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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Application For Course Approval

for General Education Program

Course Number: BGS 100
Course Title: Pro-Seminar
Check the general education core area for this course: English Communication (ECw)
Department(s) in which course will be taught: Bachelor of General Studies
Faculty member(s) responsible for this course: Dr. Anne Hubbard, Coordinator of the BGS Program
Office: Shepard 252
Office Phone: 401.277.5305
Will non-tenure track faculty teach this course? Yes

If yes, approximately what percentage of sections will be taught by non tenure-track faculty?
All sections currently are taught by non tenure-track faculty. This course has been taught by part-time faculty for the past decade or more.

The integrated skills** that this course will focus on are:

  • XX Read complex texts
  • XX Use of information technology
  • XX Write effectively

*Note: At least three integrated skills are required.

Course description (as would be found in catalog):
Introduction to critical approaches to learning with emphasis on reading and rhetorical skills appropriate to college students. Must be taken concurrently with URI 101. S/U credit.

Faculty Member's Signature: _____________________________________________

Chairperson's Signature: ________________________________________________

Dean's Signature: _______________________________________________________

Part I

1. Please Indicate the Primary Learning Objective(s) of the course.

BGS 100 is the first course most returning adult students take when they enter the BGS program. This course introduces or reintroduces students to core academic skills necessary in college, such as critical reading, thinking, writing, listening, observing, questioning, and speaking. The course assists the students in developing a strong learning style and in forming a community with fellow students to assist each other in their academic career. The knowledge and skills acquired in this course will prepare students to succeed in their college studies and in life beyond the classroom.

By the end of the course, students are expected to demonstrate, in their comments and questions, their papers, and their class presentations:

  • Familiarity with the content presented in class;
  • Ability to read complex materials and identify the main points present by the author;
  • Ability to respond critically and thoughtfully in writing or orally to class material;
  • Ability to write well organized, carefully considered short and long essays in which students demonstrate their grasp of proper research, grammatical and rhetorical skills;
  • Ability to use various technologies to support their academic study. These skills include: the ability to locate and evaluate internet web sites in terms of academic validity, accuracy, and objectivity; the ability to locate and use course material on a WebCT site; the ability to use electronic search capabilities to locate materials for academic papers; the ability to use e-mail as an effective communication tool; and the ability to correctly produce papers in a word processing program;
  • Ability to use appropriate library research strategies to find information on a given topic and to evaluate its use in a scholarly context.

2. How does the course meet the goals established for the general education program?

a) the ability to think critically:
Students are challenged throughout the course to think critically through a variety of in class and homework assignments, including evaluating websites for their appropriateness for academic work, in-class discussions and writing assignments on materials read and presented in class, and homework assignments that ask students to interact with the material, identifying the author's main ideas and the data provided to support these ideas. Students are also asked to challenge their own ideas, and to make decisions about the meaning and implication of what they are reading.

b) the ability to use the methods and materials characteristic of the discipline:
Students are expected to use discipline-appropriate methods and materials. In my section on Exploring the Human-Animal Bond for example, students are introduced to the format of social science research articles and learn how to evaluate the articles they read for their papers and presentations.

c) the instilling of a commitment to intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning:
Students are challenged to be curious about the broad subjects covered in class. The topics in this course are broad enough to allow students to interact with the materials from a variety of different points of view. In addition, since this course is the first of their academic career, students are continually exposed to new ideas and asked to reflect on them and on their impact on the student's own education. Many of the writing assignments ask students to use their own experiences to reflect on the material and how it will be useful to them in their academic career.

d) an openness to new ideas with the social skills necessary for both teamwork and leadership; the ability to think independently and be self-directed; to make informed choices and take initiative:
Students, working as individuals and in groups, both in the classroom and on outside assignments, learn to take individual and collective responsibility for their learning. Students have the opportunity to do independent research and writing on a topic of their own choosing. Students have the opportunity to work in groups during class sessions, conducting peer evaluations of fellow classmates' work, as well as discussing and evaluating the topics on the class agenda. One of the goals of this course is for students to form a learning community with other students in the class so they can support each other during this semester as well in semesters beyond this course.

