Additional information about each Tobacco and Health: From Cells to Society assignment will be provided during the course.
Penalties for Late Assignments
Ten percent of the total mark will be deducted for each day that an assignment is submitted past the deadline. Students encountering exceptional circumstances that prevent them from submitting their assignment on time should speak to the course instructors prior to the deadline; the course instructors will determine on a case-by-case basis whether the late penalty will be waived.
1. Letter to the Editor
10% – due September 30
Students will choose from a prepared list of tobacco related news articles reflecting current issues in the area of tobacco and health. They will prepare a letter (not exceeding 250 words) to the editor of a national newspaper regarding their article. See tips for writing a letter to the editor.
Evaluation: Since this is required early in the course, students will be assessed on the originality, appropriateness and strength of the argument used in their letter, rather than on extensive knowledge of the topic.
2. Student Policy Debate
25% – October 22 and October 29
Students will prepare a 5 minute PowerPoint presentation arguing for or against an assigned topic to convince and inform the audience on the topic. Following the presentation, there will be time for discussion with class members and instructors. An electronic version of the presentation slides and the full list of references used will be submitted. See tips on persuasive speech.
Evaluation: Class presentations will be assessed on the basis of success in identifying important issues and information on the topic, persuasiveness, timing, and clarity of communication, including organization of material, presentation style, and slides.
25% – due November 5
Students will prepare an abstract in a form suitable for a scientific conference. An electronic version of the abstract/ will be submitted. The topic of the abstract will be a systematic review of a tobacco-related question. The topic and research question must be approved by the instructors in advance.
Evaluation: The abstract will be assessed on the basis of success in identifying and developing an important research question, and consistency with abstract format.
4. Systematic Review Poster
30% – due December 2
Students will prepare a systematic review and present it in a poster based on the abstract submitted in assignment III.
Evaluation: The systematic review will be assessed on the basis of strength of identifying and developing a research question, selection of an appropriate search and synthesis methodology, presentation of results, critical analysis of the literature, as well as clarity and style of the poster.
5. Reading Assignments
5% – ongoing
Students will prepare a written reading assignment during the course. The student will choose a reading related to the topic that builds on the assigned reading. The following should be included in the report: (a) a brief summary of each of the two readings assigned for the lecture of no more than one paragraph; (b) a brief summary of the reading chosen by the student and explanation of why the reading chosen is relevant; and, (c) two key questions you could ask the lecturer in class based on the three readings.
Evaluation: Reading assignments will be assessed on the basis of how well students describe the readings (without repeating a paper’s abstract or summary), the strength of the argument for the student’s choice of a third reading, and questions that demonstrate an understanding of the material and that challenge others to think about the material in new ways. The reading assignment should be submitted to the class listserv by the Monday of the week of the lecture.
6. Class Participation
5% – ongoing
All students are expected to actively participate in class and online discussion. Participation means showing up for each class having completed the assigned readings, asking questions about anything in the readings or discussion that seems unclear or objectionable, offering arguments and responses, and listening to the arguments and responses of others. In the interest of making the class more vibrant and worthwhile for all members of the class, participation in class and online discussion will be graded.
Evaluation: Students will be assessed on their ability to regularly make helpful, relevant contributions to the discussion and offer observations that challenge other participants to think about the material in new ways.