Guide to MUHL TA Duties

Graduate assistants in the TTU Musicology Department take on a range of duties and responsibilities. You will each be working closely with specific faculty members and we count on your valuable assistance.

Assignments and duties

Each TA is assigned to a specific faculty member (or, in some cases, to two faculty members) with a specific number of weekly duty-hours required. As an assistant, you are asked to be flexible about and to prioritize TA duties insofar as is possible, including certain "crunch times", but as a busy graduate student, you are entitled to limit weekly duty-hours to those assigned.


Each individual graduate assistant assigned to MUHL23001-02-3, in addition to assisting with grading of exams, quizzes, and papers (both on paper and using the online testing/grading system WebCT), will also have charge of an individual Friday "discussion section", meeting at the same time and location as the Monday-Wednesday lecture sessions.

TA’s are requested to plan regular attendance at the Monday/Wednesday lecture sessions (ideally, the MW section attended would be the same section as that assigned for Friday discussion, but scheduling modifications are inevitable and acceptable). This permits TA’s to stay current with the range, depth, and problems in lecture material covered, and (crucially) to develop a sense of the particular "character" of a particular section. Also, TA’s will be invited to serve as guest-lecturers on certain topics of individual interest.
In the Friday discussion groups (of between 25-45 students each), as directed by the Professor of record, TA’s will both review material covered in lectures and also work with students on a number of tasks and activities. These may include:

  • Critical listening using the Bond anthology CDs and LaRue SHMRG style parameters (weekly)
  • Regular listening quizzes (probably bi-monthly)
  • Research tasks assigned to student teams (occasional)
  • Scan-tron examinations (usually 3/semester)
  • Explanation, discussion, and assessment of Research Project components
  • Issues of academic ethics: plagiarism is a constant concern

Dr Smith, the designer of the MUHL undergraduate curriculum, will visit Friday discussion sections on a rotating basis to observe, answer questions, and offer pedagogical feedback, and faculty members will chair a regularly-scheduled TA meeting for their assigned assistants.

TA’s will be assigned access to the course WebCT page for purposes of recording, monitoring, and grading students’ progress.

MUHL2301-02-03 assessment tools

  • WebCT Reading Quizzes (online; 1 or more due in advance of each class session)
  • Scan-tron Listening Quizzes (administered during Friday discussion sections)
  • Scan-tron Exams (administered during Friday discussion sections)
  • Research Project (various)

Summary: the mandatory Research Project, which fulfills the undergraduate Writing Intensive Requirement, is submitted in stages, distributed over the course of the semester (approximately every 2 weeks). Each stage is graded and critiqued (by TA’s) as Pass/Fail. Assignments receiving an F grade must be re-submitted. Components include:

Topic idea

Due approximately week 2
Scope: 1 or 2 sentences. May be premised around a period, genre, composer, geographical location, instrument, ethnicity, nationality, or other theme.

Thesis Statement and 3-Item Annotated Bibliography

Due approximately week 4
Scope: 1 or 2 sentences. TS must use the format of a formal thesis: an expression of interpretation or opinion, supported by specifically-identified types of evidence, and indicating a likely conclusion. Bibliography must include 1 book, 1 article, and 1 dissertation, in correct format; each with a photocopy of the source’s title page; each accompanied by an annotated paragraph which identifies the relevance of the source to the specific thesis being argued.

15-Item un-annotated Bibliography

Due approximately week 6
Scope: as cited. Must include at least 8 books (at least 4 published after 1980), 4 articles, and 3 dissertations. Sources must have clear and demonstrable relation to thesis statement. Each must include either photocopy of source’s title page, or printout of its RILM citation. No annotation required.

3-page Background Paper (no citations or bibliography)

Due approximately week 8
Scope: as cited. "In the style of an encyclopedia article." Provides basic information which a non-specialist reader would require in order to follow the proposed thesis, understand citations of evidence, and reach conclusion. ATAin, included information must have clear and demonstrable relation to thesis.

12-page Final Paper (with citations and bibliography)

Due approximately week 10
Scope: as cited. Previous material (notably Thesis Statement and Background Paper) can be "folded in" to the Final Paper (with suitable adaptation). FP must articulate and flesh out thesis, describe content and relevance of evidence, marshal argument in logical sequence, and present clear, relevant, detailed, and persuasive conclusions. Paper is graded (quantitatively: A-F) and returned. Students may elect to retain grade as assessed, or re-write for re-assessment and (potential) re-grading.