HIS 102 and 112
Genocide Group Project


Baptism of Prince Vladimir (1890) by Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926).  Sketch for a fresco that is in the Cathedral of St. Vladimir in Kiev.
(Vasnetsov did most of the interior painting/frescoes in this late nineteenth-century cathedral.)

Source: http://www.unn.runnet.ru/pic/museum/kresch.jpg
Red Separator Bar
Read the material about the Rape of Nanking (Nanjing) and answer the following question:

Citing specific evidence from the material about the Rape of Nanking (Nanjing), why did this genocide occur? 

The use of the term "genocide" is usually credited to a Polish-Jewish legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) when he used the term in his book, Axis Rule in Europe (1944). Thus, from the start, "genocide" was most closely applied in reference to the Jewish Holocaust carried out by the Nazis. In 1948 the United Nations adopted a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which entered into effect in 1951, with a specific definition of genocide. Despite that convention, and the agreement of the signers to abolish genocide, it has continued to take place over the last fifty years in a variety of locales across the world.

Here are some of the questions that you should consider as part of your assignment, but it is not required that you specifically answer each of these questions. It is most important that you really focus on the above assignment question (Why did this genocide occur?). Here are other points that you might think about:

  • How long had Japan and China been at war before the capture of Nanking?
  • Was there a Chinese resistance movement in the city during the Japanese occupation?
  • Were the Japanese ever held accountable for their actions in Nanking?
  • Was there a long history of less-than-good relations between China and Japan?
  • What role (if any) did Japanese culture play in provoking the genocide?
  • What role did foreigners play in Nanking during Japanese control of the city?

For this assignment, you will work as a group of 3, 4 or 5 students. You will use a group discussion to get started, and once started, you will use any other communication tools that you find useful to complete your assignment. You do not have much time; so get started asap so that you can meet all of the specific deadlines described below. First, take a few minutes and watch the short video on this assignment.

You have three options for completing this assignment:

  • a three-page paper (no longer than that), complete with footnotes (100 points). You will not need images, but you will need citations of quoted evidence. You do not need a works cited page. You should use as many sources as you can in the paper, which should:
    • be double-spaced with one-inch margins, font size 10 or 12
    • contain an introduction paragraph that directly responds to the assigned question and that indicates the specific points to follow in the group's paper
    • use direct, quoted material to support your points (footnote the sources)
    • contain a last, conclusion paragraph
    • consider sending a draft of your assignment to your instructor for feedback before submitting the final assignment
    • Remember, you are writing this paper as if you were going to publish it online or in a journal, so you will want to do the best possible work here.
    • It is usually pretty easy to collaborate on the paper using Google Drive!
  • a narrated, online presentation (100 points) that
    • is ten to eleven minutes in length
    • includes at least 10 steps/slides/screens
    • has an introduction, conclusion and a works cited page
    • A narrated, online presentation must appear on the web. Usually this means that If you choose to work with Powerpoint or Slides, then you must make a movie of your presentation and upload it to YouTube so that it can be viewed. That is not difficult.
  • a narrated presentation (100 points) that you will present in a zoom meeting with your instructor and that
    • is ten to eleven minutes in length
    • includes at least 10 steps/slides/screens
    • has an introduction, conclusion and a works cited page
    • If you wish to present via zoom, please check with your instructor for day/time at least 48 hours in advance because you still have to present by the midnight Sunday deadline.

I have tried to keep these instructions short and clear but also giving you some flexibility.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Let's Get Started!

You have one week to finish; so you need to get organized and work fast to complete this project on time. It is up to you to determine how you will communicate, here are just some ideas that I have:

  • Canvas group discussion (You should post required assignment materials here, and you should post your initial exchanges on your group discussion board. It is OK with me if you choose not to rely on this for all of your communication since it is pretty cumbersome.) You are able to create additional "discussions" in your Canvas group homepage.
  • Student email (solid choice)
  • Google drive through student email (This is a good way to collaborate on a document.)
  • Google Groups or Hangouts (also through student email)--students have had success using Hangout in connection with Google Drive
  • Any other kind of messenger or social media or Skype (You are all much better at knowing what sort of messaging apps are available for this.)
  • You can also use your student gmail to set up a virtual zoom-type meeting for your group to collaborate.
  • You can use zoom through the college to collaborate. Here is the link to instructions.

