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Presentation of a Thematic Overview of American Civilization: The central task of the course will be the presentation to the class of a thematic overview of one of the chronological periods of American civilization before 1877. The purpose of this assignment is to introduce students to the principal themes, trends, and events associated with the course of American civilization before 1877 and to prepare students for the significant writing and oral participation components of most courses in the American Studies curriculum at Georgetown College.

Students will choose the chronological period they will be covering by September 7. Students may choose from the Colonial period, 1492-1763; the American Revolution, 1763-1789; the National Period, 1789-1848; Sectional Culture and Conflict, 1848-61; and the Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877. Students will be able to choose the topic their overview report on a first-come, first-served basis.

Overview reports should provide a survey of the principal events and trends in a broad chronological period. Coverage of American life and civilization during this period should be as broad as possible, looking at principal themes and developments in such areas as technology, science, religion, intellectual life, literature and the arts, politics, economics demography, and social class relationships between economic classes, gender groups, racial and ethnic groups, and other groups. The overview must present a thesis statement regarding the central theme of American civilization during the chronological period, and support the thesis with argument and evidence.

The overview reports will be presented in both oral and written forms. Students should plan to use the entire class period for their oral reports. The oral reports have been tentatively scheduled for these dates:

Sep. 17The Colonial period, 1492-1763
Oct. 5The American Revolution, 1763-1789
Oct. 26The National Period, 1789-1848
Nov. 9Sectional Culture and Conflict, 1848-61
Dec. 2The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Students will turn in a preliminary draft of their papers seven days after the oral presentation is made (with the exception of the report covering the Civil War era, which is due on the day it is presented orally). Students will then revise and expand their papers into a second draft, which is due on the last day of class. There is no maximum or minimum required length for the papers; however, final drafts of 20-25 pages are ideal. Students should be advised to write a paper which is long enough to cover their topics adequately but short enough to prevent their theses and arguments from being obscured by irrelevant details. The professor will provide additional instructions about writing and researching the paper at a later date. Students will be graded on content and style.

Exercises connected with the overview presentation will count for 60 percent of the studentís final semester grade. Individual assignments will be counted toward the final grade in the following proportions: oral presentation--20 percent; original draft of the paper--15 percent; final draft of term paper--25 percent.

Final Exam: The final exam for this course will be a comprehensive exam given orally. Students will be divided up into groups of two or three and examined together in sessions lasting about one hour. The final exam will count for 20 percent of the studentís final grade. The final exam period for this class is Friday, December 17, 1999, at 9:00-11:00.

Other Courses in American History and Civilization:
| AMS 250 | HIS 223 | HIS 225 | HIS 227 | HIS 306 |
| HIS 308 | HIS 310 | HIS 312 | HIS 314 | HIS 318 | HIS 325 |
| HIS 338 | HIS 426 | HIS 430 | HIS 432 | HIS 470 | HIS 475 |

This page was last updated on 9/12/99.
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Dr. Harold D. Tallant, Department of History, Georgetown College
400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324, (502) 863-8075

Dr. Tallant's Classes
The American Studies Major
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