3. How is the course suitable for the general education area [under which] you have requested it be classified? Please refer to the criteria for the relevant division as described in Appendix A as well as to your course materials appended to this form.

"EC courses and ECw courses:

a. Examine the elements and conditions of effective writing or speaking through the use of a variety of basic disciplinary sources and critical explorations.

Students in the course have many opportunities to examine the elements and conditions of effective writing. The most obvious way is through the texts that students have been asked to read. In all sections of the course, students are asked to be active readers, to read critically and to evaluate and assess the material. Students also examine one another's writing during the semester. Finally, instructors use handbooks (such as Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference) and web resources (such as Purdue's On-line Writing Lab - OWL) to teach students the elements of effective writing.

b. Enhance students' ability to critically receive, analyze and interpret texts, information, and persuasive messages for interaction with multiple audiences, in specified contexts, for specific purposes. ECw courses focus particularly on the analysis and production of written texts for a variety of purposes and contexts.

In addition to the above, instructors focus on the importance of audience in the course readings and in the students' writing.

c. Promote progressive skills acquisition in critical analysis and production that results form ample opportunities for guided practice as well as feed back from peers, the instructor, the public, or other audiences.

A major emphasis in the course is on building and strengthening critical reading and writing skills. Students are given ample opportunities for practice during the semester through class discussion and a variety of writing assignments, both long and short. Students work with their peers, with their instructor, and in many sections, with a writing consultant. They learn revising, editing, and critical discussion skills.

d. Provide multiple opportunities for writing and/or speaking and listening in different modes or genres and for varying audiences, purposes and contexts.

Over the years, instructors have provided multiple opportunities for writing and/or speaking and listening in different modes or genres and for varying audience, purposes, and contexts. In terms of speaking, instructors require student to be actively involved in class discussion. Some instructors also require students to give an oral presentation on a topic related to the course. In writing, students are assigned a variety of tasks - from keeping a journal, to in-class writing, to reaction papers, to more formal research papers.

4. Explain how this course provides opportunities for practice in each of the integrated skills you have listed on the coversheet.

Read Complex Texts: Many of the students who come to this course have not read an entire book or a long academic paper since their last educational experience. Therefore, the very process of actively reading academic material presents a challenge to students at the outset of this course.

Students read from a wide variety of literature forms, becoming increasingly comfortable with critically reading and analyzing what they are reading. In my section, for example, in addition to their text and numerous handouts, students read an essay (introduction to a book) by Harvard paleobiologist Stephen Jay Gould, excerpts from Oxford University zoologist Marion Stamp Hawkins' book, In Our Eyes Only?: The Search for Animal Consciousness, and biologist Karen Pryor's article on "Non-acoustic Communication in Small Cetaceans: Glance, Touch, Position, Gesture, and Bubbles." Students also read a social science research article ("Blind People and Their Dogs: An Empirical Study on Changes in Everyday Life, in Self-Experience, and in Communication") and critique its adherence to generally accepted research style. In addition, students are expected to read social science research studies for their term paper. I do not expect students to understand fully the statistical analyses in these articles, but I expect them to analyze whether the questions under study follow from the literature review the author(s) lists and whether the subject under investigation is related to the student's paper topic.

For all types of readings, students are asked to read the texts carefully and to summarize the authors' main points and conclusions and to recognize the data that underlie these conclusions. During the development of their research papers, students are exposed to both primary and secondary sources and learn how to evaluate the sources for use in building their argument in the paper.

Use of Information Technology: Students typically come to the BGS program with very rudimentary information technology skills. Throughout the course of the semester, students develop their technology skills in a variety of ways. Students receive instruction in the university's email system and are expected to communicate with their instructor via email. Students are introduced to the web as a tool for education and learn to evaluate sites for use in an academic setting. In my section, for example, students select three web sites and write an essay evaluating each site according to the criteria outlined by the library staff in a session on evaluating web sites. Students also complete a tutorial on finding and evaluating web sites for use in academic work. We spend time in class sessions learning how to search some of the electronic databases for material for the students' term papers. Students are expected to use these databases in finding scholarly material for their research paper. A number of my readings are on electronic reserve in the library and on various web sites. Students also receive instruction on how to use a WebCT course site. Materials from the course are placed on WebCT and students must consult them and complete an assignment on WebCT.

