SHST 146 + CENG 112, Spring 2010


Instructors:  Mike Nagle & Seán Henne

M/W 12:30-1:50 + 2:00-3:20

Administrative & Conference; MBT




This course will survey the history of the United States from the era of Reconstruction following the Civil War to the Clinton Administration.  It will focus on the political, social, and economic development of the United States as it rose to a position as a world power.  Students will apply their learning about history, historical literature, and rhetoric in two major Composition writing projects. Ultimately you should be able to find the moments of connection, the places where historical issues and historical literature touch your own life through the power of your own written words.    Honors Credit is available for this course.  Ask Seán & Mike for details.




Upton Sinclair, The Jungle; Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried; The Mercury Reader & Three Blue Books are all required


Paul Boyer, The Enduring Vision and The Pocket Style Manual  are both recommended


LecturePoint: free resource for supplemental lecture material available on-line:





Assessment Category

SHST 146

CENG 112

First Mid-term



Second Mid-term



Final Exam


10% (w/  notebook)

Analysis of either The Jungle, or The Things They Carried



Quizes over The Jungle  & The Things They Carried



(see formative writing)




Term Paper



Peer Letters



Formative Writing (prospectus, bibliography, midterm notebook, literature quizzes)










Mike Nagle


M/W 8:00-9:00 AM; T/Th 2:00-3:00.  Or by appointment

          Phone:  (231) 843-5905

Office: Campus Center Room 757

          E-mail: mwnagle@westshore.edu

          Homepage:  http://www.westshore.edu/personal/MWNagle/


          Seán Henne


M/W 8:00-9:00 AM; T/Th 3:30-4:30.  Or by appointment

Phone:  (231) 843-5859

Office: Campus Center Room 760

          E-mail: swhenne@westshore.edu

          Homepage:  http://www.westshore.edu/personal/swhenne



The Support, Tutoring, and Resource Services (STaRS) program is available to provide free tutorial, disabilities, and other support services to West Shore students. Contact either Diann Neil Engblade or Gail Kowalski at 843-5546 or extension 5546, or stop by their offices in Suite 761 in the upper level of the Schoenherr Campus Center




1.     Students will be able to identify key individuals, groups, events, and issues from recent US history and describe their impact on the nation’s development.

2.     Students will be able to determine how events in the recent past have had an influence on contemporary issues.

3.     Students will be able to describe and evaluate the impact of social and political reform movements on the development of the US.

4.     Students will effectively analyze and evaluate both primary and secondary source material.

5.     Students will successfully demonstrate academic research skills, including the ability to use conventional citation and documentation.

6.     Students will apply their learning of argumentative rhetoric and persuasion in the development of both in class exam essays and two major writing projects.

7.     Students will successfully communicate historical concepts and literary analysis both in informal class discussions and in formal presentations.

8.     Students will show evidence of effective planning and editing skills in peer editing, collaborative planning with classmates, and individual conferences.







Note:  Specific dates for discussions, assignments, and exams are included in this calendar.  Some changes may need to be made; if so, they will be announced in class.


Section 1:  Reconstruction to the Roaring 1920s (1865-1929)


Week I

Jan 11, 13

Read Boyer Ch. 16, begin The Jungle

Read MR pp. 1-16

Course Intro & Reconstruction

Week II

Jan 18, 20

Read Boyer Ch. 17, The Jungle

Read MR pp. 16-36

Discussion 1/20:  Sand Creek Massacre & Avoiding Plagiarism

Term Paper prospectus due on Jan 20

Last West

Argumentative Writing

Week III

Jan 25, 27

Read Boyer Ch. 18, The Jungle

Read MR pp. 37-54

US at 1900

Argumentative Writing & Academic Research

Week IV

Feb 1, 3

Read Boyer Ch. 19, 20, finish The Jungle

Quiz & Discussion 2/3:  The Jungle


Academic Research

The Jungle

Week V

Feb 8, 10

Read Boyer Ch. 21, 22

MID-TERM EXAM #1:  2/10; Annotated Bib. due on Feb 10

WWI & Exam

Week VI

Feb 15, 17




Section 2:  From the Great Depression to a World Power (1929-1961)


Week VII

Feb 22, 24

Read Boyer Ch. 25

Term Paper Draft due Feb 22.

