Exams & grades

Professor: M. Riviere
Email: rivi0001@umn.edu // mriviere@emetreceproductions.com

Assignments and grading:
Attendance 10%
Weekly reaction papers (2 pages) 10%
Praxis/Theory essay paper (5 pages) 15%
Essay #1: Biography (5-6 pages) 15%
Essay #2: Rap and the Law 2 (5-6 pages) 15%
Global hip-hop group presentation 10%
Final paper (8-10 pages) 25%

Weekly reaction papers:
Every class session you have the option to submit a weekly reaction paper for the previous week. These should consist of two page reactions to the readings, discussions, films and speakers. Out of 15 possible weeks to submit reaction papers, 5 are required for full credit (each one is worth 2% of your grade).

Praxis/Theory essay:
Many times the theoretical education of hip-hop theory is not alternated with practice. I want you to not only learn about hip-hop from readings, lectures, discussion and films but also facilitate your ability to execute one of the primary elements of hip-hop. You may attend as many of the five workshops as you like, however you are required to attend at least one to pass the course. You are required to write a 5-page reaction paper about your experience as it relates to class readings and discussion with regard to the divide between the praxis versus the theoretical scholarship of hip-hop. These reaction papers are due one week after the scheduled workshop.

Essay #1: Biography
Biography of a hip-hop pioneer
(5-6 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins, citations/references)

Essay #2: Rap and the Law
Analysis of ‘gangsta’ rap and the law
(5-6 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins, citations/references)

Global hip-hop group presentation:
Working in small groups (3 – 4 students per group), you are to select one nation outside of the United States in which hip-hop has prevailed. Overlaps should be avoided between groups and nations. Explain why you selected this nation, what elements of hip-hop prevail, and take an in depth look at one aspect of hip-hop for inquiry from the respective country. You will be expected to designate roles for research and presenting. You are NOT expected to write a paper – however you are expected to conduct a formal in-class 20 min presentation about your findings and submit an outline of your talk. I am well aware that with group work, some students take on more than others, I will look for your presentations to demonstrate (1) qualitative in-depth research into the national hip-hop, and (2) that your workload was evenly dispersed amongst group members.

Final Exam:
You have one essay question for the final exam, but various methods of approaching it. Please use course material for your responses. You may include works from the supplemental reading list in the syllabus but refrain from using internet sources, interviews or other types of references not included in the course content. This leaves you ample material from films, musical compositions, your own two essays, your reaction papers, workshops, course readings and lectures.

Having completing this course you are now more equipped to engage with hip-hop, through both theory and practice. With this in mind the most common issue you will confront will be the discourse you choose to use for explaining and engaging with hip-hop.


Papers should be 8-10 double-spaced pages, standard one-inch margins with full references/citations. You may use either APA or MLA citation styles (either footnotes, endnotes or within text citations) as long as you are consistent in your writing style).

DUE Week #15
Final exam is worth 25% of your total class grade. Late papers will NOT be accepted*.

*Assignment dates are non-negotiable with the exception of extraordinary circumstances such as a personal or family medical emergency (in which case official documentation to the effect must be provided). Plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated. Plagiarism entails use of previously published or unpublished works not of our own authorship utilized without citation or reference to original work.

University-wide grading standards, which will be adhered to, are as follows:
A – achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements
B – achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements
C – achievement that meets the course requirements in every respect
D – achievement that is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements
(Note: The A through D grading scale will be adjusted by a ‘+’ or ‘–’ notation, as appropriate)
S – achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better
F (or N) – Represents failure (or no credit) and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an I
I – (Incomplete) Assigned at my discretion when, due to extraordinary circumstances, a student is prevented from completing the work of the course on time. Requires a written agreement between instructor and student
No curve will be applied.

Plagiarism, in any form, will not be tolerated. Plagiarism entails use of previously published or unpublished works not of your own authorship utilized without citation or reference to original work. Students found engaging in plagiarism will receive a grade of “F” in the course and will be reported to the University. If you are unclear about the university’s definition of and policy on plagiarism, please discuss this with me.


One response to “Exams & grades

  1. gloriaisabelrivera

    Yo siempre he querido ser tu alumna, aunque sea a distancia, un abrazo gigante desde México
    Gloria Isabel / Visionary Mind

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