Writing: A major emphasis in this course is on communicating effectively - especially through the medium of the written and spoken word. The development of writing skills is a major component of the course and is reinforced through a variety of both in-class and homework writing experiences, including short responses to specific questions, a self-reflective essay on the student's personal academic journey, critical essays on materials read, and a research paper on a topic of the student's choosing.

Throughout the semester students are expected to become progressively more sophisticated in their ability to express their ideas through their use of proper grammatical and rhetorical skills. Students submit drafts of their papers for review, critique fellow students' papers, and work one-on-one with a writing consultant assigned to the class.

The emphasis is on clear, grammatically correct writing that addresses the appropriate audience for the assignment.

The process and mechanics of writing a term paper is taught (selecting a topic, finding suitable materials, taking notes, developing an outline, writing a first draft, revising the draft, preparing the final paper, and correctly annotating sources). Students are also given detailed instruction on plagiarism and citing sources.

5. Will your course sometimes be taught to groups of students larger than 60?


6. If other instructors teach the course, what will be done to ensure that the proposed content and skills will be maintained across sections and instructors?

The Coordinator of the Bachelor of General Studies regularly reviews the course syllabi and meets with instructors, and will ensure that each section contains the necessary materials, texts and activities to meet the general education categories in this application (read complex texts, use of information technology, writing). The same instructors have taught the course each term for a number of years; at present, there is no problem with regard to maintaining consistency in content and skills across sections and instructors.

Part II

BGS 100 Pro-Seminar (3 credits)

Anne Hubbard, Instructor

BGS Office, Room 252
Office Phone: 401.277.5305
Office Hourse: M-Th (call for appointment)

A major focus in this course is to provide you with opportunities to develop and/or to refine a number of academic skills you will need to be successful in college. These skills include: critical learning, writing, reading, listening, observing, questioning and speaking. You will have an opportunity to work on your own and with your peers in furthering your education. I am excited about the start of your educational journey, and I hope you feel the same.

By the end of the course, students are expected to demonstrate, in their comments and questions, papers and class presentations:

  • Familiarity with the content presented in class;
  • Ability to read complex materials and identify the main points presented by the author;
  • Ability to respond critically and thoughtfully in writing or orally to class material;
  • Ability to write well organized, carefully considered short and long essays in which students demonstrate their grasp of proper research, grammatical and rhetorical skills;
  • Ability to use various technologies to support their academic study. These skills include: the ability to locate and evaluate internet web sites in terms of academic validity, accuracy, and objectivity; the ability to locate course material on a WebCT site; the ability to use e-mail as an effective communication tool; and the ability to correctly produce papers in a word processing program;
  • Ability to use appropriate library research strategies to find information on a given topic and to evaluate its use in a scholarly context.

The topic for this term is "Exploring the Human-Animal Bond." In this course we will explore our relationships with the animal world from a number of different perspectives. Historically, we have used animals for a variety of purposes: food, travel, recreation, research, as subjects of art and literature, etc. Our connections to the animal world today are varied, complex, and ultimately important to us and to the animals. Our relationships to them are bound by factors such as culture, contact, prejudice, and lack of knowledge, to name a few. In this course we will spend part of the term investigating general questions about our relations to animals and about animal emotions, communication, and cognition. We will read and write, view films, and discuss issues among ourselves, in an effort to build an understanding of how each of us approaches these issues.

We will then focus on domestic animals, particularly dogs and horses, and their relationship with us from a number of perspectives. We will explore how pets touch various parts of our lives - as companions, therapists, assistants, confidants, etc. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has said that entering the innermost lives of our pets and companion animals is pleasurable and rewarding, " - and in terms of our future health and happiness, no subject could be a more important one for study." *

We will have the opportunity to talk to people who rely on animals for daily assistance and to observe animals in action as "therapists." In addition, you will have the opportunity to explore a topic of interest in depth and share your knowledge with your fellow students.

