Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.

HUMAN 1QU3 Ins & Inq: Quest to Chng Worl

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Amy Beth Warriner


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 604

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: To be determined by section instructor

Course Objectives:

As a result of taking this course…

  1. You will be able to define Humanities and articulate how different Humanities disciplines can speak to real world issues. You will appreciate how the study of Humanities provides a solid foundation for the development of leadership skills.
  2. You will recognize the importance and value of asking questions in all aspects of life, school, and work. You will be able to assess the quality of questions and identify how framing questions in different ways leads to different types of answers.
  3. You will have a broad understanding of the research cycle and will be able to identify a topic, define a question, and articulate a problem for any given research project.
  4. You will become familiar with a variety of information sources and be able to both find them and evaluate their quality and utility. You will have been exposed to techniques for organizing and keeping track of your sources. You will begin exploring the process of analyzing sources and formulating an argument.
  5. You will be provided with a variety of tips and strategies for succeeding in University and have a chance to ask yourself questions that will prepare you for the next four years of your life.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  1. Booth, Colomb, Williams, Bizup, & Fitzgerald (2016). The Craft of Research – 4th Ed. University of Chicago Press.
  2. Marquardt, M.J. (2014). Leading with Questions. Jossey-Bass.
  3. An HDMI connection or adaptor for your laptop (there must be at least one person per group present in each class with a working connection/adaptor).

Method of Assessment:


There are 5 ways in which you will be assessed in this course. Details are in the next section.

  1. Activity Points (25%)
  2. Group Project (25% group grade; 10% individual grade; 5% participation grade)
  3. Individual Research Proposal (10%)
  4. Participation Checks (10% )
  5. Final Exam (15%)



Activity Points (25%; Could earn up to 30 points meaning 5 bonus points are available) 

You choose which of the following you want to complete. Each activity has a certain number of points assigned. Some require you to have completed one of the other activities first. Instructions and accompanying materials for each can be found on Avenue. All are graded as simply satisfactory or not. You can earn extra points on the reflections by doing an exceptional job. Instructions for these activities are located on Avenue – you will be completing these activities in your Pebble workbook.

Student Support

Complete the student resources questionnaire.


Before fall break

Value: 1 point

Complete the library scavenger hunt.


Before fall break

Value: 1 point

Visit your academic advisor.


Before last class

Value: 2 points

Meet with a librarian OR interview a professor.


Before last class

Value: 3 points

Time Management

Plot THIS course and its assignments on a calendar.



Before fall break

Value: 1 point

Plot the rest of your classes and tutorials on a calendar along with all their test and assignment due dates.


Before fall break

Value: 2 points

Perform a time audit for one week. Form available on Pebble.



Before last class

Value: 2 points

Set a goal based on your time audit and then evaluate yourself.



Before last class

Value: 3 points

Note Taking

Read/watch module on how to take notes in University. Answer questions.


Before fall break

Value: 1 point

Try some of the notetaking tips and reflect on whether they make a difference.


Before last class

Value: 2 points






Attend at least 70% of classes on time


Value: 1 point

Attend at least 80% of classes on time


Value: +1 (2 points)

Attend at least 90% of classes on time


Value: +1 (3 points)

Attend 100% of classes on time


Value: +1.5 (4.5 points)


Each reflection you complete on time (due date in schedule) and with sufficient depth


Value: 1 point

(total possible = 5)

Each reflection you complete that wows us with how seriously you took it


Value = +0.5 points

(total possible = 2.5)

Note: Reflections are documents with a few questions for you to answer about material presented in class. They require a certain depth of self-examination. Early in the course you will learn what makes for a quality reflection. There will be 5 of these over the course of the semester.


Group Project

You will each be placed into a group of 4 or 5 and will complete the following items based on your chosen/assigned social issue. Items 1, 2 and 3 are not graded but must be completed at a satisfactory level or redone.

  1. Team contract – Due on Avenue in class on Sep 19th
    1. As a team, you will follow guidelines given in class to develop a contract outlining how you will work together.
  2. Brainstorming Record  – Due on Avenue on Oct 7th by 12am.
    1. As a team, you will document your initial research, all the questions you brainstormed and accompanying discussion, along with 3 possible research questions.
  3. Final research questions w/research plan – Due on Avenue on Oct 19th by 12am.
    1. After receiving feedback from another group, your team will choose 3 or 4 final questions and outline how you plan to divide and conquer the research.
  4. Annotated bibliography and research log (10% individual grade) – Due on Avenue on Nov 3rd by 12am.
    1. You will identify 6 to 10 sources for your area of contribution to the project. You will describe why you chose each source and your evaluation of its quality. You will also include a log of search terms that you used to find these sources.
  5. Chart of sources with brief analysis (15% team grade) – Due on Avenue on Nov 21st by 12am.
    1. As a team, you will organize the sources everyone found into a chart and include a brief write up of the connections you have found between them.
  6. Presentation/paper (10% team grade) – Due on Avenue on Nov 30th by 12am.
    1. As a team, you will present your social issue, why you chose your research question, and what you found. You will be able to do this as a poster, powerpoint, animation or video.
  7. Participation feedback from team members (5% individual grade) – Due on Dec 2nd
    1. You will have a chance to rate each member on how much they participated in the group.

Individual Research Proposal (10%) – Due on Avenue on Dec 5th by 12am.

