Assignments and Grade Breakdown

Throughout this semester, you will be graded on a variety of assignments that shows your retention of class material and your abilities to analyze and critically think about the past.

Grade Breakdown

A: 100-90

B: 89-80

C: 79-70

D: 69-60

F: 59-0

Assignment Point Breakdown

Quizzes (3): 15 points

Blogs (12): 60 points

Primary Source Analysis: 7.5 points

Secondary Source Analysis: 7.5 points

Movie Review: 10 points

Total: 100 points

Extra Credit: 5 points

Writing Intensive Page Requirement

Blogs: 250 words = 1 page. 12 pages total.

Primary Source Analysis: 2-3 pages

Secondary Source Analysis: 2-3 pages

Film Review: 4-5 pages

Total: at least 20 pages

Quizzes (15 points total): you will take three quizzes throughout the semester: the syllabus quiz, the primary and secondary source quiz, and the final cumulative quiz during exam week. 

WordPress Digital Blogs (60 points, 5 points each): This is a writing intensive class. However, rather than writing traditional essays or exams, we will take a more public-facing route. Throughout this semester, you will write twelve short blog posts. We’ll be using a platform called WordPress that will allow you to not only write in a new format, but also gives you creative license to design your posts in interesting and unique ways. Think of these blog posts not as assignments written for me to read, but pieces of writing that connect to the broader public. Write in such a way that your family could understand the larger points you’re trying to make. Be sure to have a clear argument/thesis statement, provide evidence and examples that support the argument, and a concluding section that describes the significance of whatever point you’re trying to make. You can also end with how its connected to class or helps broaden your understanding of U.S. History since 1877.

Click here to see the blog prompts.

Movie/ Documentary Film Review (5 points): In 4-5 pages: At various points this semester, you will have the opportunity to watch a film and review it in a short essay. The movies will be matched with the corresponding week in which the topic is covered. You can submit the assignment as soon as you finish it, although the final day to submit the review will be December 2, 2022 at 11:59pm on D2L.

Click here to see the films available to review

Primary Source Analysis (7.5 points): Choose one primary source this semester listed on the course schedule. Write a 2-3-page essay answering the following prompts: What makes this source a primary source; what are the major points/takeaways from this primary source; and how does it fit into our class more broadly? While not due until the end of the semester, this assignment can be completed at any point of the class. Just choose a source that stands out to you and follow the prompts above. 

Secondary Source Analysis (7.5 points):  Read (on D2L) Richard Polenberg, “The Good War? A Reappraisal of how World War II Affected American Society,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 100, No. 3 (1992): 295-322. In 2-3 pages, answer the following prompt(s): What makes this a secondary source? What are Polenberg’s major takeaways? After reading, should we consider World War II to be a “Good War”? If not, why?

Extra Credit Opportunity (5 points): Extra Credit Opportunity (5 points): Visit Minnesota State University’s ARCH digital repository ( Here you will find primary sources related to your own university! Find something cool, unique, mind-blowing, different, fun – whatever stands out that fits within the context of our class. Write an extra blog post (this can be 250 words) about this cool source and why it matters to you as a student at Minnesota State.