My main goal for you in this course is to be excited by the learning process and the topics we will encounter and to participate fully in this process as we together explore the human-animal bond.

* In A. Beck and A. Katcher, Between pets and people: The importance of animal companionship, West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press, 1996, p xi.

It is very important that you attend classes, and I place a high value on your presence and participation. There will be times that you will have to miss a class due to illness or emergency. Please let me know if you will not be able to attend class. If you miss more than 3 classes, you will not pass this course. In addition, please make every effort to be on time for class and to avoid leaving early - your grade will reflect your attendance.

You will be expected to hand in assignments on time, to do the readings and to participate in class discussion. There are parts of this course in which there is a significant amount of reading. I suggest that you start reading ahead as your schedule permits, so you are not cramming the reading in at the last minute. If you are having difficulty keeping up with the reading or are not going to meet an assignment deadline, please let me know before the class so we can work out an alternate arrangement. Assignments handed in after the due date will be reduced by one grade.

You will have plenty of opportunities to write in this course. Most of these writing assignments will be short, but will provide you the opportunity to develop skills and to become comfortable with this type of academic writing. I expect that your written assignments will be grammatically correct as well as logical, well thought out, pertinent to the topic assigned, and handed in on time. Your grade for each assignment will be based on these considerations.

The first writing assignment may be hand written; however, all the rest of the written assignments must be typed (on a computer). If you need assistance in using a word processing program, please let me know.

The course is graded S/U - Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. The grade is based on your attendance (20%) (and this includes your sessions with the writing tutor), your participation in the class (30%) and the assignments (50%).

Academic Honesty
"Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. Cheating is the claiming of credit for work not done independently without giving credit for aid received, or unauthorized possession or access to exams, or any unauthorized communication during examinations." (From the University of Rhode Island 2002-2005 Student Handbook)

We will discuss the issues surrounding plagiarism and you will be expected to use appropriate methods of citing the work of others that you have used in preparing your papers and other assignments.

Class Policies
Check your email regularly for any homework tips, announcements, etc. Email me with questions if you get stuck.
Please turn off your cell phones, no calls are to be taken during class time. If you need to make acall, make it during the break.

Required Texts:

  • The Animal Attraction: Humans and Their Animal Companions, J. Newby (1999) Sidney, Australia: ABC Books.
  • A Writer's Reference, Diana Hacker (this book will be useful to you throughout your entire college career) - it comes with a CD that can be used with the book to increase your grammar skills.
  • Additional Readings: I will assign additional readings as appropriate. I may hand out material to read, or the material may be on the course's WebCT site, or electronic reserve in the library available to you online (over the web), or may be located at specific web sites I will give you.

Writing Tutor:
We have the good fortune this semester to have an advanced student assigned to our class as a writing tutor. I have prepared a separate handout on the role of the writing tutor and we will discuss this the first class. I urge you to take full advantage of the writing tutor. Please note that part of your attendance in this class includes visiting the Writing Tutor at least twice during the semester. If you do not meet at least twice with the tutor, your attendance grade will be adjusted.

Other Assignments:
You will develop a term paper on a topic of interest to you within the major theme of Exploring the Human-Animal Bond. I will approve all topics, so you need to let me know what topic you would like to write on by the 8th class. This is not an opinion paper. Tell me what you have learned about this topic and cite evidence from your readings, the films, and other sources. This should be a 5-7 page paper and is due the last class. There is plenty of time to see the writing tutor and/or me and to rework drafts.

We will take a large part of the semester to walk through the steps in writing a term paper. We will discuss the paper several times in class, and you will have an opportunity to present your topic and outline to a group of your classmates for feedback. I strongly urge you to make an appointment with the writing tutor and/or me to review your outline and/or draft. I will grade this paper on content (that is, the development of your ideas, your ability to draw the material together, your ability to cite evidence from your reading) and on structure (grammatically correct language, use of a thesis statement, your conclusion, the format of the paper and the citations, etc.). You will use the APA style for this paper. See pages 365 - 385 in Hacker for information on the APA style and the following website (, which is the website for the American Psychological Association's up-to-date information on how to cite electronic references in your paper. Your paper should conform to this style.

