Assignments and Policies

Class Participation (150 points)

Participation is vital to your success in this course. You are expected to attend all course meetings (including CASA workshops; see below for more) and to come to class prepared. That is, you should have completed the assigned reading, have it with you in class, and be prepared to participate actively in class discussion through comments and questions. You will lose credit for participation after five absences, except in documented cases for extended family or medical emergencies. NOTE: Absence from more than 30% of class meetings without documentation will be grounds for failure of the course.

Online Skills Modules (40 points)

Each student is required to complete five skills modules developed by the History Department to improve student preparation in introductory history courses. The modules, which are available via a link from the course schedule, consist of a video tutorial. The course schedule includes a listing of when each module is due, for which there will be a quiz in class.

Commonplace Book (100 points)

During the semester you will compile a commonplace book of quotations from course readings along with your annotations. Full details will be distributed during the first week of classes. The completed book will be due on Tuesday, May 1.

Primary Source Analysis (100 points)

You will complete a brief essay (500-750 words) in which you analyze a historical document and place it in its historical context. The essay will be due on Thursday, February 8.

Midterm Examination (150 points)

An in-class examination on Thursday, March 1 will cover material from the first six weeks of the course. Details on the format and other information will be distributed approximately two weeks in advance.

Revolutionary Era Paper (200 points)

You will write an essay (1,000-1,500 words) addressing a question about the American Revolution and the early United States, due on Thursday, April 12. Full details will be distributed approximately two weeks before the due date.

Final Exam (250 points)

The final examination will cover material from the entire course. It will comprise a range of question formats that ask you to use the skills developed in the course. Review materials will be discussed during the last week of classes.

Historic Site Visit (Extra Credit)

Massachusetts and New England are ideal locations to study the history of early America because of the rich tradition of preservation and commemoration at sites throughout the region. If you choose to visit such a site during the semester, you may write a brief paper about your experiences and the history you found there for up to thirty points of credit on your final grade. See the link above for full details on the assignment and a map of sites.

Course Policies

Assigned Texts

Michael Johnson, ed., Reading the American Past, 5th ed., vol. I (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012).

Supplemental Instruction

This course is participating in the Supplemental Instruction program run by CASA. Samantha DiMatteo, a history major at FSU, will be the Supplemental Instructor for this course. She will hold regular office hours and also run SI sessions that will provide you the opportunity to enhance your learning and improve on the skills necessary to succeed in a college-level history course. Regular attendance at these sessions and Samantha’s office hours will not only help you earn a better grade in this course but will also improve your skills in many of your other courses. Her schedule will be posted by email to all students.