HJS 415. Thesis in Humanities and Justice Studies
Prof. Kyoo Lee, 524 West 59th Streeet, Rm 8.63.15, Dept. of Philosophy, John Jay College, CUNY
Office Hours: By Appointment (Before or After Class)
Course Description       
The second of two required for completion of the Justice Studies major, this course completes the sequence with each student producing a thesis of 6,000 - 7,000 words.  

Course Objectives         
This course helps senior HJS majors graduate: the students must submit their theses and pass the course in order to graduate.

Course Schedule    
@ Class meets on Jan 31, Apr 3 and May 8, unless otherwise noted.
@ Submit Drafts: turnitin.com Draft #1 (Feb 16 for Mar 1 Feedback) and Draft #2 (Apr 17 for May 1): Use either or both cycles.
@ All the other class days are for pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings in March and May. 
@ Those planning to enter into a competition for the Woodner Foundation HJS Thesis Awards should have the final draft ready by Apr 17.

Required Texts 
  • Students' own work-in-progress drafts.
  • Selected readings and audio-visual materials, all web-linked or pdf downloadable from the class schedule page.
  • Each day of the class, you must bring a hard copy of the listed reading material or at least the electronic file** in question. Those not in posession of the class material in any readable form are considered unprepared and thus will be noted negatively.
  • **In-class use of a laptop or any portable electronic devices where the reading file is stored, is allowed, provided that you use this "wireless" freedom responsibly by limiting your online activities strictly to the classroom material; emailing, face-booking, texting, surfing, shopping, gaming, etc., all these extracurricular activities are strictly prohibited during the classtime. The violation of this code of conduct, any form of idle abuse of classtime, will be regarded as a serious offence and the student in question will be immediately evicted from the classroom, which will then be counted as an unexcused absence. 

Recommended Texts 
  • The Craft of Research. 3rd Ed. Wayne C. Booth et al. U of Chicago Press, 2008. ISBN 9780226065663
  • The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th Edition. J. Gibaldi. Modern Language Association of America, 2009. ISBN 9781603290241

Grading Scale
97- A+
93- A
90- A-
87- B+
83- B
80- B-
77- C+
73- C
70- C-
67- D+
63- D
60- D-
Below 60 F (Fail)

Grade A: Mastery of the issues and literature, and an ability to make some original contribution.
Grade B: Good grasp of issues and literature, but little or no attempt at own contribution.
Grade C: Some but uncertain grasp of the issues.
Grade D: Failure to grasp issues but some attempt made.
Grade F: Not even trying.
[I have borrowed this description of the evaluation criteria from the standardized syllabi used in NYU in London.]

  • 100 points system is used.
  • Grades are nonnegotiable, unless there is a clerical error.
  • All the grades up to the final exam or paper are calculated numerically in order to give each student maximum opportunities to recuperate, and also to evaluate more accurately the learning process and incremental achievements.
  • The numeric total will simply be converted to the corresponding letter grade. Therefore, there is very little reason either to rejoice or to despair at any stage of following the course. Just keep putting coins in the piggy bank, and your consistent and overall efforts will be justly rewarded: you reap what you sow, no less, no more.

Course Requirements and Evaluation Criteria
Attending/One-on-One Meeting (up to 10 points)
  • No make-up for any missed appointment, unless it is caused by the instructor; priority is given to those already on schedule. 
  • Up to 2 absences are allowed with no penalties incurred: there's no need for you to explain or email about your absences.
  • For the 3rd absence, you lose 3 points, and for the 4th point, another 3 points. After the 5th absence, 1 full alphabetical grade drops automatically per class missed, e.g., from A to B, down to F.
  • Lateness causes disruption in class and affects your own learning process; from the 3rd time of lateness, 1 point deducted each time. 
Preparing/Participating (up to 10 points)
  • Preparation (5 points): Your knowledge of the reading material for each day, will be constantly, individually and randomly monitored. The result will be assessed and logged on a daily basis.  This function as a loose form of daily quiz; if you get "caught" unprepared, you lose points. 
  • Participation (5 points): Active and meaningful participation in classroom discussion and activity is not an option but a requirement.
Writing (up to 80 points): turnitin.com-submit (id: 4265146/login:madness) the Thesis Cotaining All of the Following by May 17. 
  • Abstract of your thesis: 200-300 words
  • Table of contents: approx. 2-3 pages 
  • Introduction (where a brief review of key literature is incorporated.): 750-1,000 words  
  • Main Body of the Text: 4,500-5,500 words
  • Conclusion: 400-500 words
  • Bibliography: MLA style
  • Thesis Portfolio: all-in-one master file containing all the entries above; no multiple, serial, or fragmented submission accepted. 
  • The submission deadline is firm. For each calendar day day missed, 2 points will be deducted.
  • Regularly and frequently throughout the course, students will have a chance to receive live feedback on their drafts and the grade for the writing component will be determined solely on the basis of the final draft of the portfolio.  

Statement of College Policy on Plagiarism
"Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else‘s ideas, words, or artistic, scientific, or technical work as one‘s own creation. Using the ideas or work of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism. It is the student‘s responsibility to recognize the difference between statements that are common knowledge (which do not require documentation) and restatements of the ideas of others. Paraphrase, summary, and direct quotation are acceptable forms of restatement, as long as the source is cited. Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The Library has free guides designed to help students with problems of documentation." (From the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Undergraduate Bulletin, p. 36)
Should plagiarism be determined, a formal disciplinary action will be taken immediately: the student in question will receive an F grade for the course.

Accommodation of Religious Observances
Upon request, academic accommodations for a religious observance are available on an individual basis; by the end of the second week, please provide me with a supplementary document that specifies and verifies your context and needs for modification.

Accommodation of Documented Disabilities
Please contact me within the first two weeks of the semester. An appropriate, case-by-case arrangement will be made to ensure that the student in question is given an equal opportunity for learning.