In addition to turning in the paper at the last class, you will also give a short (no more than 10 minutes) presentation about your work, citing the topic and what drew you to this topic, the questions you looked at, the literature you found, and your major findings.

Weekly Syllabus

Week One - January 15

Introduction to the Course

  1. Introduction of instructor, writing tutor, and students
  2. Description of the course
  3. Bookstore visit to get textbooks
  4. Review of the syllabus
  5. Group Exercise: The Adult Learner: Going Back to School

Reading: Course syllabus write down any questions you have and we will discuss these next week
Get your student id card (go to room 125 to get your card).
Go to the library and have the card activated
Get your parking pass (if necessary)
Bring A Writer's Reference to class next week
Bring your syllabus to class - every class

Week 2 - January 22

Introduction to Human-Animal Issues, Paragraph Writing

  1. Review syllabus and answer any questions
  2. Discussion on homework reading and writing assignments
  3. Movie: "Wisdom of the Wild" and discussion
  4. Introduction to A Writer's Reference, by Diana Hacker
  5. Introduction to Writing Paragraphs

Reading: This looks like a lot of reading, but the handouts are all short pieces.

  • Hacker pages 24-37 (Read these pages as a follow-up to the discussion in class, and before completing the writing assignment. Use the exercises on the CD, if necessary, to help reinforce the pages you read.)
  • "First People", by Linda Hogan (From Intimate nature: The bond between women and animals, L. Hogan, D. Metzger, B. Peterson, Eds. New York: Fawcett Books, 1998, pp 6-19.)
  • "Native Lore: How Coyote Stole Fire"
  • "Native Lore: How Rabbit Brought Fire to the People"
  • "Native Lore: The Origins of the Buffalo Dance"
  • "Native Lore: Bear Legend"
  • Handout on Relationships Between Humans & Animals (quotations from Lopez, Barry Holstun, Of wolves and men, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978)

Your room looks like a pigsty! Elephants never forget! I'm happy as a lark! He works like a dog! These are some expressions we encounter in day-to-day conversation. Have you ever thought about how these expressions began, or how they influence our perception of the animal involved? Or whether they are true/false, positive/negative? In the next class, we will talk about some of society's preconceptions of animals. To help the discussion along, take 3 note cards and on each one, list one expression similar to the ones listed above, concerning animals. Then, write a short paragraph (limited to the note card) about each expression. How might the expression have started? What characteristics of the animal does the expression bring to mind? Is the expression describing a positive or a negative aspect of the animal? Do you know if the expression is even true about this animal?

You might respond to these questions, although you don't have to. For each expression you list (3 in all), write a coherent paragraph, with a thesis statement. Bring these cards and be prepared to share them with the class.

Week 3 - Januar 29

Animals in Native American Culture

  1. Discussion: How do we view animals?
  2. Animals in Native American Culture: Guest speaker Sue Corrigan will discuss some general issues related to animals in Native American culture, especially the use of animal totems.


  • Handout on "How to Read a Difficult Book"
  • Handout on "How to Read Essays You Must Analyze"
  • Pp. 139 - 143 in The Animal Attraction (Section titled: "Does My Cat Love Me?")
  • Introduction and foreword to The smile of a dolphin: Remarkable accounts of animal emotions, Bekoff, Marc, New York: Discovery Books, 2000 (handout). Read these two pieces carefully. You will have to read these more than once in order to get an understanding of them.

For this writing assignment you are going to read and analyze both the introduction by zoologist Mark Bekoff and the foreword by Harvard paleobiologist Stephen Jay Gould (from The Smile of a Dolphin). You will use the handout on "How to read essays you must analyze" as a guide, so follow the directions under each step (but skip step 10). After you have read each essay, answer the questions on the "Reading and Understanding Essays Worksheet." Answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper for each of the two essays (the Introduction and the Foreword). This is due next week.

