posts (since these are short writing assignments, do not waste words).
  5. Be sure to respond meaningfully to your peers.  If another student's post needs work, you can add supportive comments or suggest some things the student might consider in order to expand or otherwise improve his or her writing.

  6. Remember that tone-of-voice is easily misinterpreted in written language, so go out of your way to sound supportive and helpful in your responses to other students, even if you need to tell a student that he or she has fallen short of the requirements for the assignment.

  7. If you are posting your discussion assignment early, you may need to return nearer to the discussion deadline (or the day after) in order to find student work and post your replies.

  8. Responses to discussions will be due the day after the discussion is due.

  9. Be careful to correctly cite any quoted language from source material.  Your discussion assignments must be your original answer to the discussion question, and therefore they must be constructed with your own thesis, thoughts and sentences.  Blatant plagiarism on a discussion assignment will result in failure of the entire course.