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GEOG 3710 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

GEOG 3710 - Geography of the United States

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

The physical and cultural geography of the regions of Anglo-America, with the recognition, analysis, and interpretation of the landforms, resources, and human adjustments that are made within its several regions.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Locate and identify pertinent physical, economic, urban, and political regions of the United States and Canada.
  • Discuss current land use trends impacting U.S. and Canadian environments.
  • Cite numerous print and internet sources referring to the geography of the U.S. and Canada.
  • Describe applications of geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and global positioning systems (GPS) technology.
  • Discuss environmental and economic trans-boundary issues among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
  • Conduct basic research using U.S. Census and other data.
  • Discuss various aspects of African American history within the context of the geography of the U.S. and Canada.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:
  • Unit 1 - The U.S. and Canada in the Earth Science Tradition (Weeks 1-3) McKnight Chapters 1 and 2 - other pages from Chapters 6-20 to be announced)


  • Unit 2 - The U.S. and Canada in the Human-Land Tradition (Weeks 4-6) McKnight Chapters 3 and 4 - other pages from Chapters 6-20 to be announced) Routeledge Atlas pp. 20-45, 52-69)



  • Unit 3 - The U.S. and Canada in the Spatial and Area Studies Traditions (Weeks 7-10) (McKnight Chapter 5 - other pages from Chapters 6-20 to be announced) Routeledge Atlas pp. 68-69, 102-103, 118-131)
Specific Course Requirements:


The learning system you will use will be heavily dependent upon material in the required texts.  Specific reading assignments within the texts will be provided.  Some reading assignments will be supported by internet resources.  Students are encouraged to access the World Wide Web for research materials.  Several useful web sites will be provided periodically.  Students are recommended to maintain frequent contact with the instructor via email. A significant amount of reading and writing will be required.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

You should purchase an atlas of the U.S. and Canada, or have access to one.  Ask the course instructor for information about the many online atlases available.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Grading Procedures:
Grading Scale:
Point RangeAssigned Grade
360 - 400  PointsA
320 - 359 PointsB
280 - 319 PointsC
240 - 279 PointsD
under 240 PointsF
Assignments and Projects:

Graded Assessments

6 Writing Assignments @ 30 points each180 Points
1 Writing Assignment @ 20 points20 Points
13 Discussion Questions (Based on Authorship and Reading)40 Points
2 Exams @ 80 points each160 Points
Total Points400 Points
Class Participation:
Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 12, 2021