Assignments & Grading --Please NO Emailed Work (turn-in to Class or Office)

Assignment % Grade/ Points Due Date
3 Reading Quizzes 30 %/ 300 pts Wk #5(moved up), Wk #8, Wk # 13
#1________/ 100 pts
#2________/ 100 pts
#3________/ 100 pts
3 Papers 50%/ 500 pts Wk #6, Wk # 12, Wk#16
#1______/ 150 pts 5-7 + pages
#2_______/150 pts 5-7 + pages
#3______/ 200 pts 8-10 pages
1 Final Exam 20 %/ 200 pts 5/17 8 AM
______________/ 200 pts
  100 %/ 1000 pts ______________/ Total Points

(Total: 500 points (93% A; 90 % A-; 87 % B+; 83% B; 80 % B-; 77% C+; 73% C; 70 % C-; 67% D+; 63 % D; 60 % D-; 59% F)

Class participation is required, especially in class discussions. Additionally, the work of the class will be in completing three equally weighted quizzes, three papers, and one Final Exam. There are NO MAKE-UP QUIZZES or EXAMS. Late papers will automatically have points deducted, 10 pts for one week, and then exponentially increasing every week after. Please turn-in only your work done for this class. Students caught with plagiarized papers or work will automatically fail the class, with letters sent to your department and the Dean of Students. On the other hand, diligent work and honesty are heartily rewarded with the satisfaction felt in truly developing skills and earning your own grade.

Attendance is not mandatory, but a significant portion of class work will come from class material and discussions, as well as the reading. Coming to class will significantly increase your chances of passing. If you choose to come to class, please be respectful of your classmates and instructor. Arrive on time, be here "in the moment" by listening, commenting, and taking notes--and please, no texting or emailing. You may use a computer to take notes if it does not fragment your attention with online connections. And please, put your phones away.

I expect professional behavior from students, and respect for others. This not only means coming to class focused on our task of learning, and putting aside all communication devices with the outside world, it also means having pen and paper and taking notes (unless you are typing them). Please come see me with any questions or problems early in the term so I can help you address them. Please do not sit in the middle of the classroom, leave in the middle of class, and then return, disrupting concentration. If there is a reason you will have to leave in the middle of class, let me know and sit by the door--thanks, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

The work of this class will be cumulative.  In the first paper, students will build a vocabulary for understanding regional cultures and their fundamental values, from colonization to the Civil War.  In the second paper, students will address the development of the American media, from the "penny press" to broadcasting.  In the final paper, and in the Final Exam, students will develop their ideas on the relationship between American cultures and American media based on reading, interviews, and contemporary examples.


The reading quizzes are designed to help you finish the reading and to think about its meaning. After reading, you should jot down, in your own words, the main themes. You might also note down page numbers of quotes and examples you found especially insightful. If you were writing the quiz, what questions would you ask? You can prepare for the quizzes by winnowing down major themes and examples, and then thinking about the author's overall meaning. In the week before the quizzes, I will list questions that cover the reading, and from these questions, I will ask you two.

Answer your questions with two paragraphs--one for your thoughtful answer and the other with supportive examples.


The first two essays are worth 150 points, and the last, worth 200 points, and together they are somewhat cumulative. The first essay addresses American cultures, the eleven traditions outlined by Woodard and also discussed in class. The second essay focuses on the development and nature of the American media, as outlined in Starr and also discussed in class. The final essay is your developed thoughts on the relationship between the two, American culture (s) and media, based on reading, discussion and interviews.

You should use ONLY class readng and material, and include Chicago Style reference notes and bibliography. Please see the sample Chicago style sample paper found on the Purdue Owl website

( ) and the "Notes and Bibliography" style found on the Chicago "Quick Guide" website ( ).

Paper #1 (Monday, 2/25) American Cultures: What three regions do you find most define the nation as a whole, and what three regions have the weakest ties to a national identity? Why? Be sure to address the defining characteristics of each, and then why you find some characteristics have come to most define the nation. After discussing the regions above, using the events discussed in class, sum up with a critique of Woodard's argument--do you agree with his depiction of the United States, would you draw a map of "nations" differently, or do you think Americans are more united than Woodard's construct?


Paper #2 (Monday, 4/8) Nature of the American Press: What four to six historically derived qualities do you find most define the American press/ media? Do you find any patterns in the history of the press/ media, or a cyclical nature to any of these qualities--are some of them at times more prominent than at other times? Discuss the ways in which your chosen qualities have defined the press over time.

Second, to what extent has the press/ media represented all Americans, and to what extent has it been regionally exclusive? Has the press/ media become more inclusive over time?


Paper #3 (10 May) Twentieth Century American Culture tba


The Final Exam will have some reading questions on it, and will be primarily essay. The Final Exam will ask you to write about the relationship between American cultures and media, as developed in your final essay, along with matching questions about basic points discussed in class througout the term.