Assignments & Grading

While all assignments will be graded on a point scale (15/20) and the running tally of the semester grade on ANGEL will be displayed as percent, final grades will be given on a 4.0 scale. When calculated, the final course grade will be mathematically converted to a grade on the 4.0 scale, and then rounded either up or down to the nearest 0.5 increment (ex: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0). For example, a 78% (overall) in the class would convert to 3.12 on the 4.0 scale. This would then be rounded down to a 3.0 (which is the grade that would be received). This means that a 90% does not equate to a 4.0!

Blog Entries/Responses (30%) – throughout the semester, students will be required to post a sereis of entries to the course blog. The subject of each weekly Blog entry should be a thoughtful commentary on an issue relating to that week’s (not the previous week’s) readings.  Students are not expected to paraphrase the reading in its entirety, but thoughtfully reflect upon it.  Pick one aspect of interest from the readings and discuss, debate, expand, explore, etc.  The entry must be at least 300 words in length (though students are welcome to write more than that if they want).   In addition to the posts, students are expected to respond to at least one post made by their fellow students.  The responses must be at least 200 words.  Posts are (usually) due by 5pm on each Thursday, and the responses are due by 5pm on each Sunday. Students must complete both that week’s entry and response in order to get credit for the assignment.  If students meet all of the requirements for the assignment (due date, length requirement, entry + response), they will receive full credit.  If students don’t meet all of the requirements, they will not receive credit at all.

Research Article (35%): Students are expected to write a critical research paper (on a subject of their choice – within the context of the class topic). Instead of handing it in, the paper will be placed on the class wiki (more info on that to come). The Research Article must be a minimum 2000 words. The topic of the Research Article is completely up to the student (but must be within the context of the class subject). If you are unfamiliar with APA formatting, check out this resource.  Some general thoughts on the Research Article:

  • Some of the required features of APA style and formatting conflict with the fact that the articles are living on a wiki, and not on sheets of paper.  So, there are some features (like title page, page numbers, etc.) that simply don’t work with the online format – don’t worry at all about including those.  When it comes to citation, you are going to have to go either with end notes or inline parenthetical citation (with a works cited/bibliography list at the end) – footnotes won’t work (obviously) because there aren’t any discreet pages in the week (at the bottom of which you would put your footnotes).  The other thing that is required is the abstract (which does not count towards your minimum word count).
  • Meeting the minimum word count is a requirement of the assignment.  If students don’t meet that minimum word count, they will be docked significantly.
  • APA style and formatting (taking into account what was said above) is a requirement for the assignment.  Students who don’t meet this requirement will be docked significantly.
  • Yes, and abstract is required.  No, it does not could towards your overall wordcount.
  • Students who do not conform their proposed topic will be docked significantly.
  • The topic of your paper should exhibit “bigger” thinking – you need to exhibit some intellectual synthesis.
  • This is a research paper.  As such, it requires a strong intellectual focus supported by research.

Here is a copy of the rubric that will be used to grade the Wiki Article

Research Article Proposal (10%) – Students are required to write a minimum 500 word proposal for their final research paper.  The proposal is intended to introduce (and briefly explore) your topic, discuss why your topic is meaningful and important, introduce your primary intelectual focus, and discuss the sources you are going to use.  Student should also include at least 3 specific sources – as an example of available research material.  Proposals need to be posted to the course wiki.  Wikipedia (and similar sites like, etc.) are not acceptable sources.

Archaeological Site Report (25%) – Critical review and synthesis of work (and results of that work) of an archaeological site of the student’s choosing (suggested list below).  report should be at least 1500 words (though, if a students wants to write more, they are certainly welcome to).  Like the Research Article, the Archaeological Site Report must be posted to the course wiki (more information on that later).

Suggested Archaeological Sites:

  • el-Adaïma
  • Gebelein
  • Kom Abu Bello – Melissa Jowers
  • Kom el-Hisn – Ben Deitzen
  • el-Lisht
  • Marea
  • Medamud
  • Hierakonpolis – Cristina Cao
  • Abu Roash – Alexis Therman
  • Antinoopolis – Sharlyn Ferguson
  • Berenike Panchrysos
  • Bir Umm Fawakhir
  • Dakhla Oasis, Ismant el-Kharab – Chris Hershey
  • Deir el-Ballas
  • Dorginarti – Dewanda Fortune
  • el-Kab – Sam Carpenter
  • Gebel Barkal
  • Gebel el-Haridi
  • Gebel el-Silsila
  • Gebelein/Naga el-Gherira
  • Medinet Gurob
  • Hu/Hiw (Diospolis Parva)
  • Kafr Tarkhan (Kafr Ammar) – Michele Moll
  • Karnak, precinct of Mut –Alexandria Cook
  • Karnak, precinct of Montu – Allison Dovi
  • Kerma – Faith Fico
  • Kom el-Hisn
  • Marea
  • Marsa Matruh – Eric Parr
  • Mazghuna – Jason St. John
  • Naga ed-Deir – Erin Schwiderson

Upon choosing a site, students should email Ethan immediately (so that two students don’t write on the same site)

Generally speaking, I would like it to include the following sections/content:

  • Introduction
  • Introduction to location, geography, geology, setting, etc.
  • Discussion of excavations – both past and present
  • Results and significance of excavations
  • Conclusion – importance of site & excavations, how it fits into overall egyptian archaeology (and related to other similar sites), etc.

In terms of sources, I far prefer archaeological and egyptological sources (articles, books, book chapters, websites, etc written by actual archaeologists and egyptologists) as opposed to sources that write about the site from a generally uninformed or casual perspective.  I don’t care whether the sources are digital or physical.  Sources such as wikipedia,,, etc, etc, etc are not not acceptable (wikipedia is always a great place to start, but it isn’t an acceptable authoritative source).  I would suggest looking to Google books as they seem to have digitized a lot of the early (early 20th century) Egpyptian archaeological sources.


ANP491 has a lot of writing assignments.  When completing their formal writing assignments, students MUST use APA style and formatting.  If you are unfamiliar with APA style and formatting, check out this website.