You will identify a topic of interest and develop a research question. You will then provide a brief outline of what kind of sources you would need and how you would go about researching the answer.

Participation Checks (10%) – Will occur throughout the course

Throughout the course, there will be questions presented in class via an online voting system. There will also be videos or brief material presented online which will require you to answer a few comprehension questions. Some of these have been marked in the schedule below as HMK (homework). We reserve the right to add to or adjust these items as the semester progresses. The percentage of your participation in these activities (how many you complete) will make up your Participation Check mark.

Final Exam (15%) – To be scheduled by the Registrar’s office

The final exam will consist primarily of multiple choice and short answer question. It will cover material from the entire semester, from assigned readings, and from guest lectures.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Absences

For any absence from class that will last up to 3 days, students must use the MSAF (McMaster Student Absence Form). This is an on-line, self-reporting tool, for which submission of medical or other types of supporting documentation is normally not required. Students may use this tool to submit a maximum of one (1) request per term. Students must also email their professor at the same time as submitting the MSAF to make arrangements for submission of any assignments due while they are away.

Any excused absences or extensions beyond the one allowed per term will be at the discretion of the instructor. It is always best to communicate with your instructor as soon as you realize you will be absent or need more time. Do not wait until afterwards.

For any absence from class that will last more than 3 days or a request for an extension longer than 3 days, students must report to the Academic Advising office with appropriate supporting documentation.



No late work will be accepted for activity points. The Pebble workbook pages will be locked as of the due date which means no more editing or additions can take place.

All other assignments are subject to a 3% per day late penalty up to a maximum of 7 days. After that, a mark of zero will be assigned.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:


SCHEDULE (time due is midnight unless otherwise specified)

*The instructor reserves the right to modify this schedule as necessary.


Tues Sept 5         Introduction to the course, the humanities and university.

                             HMK: Fill out “Introduce Yourself” page on Pebble (before Sept 12)

Thur Sept 7         Why don’t we ask questions as much as when we were kids? How to self-reflect in a meaningful way.

                             HMK: Review “Asking Yourself Questions” PowerPoint and answer questions (before Sept 15)


Tues Sept 12       How do groups function? How can we have a good group experience?

Thur Sept 14       Overview of Hamilton’s top social issues (topics for group projects)

                             READING: Come to class having read Craft – pp.3-26

                             HMK: Fill out form to identify topic preferences and indicate group relating style (before Sept 16 at                                  12am)

                             DUE:  Reflection 1 (READ: Leading – Ch. 2, Ch. 3 before completing reflection)


Tues Sept 19       Groups assigned; Team contract written in class.

Thur Sept 21       Guest Speaker 1

                             Moving from topics to questions

                             READING: Come to class having read Craft – pp.29-48


Tues Sept 25       Moving from topics to questions (cont’d).

                             READING: Come to class having read Craft – pp.49-64

Thur Sept 28       Moving from questions to problems.


Tues Oct 3           Catchup; Group brainstorming session.

Thur Oct 5           Guest Speaker 2

                              Group Brainstorming session.

                              HMK: Review material on how to give good feedback and answer questions (before Oct 9)

                              DUE (Saturday Oct 7th at midnight): Brainstorming record

                              DUE (Saturday at midnight): Any activity points items that were marked as due before fall break.


Oct 9 – 13            FALL BREAK


Tues Oct 17         Share questions with another group and get feedback;

Thur Oct 19         Different types of sources and how to find them. Learn about how to frame questions.

                              READING: Come to class having read Craft – pp.65-84

                              DUE (Friday at 12am): Final research question with research plan


Tues Oct 24         Evaluating sources

                              READING: Come to class having read Craft – pp.85-104                            

Thur Oct 26         Organizing and Engaging sources

                              DUE: Reflection 2 (READ: Leading – Ch. 4 before completing reflection)


Tues Oct 31         Guest Speaker 3

Thur Nov 2          How to succeed in University; Time for group work

                              HMK: Watch video on “How to succeed in University” and answer questions (before Nov 7)

                              DUE (Fri Nov 3 at 12am): Annotated bibliography and research log


Tue Nov 7            Guest Speaker 4

Thur Nov 9          Metacognitive thinking and mindsets

                             DUE Reflection 3


Tues Nov 14       Group Work

Thur Nov 16        Sensemaking in the Humanities; Setting up an argument

                                READING: Come to class having read Sensemaking – Ch.1 (provided on Avenue)

                                DUE Reflection 4 (READ: Leading – Ch. 5 before completing reflection) 


Tues Nov 21       What evidence is needed?

                                READING: Come to class having read Craft – pp.107-121

                                DUE: Chart of sources with brief analysis

Thur Nov 23        Critical thinking and fake news; Time for group work


Tues Nov 28       Leadership and Humanities                              

Thur Nov 30       Presentations in class

                           DUE: Presentation


Tues Dec 5          Questions for the future

                             DUE: Research proposal


Mon Dec 11        DUE: Reflection 5 (READ ONE OF THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS: Leading – Ch. 7, 8, 9 or 10 before                                    completing reflection)

Other Course Information:

Instructor for C01:  Antonio Dos Santos (

Instructor for C02: Scott Johnston (

Instructor for C03: Michael Clemens (

Instructor for C04: Amy Warriner (

Instructor for C05: Sean Kinnear (