Click on the People link in the course menu in Canvas, and then click on the groups tab. Here you will have access to your group's message board. If you don't see that you have access to any group, please contact your instructor immediately. It is important you do use your group discussion to establish initial contact and to post the contract and progress report so that I can offer feedback to your work.

Note: I do encourage students to try out Google Drive, which is accessible through your student email, and which you can use as a group to all work on a document at the same time. See the NVCC page on Google Apps. You can also check out this video, Creating Documents in Google Drive Tutorial 2014.

There are several steps that are part of this assignment:

  • Your check-in to the group
  • Group contract
  • Group progress report
  • Group assignment
  • Your peer evaluation of the group

Your group check-in

Every group member is required to check in to the group and confirm to your instructor that you are in contact with your group. Failure to do check-in by the assigned date will result in a grade penalty.

The group contract (posted by a group member to your group discussion by midnight Wednesday)

One of the group members should post a group contract on the group discussion. The contract should include the following information:

  1. The contract is not graded but is required. No contract = no group project grade.
  2. Decide how you will communicate.  Will it be solely by group discussion, by email, phone, messenger, social media, etc? You can use a variety of these, and you can change this later if necessary.
  3. Decide how and when you will all be able to communicate with each other.
  4. List the project version that you will be doing and assign a role to each group member. Who will email the instructor for help if needed? Who will post items to the group discussion boards?  Who will edit materials? Who will find the multimedia to include? You can make changes later if needed.
  5. It is important that by this point in time that I see that everyone has checked in on your group message board. You may end up using different forms of communication, but I need to see that initial contact has taken place.

The progress report (posted by a group member to your group discussion by midnight Friday)

One of the group members should post a progress report on the group discussion. The report should include the following information:

  • Again, note the group project type and topic that you are doing.
  • A list of group members and the task/job for each
  • What has been completed and what remains to be done
  • A rough outline of the project (great time so have a draft for feedback)
  • Any problems that you are having

I am available to offer feedback on your group work before you submit. Please make sure to email me a draft of your project.

Group project assignment (posted by the group leader in the discussion by midnight Sunday)

The group leader should submit the project (paper or presentation URL), using the reply to discussion prompt in Canvas. There is a specific deadline for this assignment and that deadline will be enforced.

Your peer evaluation assignment (submitted by each group member in Canvas by midnight Sunday)

Every group member is required to evaluate the work of their colleagues in the group at the end of the project. Grade each group member on a scale of 0 (no work done) to 10 (fully participated in the group project). Be fair and accurate in your assessment of your collaborators, and try to be specific about what exactly each group member did. If your group project earns 100 points and your group mates have each given you an evaluation of "10," then you will receive the full 100 points. However if your group mates gave you an evaluation of "8," then your individual grade will be 80% of 100 = 80. Submit your peer evaluations on Canvas. Failure to do this by the assigned date will result in a grade penalty.

Again, let me repeat.  Here are some ways to communicate as a group:

  • Canvas group discussion
  • Student email
  • Google drive (through student email)
  • Google Groups of Hangouts (through student email)--students have had success using Hangout in connection with Google Drive
  • Any other kind of messenger or social media or Skype

Please take a moment to review Charlie's History Writing Center for specific information on the writing requirements for the assignments in the course. Please check this short explanation of what it means to cite historical evidence.

Important, Questions, Confusion

If you have questions or are confused at any time, please contact your instructor.

Group Assignment Warning

  • This assignment must be completed to pass the course. (You have to complete all required assignments to pass the course.)
  • This assignment must be submitted as a group assignment. (Individual submissions are not accepted.)
  • This assignment cannot be submitted late.
  • No excuses accepted that you could not communicate with your group. If some problems do arise, please contact your instructor BEFORE the progress report is due.

Famous quote, from an anonymous professor, that you should remember: There is no such thing as a bad group.

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For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu