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COURSE SYLLABUS / SUMMER 2013 / First Seven-Week Session

COURSE SYLLABUS / SUMMER 2013 / First Seven-Week Session Instructor Instructor’s office Preferred contact Office

Instructor Instructor’s office Preferred contact Office Hours

HIST 2700

The United States to 1877

Utah State University

Hybrid Course; Tues & Thurs 5:15 - 6:45 pm

Inquire with Prof. Mitton at heath.mitton@usu.edu

Prof. Steven Heath Mitton DE 012 Logan Campus, Library, North Logan Starbucks heath.mitton@usu.edu In Logan (DE 012 and/or Library):

Tuesdays: 6:45-8 pm Thursdays: 6:45-8 pm In Logan (Starbucks) and by phone:

By appointment; email for appt.

Class location

Varies by campus.

Course Objectives / Outcomes

This sophomore-level course surveys the beginnings of the American republic from the first European encroachments in the Americas through the era of Reconstruction. A time of formative influence for American society and immense change for the wider world, the period includes a number of the most significant and interesting topics in America’s past, including: the rise and fall of racial slavery, the Scientific, American, and Industrial Revolutions, the framing of the U.S. Constitution, the emergence of modern society, the opening of the trans-Mississippi West, and of course the American sectional crisis, Civil War, and Reconstruction.

The instructor’s philosophy of teaching plays a central role in this course. My task, I believe, is to teach students how to think, not what to think. In this sense, history becomes far more than a subject of study. Certainly we seek a well-grounded understanding of America’s past. But this course also provides a valuable means of tutelage to develop skills of critical thinking, persuasive argument, and effective communication, especially in the written form.

Provided evidence from America’s past through readings, film study, and other materials (maps, etc), students will analyze complex issues, marshal key facts, and arrive at their own informed conclusions. In turn, students will defend their arguments in writing assignments and online discussions with clear and well-constructed reasoning. This course, in short, is designed to be challenging. Its measure of learning, moreover, is that of liberal arts in the truest sense: practical empowerment and inquisitive attentiveness to human reality attained through individual initiative.

1

A Bit More Clarity: Course Objectives/Outcomes

This course prepares students for success in achieving four valuable objectives/outcomes:

1. Gain a well-grounded understanding of America’s past. Historical understanding implies more than basic knowledge. It means seeing our world, with all its fascinating complexity, as it has existed over time. Such perceptiveness benefits from well-developed abilities of reason. Hence:

2. Develop skills of critical thinking. More precisely: how to think for yourself. Intelligence amounts to the ability to determine and act upon credible data. These days this skill is crucial:

there’s a vast amount of half-baked and even duplicitous information out there, especially concerning America’s past.

3. Develop skills of persuasive argument, or the ability to demonstrate your reasoning to others. Persuasiveness amounts to intelligence proved by doing or showing.

4. Develop skills of effective communication, especially in the written form. Demonstrating persuasiveness requires relating your arguments to others by use of shared language and forms. Effective communication is not difficult: it’s simply a matter of relating your thinking with emphasis on clarity. It’s the thinking that’s difficult.

Worth considering: whatever your career and life pursuits (engineering, medicine, law, parenting, etc.), how much better are your chances of success if you understand the world’s complexity, think critically, and argue persuasively and communicate effectively?

In short, liberal arts especially history is essential stuff. Happy studies.

Where to find…

Assigned Book

p.

3

Assigned Films, Additional Materials

p.

16

Course Schedule

begins p. 3

Assignments/Final Course Grade Explained

p.

4-5

Assignment Deadlines/Submission Instructions

p.

7

Incomplete Assignment Policy

p.

5

Late Assignment Policy

p.

8

Film Study, Materials Disclaimer

p.

6

Exam Essay Guidelines

p.

9-15

Notes Guidelines

p.

8

Discussion Guidelines

p.

9

Instructor’s Office Hours, Contact Info

p.

1

Syllabus Appendix (Disabilities Policy, etc.)

p.

