Assigments and Grading

For this class you will need 1) access to our syllabus at; 2) access to Moodle for additional readings, via CSUN's Web; and 3) the text edited by James Henretta et al, America: A Concise History.

Class Work Points/ % Grade Due Date

Weekly Reading

& Class Attendance

Four Quizzes
200 Points/ 20 %
2/16; 3/9 & 4/13; 5/11
Paper #1, 4-6 pages
100 Points/ 10 %
Due 2 March
Paper #2, 6-8 pages
200 Points/ 20 %
Due 4 May or Earlier
Midterm #1
250 Points/ 25 %
16 March
Midterm #2
250 Points/ 25 %
16 May
1000 Points/ 100 %

93+ % = A; 90 %+ = A-; 87+ % = B+; 83+ % = B; 80+ % = B-; 77+ % = C+; 73+ % = C; 70+ % = C-;

67+ % = D+; 63+ % = D; 60+ % = D-; 59 % or less = F;

Also, any plagiarized work will result in an automatic fail in the class and a letter to the dean of students.

No Make-ups on work unless you have a documented emergency. DO, however, turn-in late papers for partial credit.

Weekly Reading & Class Attendance: You are expected to come to class each week, and to do the weekly reading--this work is the basis for developing an understanding of our topic, U.S. History since Reconstruction. Divide up the reading in such a way that you can complete it each week, then review what you have read before class. My suggestion is to read first and then take notes after, jotting down the points and page numbers you find most significant and why.

The documents are designed to bring you directly to the era via firsthand accounts and events. For each document, sum up what you find to be its key importance. The "additional reading" is also designed to bring you back in time and place, and you will enjoy these readings from some of the best writers of our time. Finally, text reading requires a different kind of discipline; save the text for last. You might skim the chapter first, taking note of the major subheadings and categories, summing up the overall topic and how the authors approach it. For example, the authors approach the topic of "The West" primarily with a discussion of the Great Plains and the Lakota Sioux. Then read the chapter more fully. A more complete reading of this chapter on "The West" includes the Plains' Indians, the economic significance of the West, and a few words on California and the Gold Rush. From mining to ranching and agriculture, the authors present the costs and the value of adding this region to the U.S.. Begin with the most important points, build a larger framework of understanding, and then you can add to it some of the specific examples used.

Computers are allowed in class, but please use them to take notes and turn off and put away all phones, games, etc. I also appreciate you being on time. We are a big class, so please be thoughtful of your instructor, your teaching assistants, and other students in the class. If you miss a class, please get notes from a classmate, then come to see me to discuss what you missed.

There will be FOUR short class quizzes to test you on both topics covered in class and reading. Possible reading questions will be posted on the class quiz page, but you should prepare by reading and outlining major themes. What questions would you ask?

Coming to class, reading, and taking the quizzes will keep you current on class work, and give you the basic preparation for your papers and midterms.

Paper #1, 4-6 pages: The first paper is worth 40 points and is designed as a "practice" paper, while the second is worth 100 points.

No matter how late, turn in this paper so you can get feedback for your second paper; a paper submitted in the first week after the due date will have 5 points deducted; 10 in the second week; and 15 in the third week. You won't receive points for it after the third week, but again, you will receive feedback.*

Paper #2, 6-8 pages: This is your main paper for the class. Choose a topic early, and begin working on it so you can get help before it is due. You can always turn-in a paper early.

A paper submitted in the first week after the deadline will have 10 points deducted; in the second week, 25 points deducted; in the third week after the due date, 45 points deducted; and any paper turned in with the final will have 60 points deducted.*

*For example, the first paper is due Saturday the 2nd of March. If you bring the paper to the following class on the 9th of March, it will be counted TWO WEEKS LATE. If you bring it to class on the 25th, it will be counted THREE WEEKS late. In other words, each new Saturday class begins a new week. Our class is big, so please turn-in your papers on time or earlier.

Midterm Exam #1: 40 % of this exam will be matching and/or short answer questions from class (and reinforced by reading), and 60 % will be essay. Please see the exam study page for more information.

Midterm Exam #2: 40 % of this exam will be matching and/or short answer questions from class (and reinforced by reading), and 60 % will be essay. Please see the exam study page for more information.