HI363 Age of Augustus
LI213 TuTh 2.10-3.30pm

Prof. Michael Arnush Starbuck 201D x8113
marnush@skidmore.edu Hrs.: TuTh 1-2


The final paper consists of a piece of research you will design and conduct throughout the second half of the semester. This 3500-word (approximately 15-page) paper is on a topic pertaining to the life and times of Augustus, Rome's first emperor, or his legacy. You might decide to explore a specific challenge he faced (e.g., diehard allegiance to the Republic; changing family values; expansion and protection of the frontiers), a specific individual (e.g., his wife Livia, his daughter Julia, or his stepson Tiberius) or concept (e.g., succession; emperor worship; imperial patronage of the arts). You will develop your project in stages, so that the end result is a coherent, well-written and thoughtful exploration that is worthy of presentation and debate yet tightly organized and sharply focused. Your first two assignments come directly after the analytical essay is due, though neither is graded: the first assignment is to begin to explore possible final paper topics on February 22nd, and the second is to submit any Interlibrary Loan requests before Spring Break begins on March 10th.

The next stages for this paper are of various types and are clearly marked out here. Together they represent a portfolio of work, with each stage building upon the previous one. Create a separate folder in your computer for this project, give each component a different file name, and store a backup for the folder someplace separate from the folder (e.g., jumpdrive, /datastor, etc.). Don't feel limited by these milestones; you can, of course, begin the process earlier and expand upon it - for example, by creating milestones for yourself in the shaping of successive drafts. This chart will help you move the project along (details on all milestones follow):

Weight Milestone Due Date
5% Topic statement & annotated bibliography March 29th
5% Outline & updated annotated bibliography April 10th
5% Draft & final bibliography April 24th
10% Oral presentation April 17th, 19th, 24th or 26th
15% Final project May 4th

Please employ the same format for each written stage:

  • 1" margins (not the width default of 1.25")
  • 12-point type
  • title page only with the final draft. Until then, each component need have only your name, the assignment title (e.g., "Topic Statement") and the date at the top of the first page
  • pagination (location of the page number doesn't matter)
  • MS-Word format. If you use another software product, please consult with the Helpdesk long before the first due date.

Each assignment is due by 6.00pm and must be submitted by email. If you do not know how to attach a document to an email, please consult the Helpdesk. Since our class meets from 2.10-3.30pm, the early evening deadline gives you the opportunity to utilize both my office hours and the classroom to test your ideas, receive feedback and revise your thinking before handing in an assignment.

Milestone guidelines (drawing from Profs. D. Curley and K. Eshleman):

  • Topic statement: at least one paragraph, and no longer than one page, declaring the topic you've decided to pursue, and outlining the precise question you intend to focus on, the approach you plan to take, and any expected conclusions. This paragraph should be the outcome of some thoughtful preliminary work, not a hastily dashed off summary.
  • Annotated bibliography: the topic statement depends upon research and deliberation, and an annotated bibliography helps you focus your research and thinking from the outset. The bibliography contains scholarly books, book chapters and/or journal articles that will enhance your project directly and beyond the handbook or encyclopedic level. You do best to avoid on-line summaries and wiki-style entries, or textbooks and popular works pitched at an introductory or non-scholarly audience. Your bibliography instead should include only peer-reviewed works (whose medium of publication - print or electronic - doesn't matter). Each annotation should include the pertinent publication information and 2 full paragraphs describing the work - the first as a summary, the second as a critique within the context of your project. This first annotated bibliography must contain at least five distinct entries (e.g., two chapters from one book by one author constitute one entry, while two essays from one edited book by different authors constitute two entries). No more than one entry may be from the two Galinsky texts.
  • Outline: outlines are remarkably useful mechanisms for gaining clarity and focus. Their linear structure dictates a logical progression, from laying out the problem under consideration to the concluding observations, with each step along the way clearly articulated. Outlines are helpful to keep you on track towards your goal, to help you avoid unnecessary digressions, and to reveal to you weaknesses in the structure and organization of your paper. A well-constructed outline is the skeleton of your paper's body - it represents the bare bones which you then flesh out.
  • Updated annotated bibliography: this second phase of your bibliography represents a deeper level of research and thought, as you now zero in on your topic (and your Interlibrary Loan works have arrived!). The update should contain at least five additional annotated works, each marked with an asterisk (*).
  • Draft: this next phase consists of a working version of your paper, based upon your outline, organized and with all of the content that will appear in the final version. You may still be working on the prose in some sections, and so fill any gaps with summaries of what will appear in the fully fleshed-out version; however, all aspects of the paper should be evident.
  • Final annotated bibliography: at this stage, you should have at least 15 secondary sources, the most-recently added also marked by an asterisk. As a final bibliography, this should contain the same works that appear with the final version of the paper.
  • Oral presentation: we devote four classes to short (10 minute) presentations describing your projects to the class. Focus here on the essentials: your topic, your approach, and your conclusions. Get to the critical issue(s) quickly rather than summarize the background or history of the topic.
  • Final project: the polished, perfected paper with a separate title page, all foot/endnotes included, and the final bibliography (without the annotations). Given the commitment you have made to this project at this stage, you will want to ensure that it is representative of your effort and commitment. Proofreading here is essential, for you don't want to undermine nine weeks of work because of typographical or sloppy errors.