Great Depression & New Deal



March 1, 3

Read Boyer Ch. 26, begin The Things They Carried

WWII:  Battle Front

Week IX

March 8, 10

Read Boyer Ch. 27, The Things They Carried

Web Assignment “Atomic Bomb” due: 3/8

WWII:  Home Front

Presentation development

Week X

March 15, 17

Read Boyer Ch. 28, The Things They Carried &MR pp. 55-67

Term paper revisions due March 15

Post WWII Society & Economy

Literary Analysis

Week XI

March 22, 24

Read The Things They Carried

MID-TERM EXAM #2:  3/24 Analysis draft due March 24

Civil Rights & Exam

Week XII

March 29, 31





Section 3:  From Kennedy to Clinton (1961-2001)



April 5, 7

Read Boyer Ch. 28, The Things They Carried

Final Draft Term Paper due by April 7.  No Exceptions.

Kennedy & Johnson

Week XIV

April 12, 14

Read Boyer Ch. 29, finish The Things They Carried



Week XV

April 19, 21

Read Boyer Ch. 30, finish The Things They Carried

Quiz & Discussion 4/19:  The Things They Carried


Week XVI

April 26, 28

Read Boyer Ch. 31, 32

Analysis of The Things They Carried or The Jungle due in class: 4/26

Carter & Reagan


May 3, 5


Toward A New Century, Exam




1.     Participation.  Because of the nature of the learning community, participation is very important.  You are expected to actively contribute to both your own learning and that of your peers.  The baseline for the participation grade is attendance, and attendance is particularly important in the discussion sessions about the literature (in order to earn at least a “C” for participation, students must attend every session, one on January 20, one on February 3 and the other on April 19).  Beyond attendance, students will be expected to come to class prepared and on time (see # 3 below), having done the required reading and writing.  Web assignments and discussion about movies seen in class will also be included in the participation grade.  Finally, students can achieve excellence (A level work) in participation by actively contributing to discussions

2.     Attendance.  Attendance for each class meeting is mandatory.  If you miss a class for whatever reason, contact Seán via email and he will give you a make up notebook assignment to earn some participation points to account for some of the missed time.  History lectures are not replicable, however, and as much of the course material is presented in lecture, final grades will reflect each student's attendance record.  Students are responsible for ALL information presented in class, including such announcements as changes in exam, assignment, or discussion dates. If you miss six classes over the course of the semester you will not receive credit for the Composition portion of the Learning Community.  This is a Communications Department policy.    

3.     Making it to class on time is very important as lateness can distract everyone enrolled in class.  You are all paying a lot of money to be here.  Please give your fellow students the courtesy of arriving to class on time everyday.  If you have an appointment or other conflict, schedule it outside of class time; do not leave in the middle of class except in an emergency as this will interrupt the learning environment for all other students.  All cell phones and pagers must be turned off while in class.  They are a potential distraction to everyone.

4.     Plagiarism can be defined as “to steal and use the ideas and writings of another as one’s own” (American Heritage Dictionary).  Written assignments must acknowledge when a direct quote is taken or another person’s ideas are paraphrased.  If a source is not cited, this is plagiarism.  Copying another student's ideas and/or paper is cheating.  Sometimes the class will work together in groups, but each student must turn in their own paper with their own ideas.  If you are unsure what you should do, ask us.  Copying another student's answers and/or bringing crib notes are cheating.  All history exams are closed note/closed book (with the exception of quizzes over each book).  Plagiarism and/or cheating are grounds for failing an exam, assignment, or even the entire course.  If you are unsure what to do please ask.

5.     The final drafts of the two major writing assignments are due on March 24th and April 26th, respectively.  There are no exceptions.  They must be turned in by 11:59 PM the date they are due.  Students (not us!) are responsible for sending attachments correctly.  Other due dates are more flexible, but you will likely not receive Composition feedback for formative writing or essay rough drafts that are not turned in by midnight on their due dates.  Late History assignments are accepted for up to one week, but they are penalized 10% for the first late day, and 5% for each additional late day.  If you want, you may turn in papers as an e-mail attachment.  You will receive an e-mail from Mike within 24 hours letting you know he’s received the attachment; if you don’t receive an e-mail confirming the receipt, that means he didn’t receive it.  Any “glitches” can lead to penalties for late papers.

6.     Incompletes are only used in an emergency and students must have completed at least 50% of a course with a 70% or above to receive an Incomplete.


THE TERM PAPER and LITERARY ANALYSIS (summative writing projects)


The most significant piece of writing you will do this semester will be an argumentative research paper in which you argue a thesis that answers a specific historical question using evidence from both primary and secondary source material.  This question may ask why a particular event or phenomenon occurred, who or what caused it, why it happened when it did, or what particular impact it had.  It may also consider how a situation or institution changed over time.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is not your job to merely report what happened; you need to analyze what happened and support your opinion about why it happened the way that it did using effective social science research. 


The other major piece of writing you will so will involve your defense of a thesis about either The Jungle or The Things They Carried.  The point of this essay is to assess the piece of literature as a primary source historical document.  Both writers use particular rhetorical strategies to involve readers in specific historical moments.  Given what you learn both about rhetoric and about American history, you will be able to develop a thesis explaining the significance of the work as an artifact of history.




The work you do on your term paper will be individual, but since you will be researching on a topic similar to that of others in the class, you will have the opportunity to prepare a group presentation combining what you have learned about that topic to the benefit of the rest of us in the learning community.  These presentations will represent an important milestone in your development as a college student as they will showcase your ability to share significant academic exposition and argument.




You will write at least two this semester.  These are letters to your peers about their drafts that can help them understand how real readers read their work.  These are important for you as well, as you can learn a good deal about your writing by thinking about the work of others.



Not all of your writing will be formal this semester – you will also have the opportunity to “practice” writing in a notebook and turn in process stage writing for the term paper.  We will be giving some notebook assignments in class and some as homework, but the key to doing well with your notebook is to use it on your own initiative.  If you get serious about this, it can become the best way to help your writing improve.  Each entry should be dated, so we can keep track of your writing progress.  Feel free to type your entries if you find it easier to write on a keyboard.




There will be two mid-terms and one final exam.  The format of the exams will include all or some of the following:  essay, matching, short answer, and “time periods.”  The mid-terms and final will be based primarily on lecture material, but students are responsible for information included in the required readings, handouts, discussions, and films.  There also will be two quizzes during the semester over each of the required books.  These quizzes are open note & open book.  Students may use any handwritten (not photocopied or typed) notes they have written to help with this quiz.  Make-ups for the quiz will not be multiple choice.  The history text is recommended reading for this class, but you will not be tested on anything from the text that is not covered in class.  Use the text to fill in any “gaps” in lecture notes.  A set of questions will be handed out for the additional writing assignments.  Correct grammar and spelling are important.


Exams can only be made up if arrangements are made PRIOR to the exam dates.  Students have up to two weeks to make up missed exams, or they CANNOT be made up.  If you are sick or have experienced an emergency contact Mike, prior to or the day of an exam, to let him know so that we can determine when/if a make-up can be administered.  If a make-up is administered, it will be an all-essay exam.







Superior work; essays are well organized and well written, containing strong theses and logical arguments as well as analysis, supporting facts and relevant information (e.g.  from lectures, outside readings, films, speakers, and discussions).





Above average work; essays contain strong theses, but might lack focus and organization; they include analysis and are generally well written and argued; information is strong but missing some points; arguments could use more support.







Average work; essays contain no theses or theses are weak; pertinent information is included, but could use more evidence and stronger organization; understanding of course content is shown but contains little analysis.







Poor work; essays lack coherent arguments and are poorly written; information is missing and/or incorrect.






Below 60

Failure; lacking correct information; lack of effort is shown.