Week 4 - February 5

Do Animals Have Feelings?
Introduction to WebCT

  1. Discussion of homework assignment on The Smile of a Dolphin.
  2. Do Animals Have Feelings? -- Discussion
  3. Introduction to WebCT - viewing the materials and assignments for this class on WebCT (we will go to the computer lab)


Go to the following web site that has a good tutorial and a practice WebCT course. This is the site we used during the class session so you will be familiar with some of the material. Follow the links on the site to learn more about WebCT - Spend some time following the practice course - take the short assessment to see if you might be comfortable taking online courses. (Follow the links for "Content" - "Welcome to SPC's eCampus" - "Is eCampus the Place for You?") Bring in your results next week so we can discuss them.

Email the instructor ( a short message on how the course is going for you so far. You might comment on the content, the readings for homework, whether the course is going too fast or too slow for you, whether you are able to keep up, etc.

Complete the WebCT assignment and send it to the instructor via WebCT email.

Week 5 - February 12

An introduction to the library
Introduction to the term paper assignment

We will meet in the library classroom

  1. Introduction to the Library
  2. Introduction to the term paper assignment. What constitutes a good topic? Where can you locate ideas for topics? Class and group discussion
  3. Follow up on WebCT



  • hapter 4 (pages 94 - 122) in The Animal Attraction
  • Pryor, Karen, "Non-acoustic Communication in Small Cetaceans: Glance, Touch, Position, Gesture, and Bubbles", in Karen Pryor on Behavior: Essays and Research, 1995, North Bend, Washington: Sunshine Books, pp. 293 - 301 (electronic reserve)
  • Go to this website ( and take the tutorials on Module 1: "Beginning Your Research", Module 4: "Finding Websites" and Module 7: "Evaluation of Sources"


  • # Generate a list of preliminary topics that you might be interested in for your term paper and write a short paragraph describing what you are interested in within each topic. Try to narrow the topics a bit (the topic Elephants is TOO broad - but "Maternal Behavior in Elephants" is easier to fit into 5-7 pages). You will turn in this list to me next week. This is a Preliminary list - you may find other topics later in which you are interested, and you are not bound by this first list. This is to give me an idea of what topics class members are thinking about.
  • # Go to the following site ( Put in today's date as the start date and April 29 as the end date. (You can leave the topic blank.) The assignment calculator will give you a list of deadline dates and activities. Use this list of activities throughout the development of your paper and follow the links as you work along on your paper. For this assignment, follow the "Refine your topic." (The link for "How to begin" is no longer active.)

Week 6 - February 19

Animal intelligence & communication
Evaluating web sites

  1. Are animals intelligent? - Discussion
  2. Evaluating web sites for use in academic research


* Begin to read on your term paper topic. Come to the next class with some of the items you have found and let me know if you are having problems locating materials. We will spend part of the next class refining the topics and key words you are using to find material for your paper.

* Find 3 web sites on a dog-related topic and list the addresses. (Do not use the sites I have given you.) Describe and evaluate the sites according to EACH of the 7 points in the handout you got from the library. Would you consider using any of these sites for a scholarly paper? Why or why not? Write up an evaluative essay for each of the sites. This assignment should be written in the form of complete sentences and paragraphs and should follow appropriate grammar and sentence structure.

Week 7 - February 26

Outlining a paper
Locating Material for Term Paper

  1. Finding material for your term paper (we will go to the computer lab for this)
  2. Strategies for creating an outline for your term paper



Come to the next class with your final term paper topic and draft thesis statement.

Week 8 - March 4

Writing Term Papers

  1. Writing Term Papers
  2. Taking notes on your reading
  3. Taking notes, using correct styles, citing sources, issues related to plagiarism
  4. Meet in small groups to discuss topics, questions and strategies for research papers


Reading (these websites will also be posted on the class WebCT site.)
Read ahead - begin the assignment pp1-94 in The Animal Attraction.
Work on your literature search for your term paper.