17-18

2

HIST 2700

Summer 2013

Course Schedule

The icons

course. See pertinent page folder, then the icon/link, in Canvas.

See pertinent page folder, then the icon/link, in Canvas. denote available streaming sources for films. =

denote available streaming sources for films.

in Canvas. denote available streaming sources for films. = your canvas account for this Example: click

= your canvas account for this

streaming sources for films. = your canvas account for this Example: click the link next to

Example: click the link next to the icon

Full bibliographic information for assigned films is found on page 16. For books, see this page.

on the Wk 1 page to view the film 500 Nations, ep. 5.

 

Read

1

Foner, xvii-44 / Preface, Ch. 1 , xvii-44 / Preface, Ch. 1

 

Wk

 

1A

Watch

2

500 Nations, ep. 5, “ Cauldron of War ” , ep. 5, Cauldron of War

50 min.

1A Watch 2 500 Nations , ep. 5, “ Cauldron of War ” 50 min.
 
 

Write &

Tue

Submit

None. Next assignment due: Notes 1, Wk 2B, Thur. May 16.

May

Topics

Course Introduction What Is History?

 

7

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 2. Introduce yourself in Canvas to your classmates.

The course schedule continues on subsequent pages. It ends on page 14.

Assigned Book

Books / Available at the USU Bookstore, www.bookfinder.com, and elsewhere.

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History, Vol. 1, York: Norton, 2012. ISBN: 9780393911909.

3

Seagull Third Edition

. New

 

Read

3

Foner, 45-87 / Ch. 2 , 45-87 / Ch. 2

 

Wk

 

1B

Watch

4

New York, ep. 2, “ The Country and the City ” , ep. 2, The Country and the City

New York , ep. 2, “ The Country and the City ” 120 min.

120 min.

   
 

Write &

Thur

Submit

None. Next assignment due: Notes 1, Wk 2B, Thur. May 16.

May

Topics

Diverse Beginnings

 

9

Puritans and Separatists

 

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 3.

Wk

Read

5

Wk Read 5 Foner , 88-129 / Ch. 3  

Foner, 88-129 / Ch. 3

 
   

2A

Watch

6

Watch 6 Slavery and the Making of America , ep. 1,

Slavery and the Making of America, ep. 1,

 
 

The Downward Spiral

  “ The Downward Spiral ” 60 min.

60 min.

7

7 Slavery and the Making of America , ep. 2,

Slavery and the Making of America, ep. 2,

 

Liberty in the Air

  “ Liberty in the Air ” 60 min.

60 min.

Tue

Write &

 
 

None. Next assignment due: Notes 1, Wk 2B, Thur. May 16.

May

Submit

 

14

Topics

Chesapeake Labors Awakenings Republican Origins

 

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 5.

Explanation of Assignments /Final Course Grade

This course extends for sixteen weeks, totaling 110 days. Students will engage forty-six reading and film selections of key historical value as follows:

Read Watch Write & Submit

Discuss

1 book. Assigned in fifteen installments.

Sixteen documentary films.

Two typed papers (four pages apiece), plus one-page typed notes for for each reading and film assignment. Notes to total thirty-one pages. Course-related topics in online (Canvas) discussions with classmates and the instructor. Twenty discussion posts (approx. three per week).

4

HIST 2700

Summer 2013

 

Read

8

Foner, 130-175 / Ch. 4 , 130-175 / Ch. 4

Wk

 

2B

9

Foner, 176-210 / Ch. 5 , 176-210 / Ch. 5

 
 

Watch

10

Equal Justice Under Law, ep. 1, “ Marbury v. , ep. 1, Marbury v.

Madison

Equal Justice Under Law , ep. 1, “ Marbury v. Madison ” 30 min.

30 min.

   

Thur

Write &

   

Submit

Notes 1 / Reading and film assignments 1-10.

May

 
 

16

Topics

Demands of Empire Reluctant Revolutionaries Earnest Revolutionaries

 

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 6.

What Counts What, or Calculation of Final Course Grade (FCG):

Exams w/essays

50%

2 exams (with essays) x 24% apiece. See Exam Essay Guidelines, p. 9.

Notes

30%

31 pages of typed, organized notes, one page for each reading and film assignment. See Notes Guidelines, p. 8.

Discussions

20%

20 posted discussions required (students may post more), each assessed for constructiveness to course dialogue. See Discussion Guidelines, p. 9.

Two exceptions to the Final Course Grade (FCG) formula:

1. Incomplete Assignments Policy. All assignments must be completed.

One missing assignment will result in a FCG of 65, “D.” A second will result in a FCG of “F.”

Assignments census: 2 exams, 31 notes, 20 discussions.

Exceptions may be permitted at the discretion of the course instructor.

Incomplete assignments are also subject to late penalties (see page 8).

2. Improvement Incentive. This course is challenging. Improved work at semester’s end will be deservedly rewarded.

5

Wk

Read

11

Wk Read 11 Foner , 247-280 / Ch. 7  

Foner, 247-280 /

Ch. 7
Ch. 7
 
   

3A

Watch

12

Watch 12 Equal Justice Under Law , ep. 2, “ Gibbons v.

Equal Justice Under Law, ep. 2, Gibbons v.

 
 

Ogden

30 min.

30 min.

 

13

13 Equal Justice Under Law , ep. 3, “ Maryland v.

Equal Justice Under Law, ep. 3, Maryland v.

 

McCulloch

McCulloch ”

30 min.

Tue

Write &

 
 

None. Next assignment due: Notes 2, Wk 4A, Tue. May 28.

May

Submit

 

21

Topics

Challenges of Independence The FoundersConstitution Jefferson vs. Hamilton

 

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 8.

 
 

Read

14

Foner, 211-246 / , 211-246 /

Ch. 6
Ch. 6
 

Wk

     

3B

Watch

15

500 Nations, ep. 6, “ Removal ” , ep. 6, Removal

50 min.

3B Watch 15 500 Nations , ep. 6, “ Removal ” 50 min.
   
 

Write &

Thur

Submit

None. Next assignment due: Notes 2, Wk 4A, Tue. May 28.

May

Topics

How America Was Lost The Industrial Revolutions

 

23

 

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 9.

6

HIST 2700

Summer 2013

 

Read

17

Foner, 281-316 / Ch. 8 , 281-316 / Ch. 8

Wk

 

4A

18

Foner, 317-351 / Ch. 9 , 317-351 / Ch. 9

 
 

Watch

19

Chicago, ep. 1, “ Mudhole to Metropolis ” 90 min. , ep. 1, Mudhole to Metropolis90 min.

Chicago , ep. 1, “ Mudhole to Metropolis ” 90 min.
   

Tue

 

Write &

   

May

Submit

Notes 2 / Reading and film assignments 11-19.

 

30

Topics

In-class film: Chicago, ep. 2 (20 min.) The Industrial Revolutions (cont.)

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 11.

Film Study

Why film study? A good film is a terrific resource. It conveys much information in a relatively brief amount of time. It also help students to visualize the past in ways that books often cannot.

Films are available through students’ USU Canvas accounts for this course. As the course schedule denotes, many titles are also available through YouTube. Links to streaming videos for each of the assigned films are located in Canvas pages assigned for applicable weeks. The Week 3 page, for example, contains links for the Week 3 films.

Students may view the films in venues other than streaming media. Some titles are available in VHS or DVD format at USU and local libraries or by way of Netflix, etc.

If a Canvas film link does not work: please inform me immediately. I’ll contact the folks at IT, who typically resolve the problem within a matter of hours. Meanwhile explore alternative venues, especially if the title is available by YouTube. Students are accountable for all films unless the course instructor expressly suspends the assignment (notice to be provided by email and Canvas announcement).

See also the Course Materials Disclaimer (immediately below).

MATERIALS DISCLAIMER: This course abides by university policies regarding student objections of material content. Students must notify the instructor within the first two weeks of class if they regard assigned materials objectionable or offensive. If the instructor deems the objections legitimate, alternative assignments will be arranged. Otherwise students are expected to fulfill all assignments as specified by this syllabus.

7

HIST 2710

Summer 2013

Assignment Deadlines/ Submission Instructions

Except for Canvas discussions, all assignments (Papers and Notes) are to be submitted by

email attachment (Microsoft Word or PDF format required) to this address:

heath.mitton@usu.edu

Submission deadline: always 3 pm of the applicable day/date.

Late Penalties: late submissions attrite ten points immediately and ten points per day thereafter. Incomplete assignments that are ten days late attrite to zero (10 x -10 pts. = -100 pts.) but must be completed to avoid incomplete-assignment stipulations (see page 5 for incomplete assignments).

 

Read

None

Wk

 

4B

Watch

None

 

Write &

Exam 1 w/essay

Thur

Submit

 

May

Topics

Review of Wks 1A-4A

30

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 12.

Notes Guidelines

Why notes? Three reasons: (1) provide students with the means of demonstrating that they’ve done the work; (2) valuable practice in writing; and (3) valuable practice in note-taking and honing skills of perceptiveness, key elements to critical thinking. And certainly too: good notes will help you to study for the exams, improving your final course grade.

Take copious notes for your own use if you like. But for the notes assignment: distill the gist into one page of typed, single-spaced, and well-organized thoughts, facts, etc. A good template:

open with a “thesis paragraph” to explain the principal subject and its larger significance. Then complete the page with bullet points that relate key details provided by the reading or film.

Submitted notes should be collected into a single .doc or pdf file. A semester’s end your file should number forty-six pages, one page for each of this course’s reading and film assignments.

8

Discussion Guidelines

Students will find additional discussion guidelines on Canvas in the discussion dialogue. For the most part, grading of discussions is not stringent. Aside from violations of the following two exceptions, grading is essentially pass/fail (with pass = “A”). But note the two exceptions:

1. Students must post no fewer than thirty-two (32) discussions during the semester, and do so in good faith to both the spirit and letter of constructive liberal-arts dialogue. Add to the conversation. Responding simply “I agree” doesn’t qualify. And most of all: be consistently methodical in engaging discussions. Post discussions every week.

2. You post it, you own it. Translation: be courteous and constructive. Students should not post offensive, insensitive, or otherwise inappropriate remarks. Such posts will be removed and render the author liable to failure and/or removal from the course.

Unsure if something is inappropriate? Here’s the rule: when in doubt, leave it out.

 

Read

20

Foner, 352-390 / Ch. 10 , 352-390 / Ch. 10

Wk

 

5A

Watch

21

Not For Ourselves Alone, ep. 1, “ Revolution ” 90 min. , ep. 1, Revolution90 min.

Not For Ourselves Alone , ep. 1, “ Revolution ” 90 min.
 
 

Write &

Submit

None. Next assignment due: Notes 3, Wk 6A, Tue. June 11

Tue

Topics

 

In-class film: The West,ep. 5 (10 min.) The Era of Hard Feelings

June

4

 

The Age of Jackson Tocquevilles America

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 14.

Exam Essay Guidelines

Note: these guidelines are distilled into a rubric found on p. 15.

This course’s three paper assignments are subject to the following guidelines, many of which are useful also for improving your Notes and Discussion assignments.

Students will be held accountable to high standards of composition, grammatical usage, and narrative structure in all written assignments. Spelling included.

Why? This is a “reasoning-intensive” course. Students will convey their reasoning largely through persuasive essays in their papers (and also in their notes and discussion assignments). Few things are less persuasive than poor writing, and as essays will be graded for their persuasiveness it follows that inferior writing must figure into grading.

9

HIST 2700

Summer 2013

 

Read

22

Foner, 391-426 / Ch. 11 , 391-426 / Ch. 11

 

Wk

 

5B

23

Foner, 427-460 / Ch. 12 , 427-460 / Ch. 12

 
 
 

Watch

24

The Way West, ep. 1, “ Westward the Course , ep. 1, Westward the Course

of Empire Takes Its Way

The Way West , ep. 1, “ Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way ”

90 min.

   

Thur

 

Write &

 

June

Submit

 

None. Next assignment due: Notes 3, Wk 6A, Tue. June 11

6

Topics

Liberty & Slavery

 

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 15.

Expected narrative structure

Persuasive essays consist of:

1. A clear and prominent thesis statement that relates your main points of argument.

A writer’s argument is the idea (or ideas) he or she seeks to sell to the reader. Its clearest and and most forceful expression is called the thesis, which is located typically in the essay’s introductory paragraph. An example of a thesis: “The American Civil War was a necessary conflict.” The remainder of the essay (the paragraphs that follow the introductory paragraph) would then provide evidence to support that claim.

Useful tip: A persuasive essay might be said to be similar to a courtroom trial. What happens first in a trial? The defendant enters a plea, which amounts to a thesis. For the remainder of the trial, the defendant presents evidence in an effort to convince the judge/jury to accept that argument and so decide the trial’s outcome. Further tip: consider me (and, with discussions, your classmates) as the judge/jury. Convince us. Don’t presume we agree.

2. Logical points of argument that support your thesis, presented in logical order. Ideally each paragraph of your essay should introduce a new point of argument in support of your thesis. How many logical points of argument is sufficient to clinch your case? The answer depends upon the level of sophistication of your thesis.

In this course, a five-page paper (typed, double-spaced) should typically number 7-10 well-written paragraphs, organized as follows:

a. An introductory paragraph: introduces your topic and conveys your thesis.

b. The body of your paper: typically five to eight strong paragraphs that provide the evidence to support your argument.

c. A concluding paragraph: summarizes your argument effectively and memorably, much like closing remarks in a courtroom trial. Leave ‘em with something convincing to think about.

3. Strong paragraphs and key evidence to support your logical points of argument.

10

a. Strong Paragraphs:

Each paragraph in a persuasive essay consists of an argument in itself. The paragraph’s first sentence the thesis sentence of the paragraph states clearly the main point of the paragraph (its thesis). The paragraph’s remaining sentences then provide evidence to support that argument. Include nothing that doesn’t support the thesis. Similarly, each paragraph should support the paper’s overall argument. Hence paragraphs should appear in a logical order within the paper. Courtroom lawyers often present their strongest evidence first in an effort to sway the judge and jury with big ideas early; smaller/ lesser evidence then follows to provide necessary details. It’s a smart strategy.

 

Read

25

Foner, 461-502 / Ch. 13 , 461-502 / Ch. 13

 

Wk

 

6A

Watch

26

New York, ep. 2, “ Order and Disorder ” , ep. 2, Order and Disorder

120 min.

6A Watch 26 New York , ep. 2, “ Order and Disorder ” 120 min.
 

Write &

 

Notes 3 / Reading and film assignments 20-26.

 

Tue

Submit

   
 

June

Topics

Promise and Perils of Texas Fugitives for Gold The Birth of the Republican Party

 

11

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 17

All told, well-written persuasive essays often excel in the “first sentence test,” in which the reader may only look at the first sentence of each paragraph of your paper. (Alas, this is precisely how many folks in the corporate world read…so never bury your best evidence in the middle of a middle paragraph of your writing. It may never get noticed. A smart tip:

write as if you must earn your reader’s attention…which, again, is often the case.)

In other words, first sentences should be strong, logically ordered, and convey your argument (aside from necessary details) pretty much all by themselves.

b. Key Evidence:

A well-written persuasive essay might be likened to a well-planned city, in which strong paragraphs would be similar to well-built houses or buildings. Of course those houses and buildings themselves are comprised of even more elemental substances bricks, concrete, steel. It’s these elemental substances that ultimately must be said to provide the city’s substantive foundation. A city may appear flashy from afar. But without the mundane rudiments of brick, concrete, and steel, you have no city. The flashiness is often just façade.

Likewise, all claims in a persuasive essay require substantive proof, or the bricks, concrete, and steel that constitute the foundations of persuasiveness. Absent substantive proof, all you have is hollow façade or unsubstantiated opinion…and the world suffers from too much of that already. It’s the idea of this course to help students to develop substantive opinions and improve the world accordingly.

11

Where to find substantive evidence? Assigned readings, films, and additional materials found in weekly course folders (in Canvas) should provide plenty. If you think not, you’re probably not engaging those materials well enough.

Attentive students will collect plenty of evidence from assigned materials. They will build stronger arguments. They will receive higher grades.

 

Read

27

Foner, 503-545 / Ch. 14 , 503-545 / Ch. 14

 

Wk

 

6B

Watch

28

The Civil War, ep. 1, “ The Cause ” , ep. 1, The Cause

99 min.

6B Watch 28 The Civil War , ep. 1, “ The Cause ” 99 min.
 
 

Write &

Tue

Submit

None. Next assignment due: Notes 4, Wk 7A, Tue. June 18.

June

Topics

The Birth of the Republican Party Secession and Civil War

 

11

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 18

Note: All papers are expected to draw upon and cite all readings and films applicable to that particular assignment.

Citing additional materials found in Canvas is also encouraged but not required.

Failure to cite assigned materials will result in a lower assignment grades. A pattern of omission sustained over multiple assignments will result in progressively lower assignment grades. See the section “Citations” below.

4. Citations.

How to demonstrate effectively that you’ve drawn upon all the materials applicable to an assignment? Answer: both informally and formally.

a. Informally: The ideas, facts, and interpretation of your paper should reveal the influence of assigned materials. In other words, your paper should be about industrialization and/or urban problems or else it should explain the experiences related in the films as representative of a larger topic.

b. Formally: Your paper should refer to specific evidence found in those same books and films. Specific evidence might include a quote, statistic, or another fact. Anything might be considered key evidence just clarify your reasoning.

To refer to such evidence formally is to cite it, or to include a citation in your paper to inform the reader of the location of the evidence (such as a specific page in a book). See the next page for more about citations.

12

Wk

Read

29

Wk Read 29 Foner , 546-584 / Ch. 15  

Foner, 546-584 / Ch. 15

 
   

7A

 
 

Watch

30

  Watch 30 Reconstruction , ep. 1, “ Revolution ”

Reconstruction, ep. 1, Revolution

  Watch 30 Reconstruction , ep. 1, “ Revolution ”
   
 

90

min.

31

31 Abolition: Broken Promises  

Abolition: Broken Promises

Abolition: Broken Promises
 

Tue

 

50

min.

June

Write &

 

Notes 5 / Reading and film assignments 27-31 (1-31)

Submit

18

   
 

Topics

Reconstruction

 

Discuss

Canvas discussion pace: 20.

 

Let’s keep citations simple. Use shorthand parenthetical form within your paper’s narrative.

Note: Use concise (one- or two-word) shorthand for parenthetical citations. Use

author names for written works, titles for films. Example: (Foner, 321) is shorthand

 

for Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty, p. 321.

5. Contradiction of opposite argument. Recall the example of the courtroom trial. A trial amounts to a zero-sum game: whatever undermines your argument’s opposite helps your argument. It’s a wise strategy. Use it to your advantage.

And finally…

Essays are to be graded for their persuasiveness, not their argument or thesis.

A principal objective of this course is to teach students how to think, not what to think. It follows that what you argue matters less than how you argue it.

Still, a word to the wise: assigned materials (books, films, etc.) are selected by the course

instructor for good reason. A student who attempts to make an argument while ignoring key evidence assigned by this course cannot be said to have made a

strong argument. Inferior arguments will receive inferior grades.

(continued next page)

13

Wk

7B

Thur

June

20

None

Read

Watch

None

Write &

Submit

Topics

Discuss

20 None Read Watch None Write & Submit Topics Discuss Exam 2 w/essay Review of Wks

Exam 2 w/essay

Review of Wks 5A-7A

Canvas discussion pace: 20.

Fonts, File Types, etc.

All written assignments should be double-spaced with standard 12 pt. font (Times New Roman preferred) and one-inch margins. To clarify: this sentence is written in Times New Roman 12 pt. font.

All assignments must be submitted in electronic format (Word document or PDF) to the email address found at the top of page 1 of this syllabus (heath.mitton@usu.edu). All assignments are to be graded in electronic format. Feedback will be conveyed (again in electronic format) in reply to the email address by which the assignment was submitted. When returned, graded assignments will be conveyed in electronic format by the same email dialogue.

Note: All email communication with the course instructor must use the following address:

heath.mitton@usu.edu

To receive full credit assignments must be submitted by the assignment deadline. The assignment deadline is always Wednesday: 3 pm of the applicable week.

Note: the preceding guidelines are distilled into a rubric found on the following page.

14

Rubric for Essay Guidelines

 

Grade Outcomes

A-B

C-D

<D

Thesis

Clear thesis. A: Powerful thesis, eloquently stated and strongly defended.

Thesis muddled or otherwise weak.

Omits thesis. Pointless ramble.

Argument Structure

Well-stated thesis in opening paragraph, well-defended in subsequent paragraphs. Strong concluding paragraph. A: Individual paragraphs well constructed with superb thesis sentences. Paragraphs logically ordered and easily read. Essay “flows” well.

Thesis present but misplaced within argument…such as in concluding paragraph. Supporting paragraphs could fit together better. “Flow” more jumpy than smooth. Perfunctory conclusion.

Weak or absent structure. Has all the “flow” of a train wreck. No concluding paragraph.

Persuasiveness

Thesis and supporting points bolstered by compelling evidence. A: Multiple points of evidence cited for each point of argument.

Persuasive in fits and starts. Inconsistent… hence weak.

You’re seeing mostly what you wish to see…and it’s not clear to others. Not persuasive.

Sources

Draws upon all relevant readings and films and in a manner that shows strong understanding of assigned materials. (It’s clear that you read the book, etc.) A: Savvy source work (multiple citations from single sources, includes materials in Blackboard, etc.)

Selective or perfunctory citation of assigned materials (citations omit books or films). Makes me wonder if you read the book or watched the films.

Omits citations to assigned materials. It’s clear that you didn’t read the book, watch the films, etc. Also: recurrent pattern of selective citation.

 
 

Spelling, grammar, composition

So well written the reader forgets about spelling, grammar, and composition.

Essay’s “flow” noticeably slowed by shortcomings of spelling, grammar, etc.

Makes the reader wish you would enroll in more English classes… and find a dictionary.

Page length, margins, font, etc. (see p. 14)

Meets or exceeds page expectations for assignment, etc.

A bit short. Margins and font problems. Not properly double- spaced.

Absurdly short, etc. Also: recurrent pattern of margin issues, etc.

Note: this rubric is intended as a helpful guideline, not a scientific formula. In general: papers are

only as strong as their weakest linkespecially concerning use of sources.

15

Assigned Films

“Cauldron of War,” episode 5 of 500 Nations. Warner Studios, 1995. 45 min.

“The Country and the City, 1609-1825,” episode 1 of New York: A Documentary Film. Thirteen/WNET New York/PBS, 2001. 110 min.

“The Downward Spiral,” episode 1 of Slavery and the Making of America. Thirteen/WNET New York/PBS, 2004. 60 min.

“Liberty in the Air,” episode 2 of Slavery and the Making of America. 60 min.

Marbury v Madison (1803),” episode 1 of Equal Justice Under Law. Committee of the Bicentennial of the Constitution, Judicial Conference of the United States, 1987. 30 min.

Gibbons v Ogden (1824),” episode 2 of Equal Justice Under Law. 30 min.

Maryland v McCulloch (1819),” episode 3 of Equal Justice Under Law. 30 min.

“Removal,” episode 6 of 500 Nations. 45 min.

“From Mud Hole to Metropolis,” episode 1 of Chicago: City of the Century. WGBH/PBS,

2003. 90 min.

“Order and Disorder, 1825-1865,” episode 2 of New York: A Documentary Film. 110 min.

“Revolution,” episode 1 of Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. WETA/PBS, 1999. 80 min.

“The Cause,” episode 1 of The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. Florentine Films. 1990. 50 min. excerpt.

“Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, 1845-1864,” episode 1 of The Way West. PBS,

1994. 90 min.

“Revolution,” episode 1 of Reconstruction: The Second Civil War. PBS, 2004. 90 min.

Abolition: Broken Promises. BBC, 2003. (50 min.)

Additional materials

Students will receive (by way of their Canvas accounts for this course) maps and other materials as part of course instruction. Students are accountable for all materials assigned and provided by this course.

Syllabus Appendix

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to abide by the university honor code at all times, especially its strictures against “unauthorized aid,” meaning plagiarism in particular. See also the sections “Honor Code Policy” and “Plagiarism” found on the next page. The Utah State University History Department regards plagiarism a serious offence worthy of zero tolerance.

Students with Disabilities

I pledge full cooperation with university counseling services. Please contact me and/or university counselors for advice and/or applicable documentation. See also the “Accommodation for Disabilities” section immediately below.

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Accommodation for Disabilities

The American with Disabilities Act states: “Reasonable accommodation will be provided for all persons with disabilities in order to ensure equal participation within the program.”

If a student has a disability that will likely require some accommodation by the instructor, the student must contact the instructor and document the disability with the Disability Resource Center (435-797-2444), preferably during the first week of the course. Any request for special consideration relating to attendance, pedagogy, taking examinations, etc., must be discussed with and approved by the instructor. In cooperation with the Disability resource Center, course materials can be provided in alternative format, large print, audio, diskette, or Braille.”

Grievance Process: Students who feel they have been unfairly treated

through the channels and procedures described in the Student Code:

http://www.usu.edu/studentservices/pdf/StudentCode.pdf#page=3 (Article VII. Grievances, pages 27-36).

may file a grievance

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined by the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as any “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” If you feel you are a victim of sexual harassment, you may talk to or file a complaint with the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Office located in Old Main, Room 161, or call the AA/EEO Office at 435-797-1266.

Honor Code Policy

As stated in The Student Code, “Each student has the right and duty to pursue his or her academic experience free of dishonesty. The Honor System is designed to reinforce the higher level of conduct expected and required of all Utah State University students.” Upon admission to the university, you agreed to abide by this Honor Code by signing the Honor Pledge, which reads:

“I pledge, on my honor, to conduct myself with the foremost level of academic integrity.” Complete academic honesty is expected in this course. Cheating on exams or plagiarism on written assignments will result in a failing grade and may result in further action.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism includes knowingly “representing, by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person as one’s own in any academic exercise or activity without full and clear acknowledgment.

The penalties for plagiarism are severe. They include warning or reprimand, grade adjustment, probation, suspension, expulsion, withholding of transcripts, denial or revocation of degrees, and referral to psychological counseling.

Communications via email

Email is an official form of communication at USU. Any communication to you about this course will be to the email address you have listed in ACCESS as your preferred address.

It is your responsibility to check your email account regularly.

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Diversity Statement

Regardless of intent, careless or ill-informed remarks can be offensive and hurtful to others and detract from the learning climate. If you feel uncomfortable in a classroom due to offensive language or actions by an instructor or student(s) regarding ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, contact one of the following: at USU Brigham City, contact Jill Rasmussen, Room 170B, (435) 734-2277 ext 246; at other RCDE sites, contact your advisor, or; Moises Diaz, Director of Multicultural Student Services (435) 797-1733 moises.diaz@usu.edu, James Morales, Vice President of Student Services (435) 797-1712 james.morales@usu.edu; Ann Austin, Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, ann.austin@usu.edu; Maure Smith, GLBTA Services, maure.smith@usu.edu; Steven Russell, Student Advocate (435) 797-1720 s.r.@aggiemail.usu.edu. You can learn about your student rights by visiting:

University Grading Scale

A:

100-93%

B:

83-86%

C:

73-76%

F:

< 60%

A-:

92-90%

B-:

80-82%

C-:

70-72%

B+: 97-89%

C+: 77-79%

D+: 60-69%

 

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