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Syllabus

BYU Course Outcomes

1. Gain knowledge of some of the major developments in American history from 1877 to
the present (industrialization, immigration, urbanization, political and social movements,
gender, and foreign policy), including an understanding of key historical terms and
theories. Demonstrate this knowledge in exams, papers, and class discussion.
2. Hone the ability to analyze historical questions and issues in American history from
1877 to the present, assess historical information accurately, and distinguish between
questionable and valid historical assertions in exams and papers.
3. Learn from example and practice with activities, papers, and exams to evaluate primary
and secondary sources skillfully and honestly.
4. Learn to integrate data into coherent arguments expressed through a clear, well-written
style in exams, papers, and learning activities.

Course Learning Outcomes


This course will help you:

1. Explain the relationship of past developments to current problems.


2. Explain the role of political parties, factions, and special interest groups.
3. Describe the development of the American experience with government.
4. Identify the major trends in American foreign policy.
5. Discuss the significance of the more important reform movements in American history.
6. Become familiar with the major trends in the development of the American economic
system.
7. Understand important aspects of American culture and society.

Course Materials
You will need these textbooks:

Americas History, Volume 2, 6th edition. Henretta, Brody, and Dumenil. Bedford St.
Martins, 2007.
Desert Exile. Uchida. University of Washington Press, 1982.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Malcolm X and Haley. Ballantine, 1992.
The Jungle. Sinclair. Norton, 2003.
Assignments
Quizzes
This course consists of sixteen lessons. Each lesson includes a reading assignment
from the textbook and discussion material in the course. The discussion material
consists of commentary on the textbook reading and information taken from the lectures
that I deliver in my on-campus sections of this course. Each lesson also includes a quiz
that is either computer-graded or instructor-graded. These quizzes are designed to
assist you in delving into and mastering the material in each chapter. Some quizzes
include multiple-choice and true/false questions that will be submitted and be computed-
graded. Quizzes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 include multiple-choice and true/false questions as
well as an essay that will be instructor-graded.

Quiz 5 includes ten matching questions on Desert Exile. The questions ask you to
identify the general locations where ten significant events in the book occurred (e.g.
Tanforan Assembly Center, Topaz Internment Camp, or Berkeley prior to relocation).
These questions should not be difficult for you if you have read the book. It is designed
primarily to motivate you to read the book and to reward you for doing so.

Research Paper
Film is one of the products, one of the languages, through which the world communicates
itself to itself. Films . . . contain the values, fears, myths, assumptions, and point of views
of the culture in which they are produced (OConnor and Jackson 1987).

The research paper is based on the premise expressed by OConnor and Jackson in
this quotation. In order to complete this assignment you will select a historically and
culturally significant film that was produced in the twentieth-century U.S., prior to 1990.
After repeatedly viewing the film, prepare a typed, double-spaced, 67 page report (in
10- or 12-point font) analyzing the films value as a historical document. Your paper
should illuminate the era in which the film was produced. Thus, if you are writing
about Gone with the Wind, a film produced in the 1930s but set in Civil War times, your
topic will be the ways that the film reflects the 1930s rather than the ways that the film
reflects the Civil War era.

Your paper should briefly (no more than one page) summarize the plot or story line of
the film. The balance of your paper should be devoted to analyzing the film as a
historical document. Do so by discussing, in no more than two pages, the
circumstances surrounding the production of the film and by discussing how the public
and critics regarded the film. There are many good resources that provide background
information on films. Two great electronic ones are:

1. American Film Institute Catalog provides limited background information on a wide


array of films.
2. Film Indexes Onlineprovides historical information on films and directs you to reviews
and articles and reviews regarding individual films.

Both databases are available through the BYU Library. Sign in with your NetID and
password to gain access. These electronic sources can serve as springboards for your
research.

Where they exist and are available to you, either in a library or through interlibrary loan,
please also look at biographies of individuals who were involved in the production of the
film and/or published histories of the film you choose. You can also look for reviews and
articles about films in Readers Guide Retrospective, a database available from the BYU
library website. This database provides references to articles written in a wide variety of
popular magazines about all sorts of subjects, including movies.

Finally, discuss ways in which the film reflects American interests, values, concerns,
and conditions at the time that the film was produced. Devote at least 3 pages of your
paper to this last area. To address this issue, you will need to become familiar with
important developments and trends in American history in the era in which the film was
produced. You will also need to be able to relate those developments and trends to the
messages and values shown by the film through elements such as dialogue, plot,
camera techniques, lighting, characterization, and themes.

In your discussion of the era in which a film was produced, you should use specific
examples, statistics, or other evidence from the textbook and from at least one other
published scholarly history (consult with me or consult the bibliographies at the end of
each chapter in the text for good additional sources regarding the era you are going to
write about). You will need to buy the scholarly history book, check it out from a library,
or find it online. You should document the sources of your information throughout your
paper using footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical references. Your paper will be due
before you take your final exam.
You are encouraged to broaden your horizons by writing about a film that you havent
seen yet, but if you want to write about one you have seen, that is okay too. Here is a
list of some films that lend themselves nicely to this assignment.

Birth of a Nation (silent, 1915)


The Sheik (silent, 1921)
Bright Eyes (1934)
The Grapes of Wrath (1939/1940)
Gone With the Wind (1930s)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946veterans return)
Mission to Moscow (WWII)
Since You Went Away (WWII)
The Red Menace (1949)
I Married a Communist (1949)
Shane (1953)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
The War of the Worlds (1953)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Oklahoma! (1955)
West Side Story (1961)
The Graduate (1967)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Harold and Maude (1971)
Star Wars(1977)
Rocky(1976)
Capricorn One (1978)
War Games (1983)
Tootsie(1982)
ET (1982)
Red Dawn (1984)

This list contains only a few possibilities. You are obviously welcome to choose another
film for this assignment.

Formatting Written Assignments


To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as a Word .DOC or
.DOCX file.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the
filename. For example, HIST221_JaneSmith_ResearchPaper.docx.

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Exams
Midcourse Exam
Your midcourse exam will include one essay question. It is drawn from the self check
questions in lessons 1-7. The midcourse will also include twenty terms from the
textbook and the course. A list of terms from the textbook and course accompanies
each lesson. You will be asked to discuss the historical significance of fifteen out of the
twenty terms that appear on the exam. The midcourse exam will also questions on The
Jungle that will focus upon the people, places and concepts discused in the book. Read
the book carefully and review the story line of the novel. You may not use your book or
notes.

Final Exam
Your final exam will include one essay question and twenty terms drawn from the
textbook, and the reading assignments in lessons 8-16 in the course. You will be asked
to discuss the historical significance of fifteen of the twenty terms. It will also include ten
questions from The Autobiography of Malcolm X that will focus upon the people, places,
and concepts that are discussed in the book. Prepare by reading the assigned book
carefully and by reviewing the autobiography and the story line of the novel. You may
not use your books or notes.

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Grading
These items count toward your course grade.

Midterm (including questions on The Jungle) 170 points or approx. 22% of


overall grade
Final Exam (including questions on The 170 points or approx. 22% of
Autobiography of Malcolm X) overall grade

Research Paper 150 points or approx. 20% of


overall grade

8 Quizzes 270 pts. or approx. 36% of


overall grade

Grading Scale
Your letter grade is based on these percentages:

A 94100%

A- 9093%

B+ 8789%

B 8386%

B- 8082%

C+ 7779%

C 7376%

C- 7072%

D+ 6769%

D 6366%
D- 6062%

E 0059%