Spring Break: March 8-14

Week 9 - March 18

Introduction to Research
How to read a research report
writing topic sentences

  1. Introduction to research and how to read a social science research report.
  2. Writing Topic: topic sentences and controlling ideas



  • Web - look at the following sites and follow the links to read more about Hippotherapy - (Strides Therapeutic Riding Center) and (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association). The Strides site has a number of short articles about therapeutic riding - read these and follow some of the links on this site.
  • Read the following article and evaluate it according to the handout on reading a social science research report - "Blind People and Their Dogs: An Empirical Study on Changes in Everyday Life, in Self-Experience, and in Communication", by Melanie C. Steffens and Reinhold Bergler, in Wilson, C. & Turner, D. (Eds.). (1998). Companion animals in human health. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


  • Write a critique of the research article by Steffens and Bergler, following the outline in the handout. Did the author(s) follow the accepted outline for research reports? Did the author(s) develop the rationale for the research by citing previous research? Did the author(s) justify their results and relate their findings to the literature on this topic?
  • Write down on a note card some ideas that you found interesting from your reading about hippotherapy. Bring the note card with you to the stable and see if you observe any of these ideas in action.

  • Be prepared to ask questions of the people we meet at the riding center. Come prepared to the April 1 class to "debrief" after the visit.

Week 10 - March 25

Site Visit to Therapeutic Riding Center

Site visit to a therapeutic riding center in Rehoboth, MA. I will distribute the directions in class and we will discuss car pooling. Wear comfortable, warm clothes, as we will be in an indoor dirt arena or in an outdoor dirt ring.

  1. Discussion on reading and evaluating a research report
  2. Observation as a tool for learning
  3. Therapeutic Riding Observation



  • Dawkins, Marian Stamp, Through our eyes only?: The search for animal consciousness, Oxford: W.H. Freeman, 1993, pp 1-16, and pp 167-181 (electronic reserve)
  • "Coming Home", by Deena Metzger, (From Intimate nature: The bond between women and animals, L. Hogan, D. Metzger, B. Peterson, Eds., Fawcett Books, 1998, pp 361-374.) (electronic reserve)


  • Write a 500 word (2 page) summary of what you learned on the site visit. Compare and contrast what you observed to the reading you have done. What did you learn through reading, through observation, through discussion/questioning with those participating in the program at all levels? Did you learn different things through the readings than you did through observation at the riding center? Did you find the method of direct observation to be a useful learning tool? Why or why not? This paper is to be emailed to the instructor before Wednesday morning, March 31. The grade for any paper not sent by that time will be lowered.
  • Develop a preliminary outline of your term appear. We will discuss these in small groups next week. Provide as much detail in your outline as you can. It should contain more than a couple of major points - fill in some detail.

Week 11 - April 1

Animal Consciousness
Review of Term Paper Outlines

  1. Discussion of visit to therapeutic riding center
  2. Animal Consciousness - Discussion
  3. Peer reviews of term paper outlines.



  • The Animal Attraction, pp 1-94 (This is a long assignment, but an important one. Spend time outlining the chapters, noting the major ideas and the differences/similarities between the major scenarios.) You will turn in your outline next week.
  • Visit this web site and read all the material under the link "Evolution and Diversity"
  • Visit this web site and read the Program Transcript under the link "Resources." How does this material relate to that in The Animal Attraction?
  • Bring a bibliography list for your term paper to class next week. This should contain the materials you have read or think you will read. (Remember, not everything you read will end up being included in your paper.) The entries in your bibliography should be in APA style.


  • Write a peer review of the paper you have been assigned and email it to the instructor before Wednesday morning, April 7. Remember, the original assignment was for everyone to write a "compare and contrast" paper. Your peer review should take this into account. The grade for any paper not sent by Wednesday morning will be lowered.
  • Outline -- Bring the outline you created while doing the reading assignment for this class.

Week 12 - April 8

Progress reports on term paper
The domestication of the dog

  1. Discussion of readings - is their one theory that explains the domestication of dogs?
  2. Peer review of Therapeutic Riding Center papers
  3. Progress Reports on term paper: update on your term paper topics and literature search.


