3. When reading the textbook, pay attention to the Focus Questions at the beginning of each
chapter, and the paragraphs marked "Conclusion" at the end of each chapter. Both of these
sections will tell you the main points that the chapter is supposed to be demonstrating. Look also
at the timelines at the end of each chapter. Similarly, in each videotaped lecture, the lecturer
mentions key terms and points, and these generally appear written on the screen at some time
during the video. Jot these down and look them up in the text (or ask me about them) if you don't
understand something about them. There are also focus questions and definitions for most of the
course reader chapters or selections. These are useful guides as well. In class we will be bringing
together the issues raised by the textbook focus questions, the course's main issues, and themes
of student interest. In your reading and video viewing, try to do that too: how do all those things
fit together, in each week's work?
4. Each week in class and on the "Weekly Focus" page of the Section 047 web site, I will list a
number of things you will need to know for the coming week's class session. Some of these will
be topics that will appear on quizzes; some will be topics for class discussion. Class discussion
will not proceed until students have responded to the questions or topics assigned for that day.
5. For each chapter of the textbook that you study, make sure to find out certain basic facts: What
time period is being discussed? Where in the world do the events take place? (It helps to be able
to locate the areas under study on a map.) What groups of people and which individuals are being
discussed? Why are they being discussed: what seem to have been their special or remarkable
actions, ideas, creations, achievements, etc., and why would these things they did be important?
For example, what effects did they have?
6. It will not be possible to go over every bit of each day's reading and video lecture in class. If you have a question about something in the reading or the video assignment, raise the question in class. I do try to go over things I suspect students find difficult, but I don't always know what you're having trouble (or curiosity) about unless you tell me. If you don't want to bring up the question in class, come to my office hours. Office hours are for all students who wish to talk about issues related to the course, history, philosophy, or academics in general. Whether you're having trouble understanding something in the text, are just curious about something in history or philosophy, or are looking for academic advising, you are welcome in office hours. Generally speaking, we professors love our fields of inquiry and are always glad to talk about them, help students get more involved in our fields, and so on.