Reading: (for April 22 class)

  • Beck, A & Katcher, A. Between pets and people: The importance of animal companionship, West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press, 1996, pp 125-159. (electronic reserve)
  • Go to this address on the web: Explore the material about service dogs including the following sections:
    • "Basic information about service dogs"
    • Follow the links under "Resources"
    • Go to this link: and read the article (it has several parts) "The Healthy Pleasure of Their Company: Companion Animals and Human Health" by Karen Allen, Ph.D


Develop an in-depth outline for your research paper. This outline should include the preliminary thesis statement, the major points/questions you will investigate, and a list of some of the sources you will use for your final paper. You must hand in this outline before your conference with the instructor. If you are ready to develop a first draft of your paper, you may submit that to the instructor before your conference. Contact the writing tutor or instructor for help.


Generate some questions as a result of your reading about therapy/assistance dogs. Bring these questions to class on April 22 for our visiting speakers.

Week 13 - April 15

No Class - Individual Conferences with Instructor (to be scheduled between April 12 and April 16 - but don't wait until the very end of the week to see the instructor!)

This conference will give you and me a chance to review your paper draft/outline, go over any other issues related to the class, and plan for the upcoming spring semester. Email your outline or first draft of your paper to me at least a day ahead of time so I will be able to read it before the conference.

Assignments (due April 22)

Reading: Chapter 6-9 in The Animal Attraction, pp 160-263

Writing: Write a 500-word essay on the academic journey you have undertaken since the beginning of the semester. Are there themes emerging yet for you? Have you been pleasantly surprised about your abilities? What areas are you still concerned about? This paper is due April 22.

Week 14 - April 22

The semester's academic journey
Therapy and assistance dogs

  1. Discussion of the semester's academic journey: expectations vs. reality
  2. Therapy Dogs: Guest: Kathy Bishop, Delta Society Pet Partners Animal Evaluator, Pet Therapy
  3. Assistance Dogs: Guest: Christina Johnson, Paws for Independence


Finish your term paper and prepare your notes from which you will give a short presentation of your findings. Meet with the instructor and/or the writing tutor to review your paper and presentation.

Week 15 - April 29

Presentations of term papers

  1. Student Presentations of Term Papers
  2. Any unfinished topics
  3. Celebration

Writing Consultant

We are very lucky to have a writing consultant join us for this course.

Role of the Writing Consultant

The consultant's primary role is to give you guidance and feedback on your writing - throughout the writing process --from start to finish. Writing is a process and feedback from a knowledgeable person is very important to any writer as she moves through this process from initial idea to polished product. The consultant will not write your paper, but her guidance and feedback will help you understand when and how to work more carefully and successfully on your writing assignments.

You will be asked to write continually throughout your academic career. If you have been away from school for a while, your writing skills are undoubtedly a little rusty. This course is designed to help you review and/or acquire solid writing skills so you will be a successful writer in future semesters. I urge you to take advantage of the tutor's skills and make appointments to have her review your papers. I guarantee that if you apply yourself to your writing and get feedback from the tutor, the Writing Center, and/or me, that your writing will improve.

List of Attachments for BGS 100

  1. How to read a difficult book (web handout from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Cook Counseling Center)
  2. How to read essays you must analyze (web handout from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Cook Counseling Center)
  3. Reading and Understand Essays Worksheet
  4. Developing an outline (web handout from Purdue University, Online Writing Lab - OWL)
  5. Guidelines for Peer Review of Papers
  6. Template for Peer Review
  7. How to find periodical articles (web handout from URI library)
  8. Tips for identifying scholarly/professional journal articles (web handout from URI library)
  9. Criteria for Evaluating Research Articles
  10. Paraphrase: Write it in your own words (web handout from Purdue University, Online Writing Lab - OWL)
  11. Outlining Your Paper
  12. Writing your paper
  13. Writing research papers: A step-by-step procedure (web handout from Purdue University, Online Writing Lab - OWL)
  14. Example of early draft of paper outline and thesis statement
  15. APA style for references
  16. In-class writing on domestication of dogs



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

2015 Notice and Criteria



University Libraries LibGuides