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HIST 2010 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

HIST 2010 - Early United States History (formerly US History I)

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course examines the social, political, economic and intellectual history of the United States from the colonial period to 1877.

Note:  Course title and course number changes are effective Fall 2018.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Think analytically and critically and communicate effectively his/her ideas in written form.

  • Explain the contributions of various cultures to American development.

  • Analyze the growth and evolution of the American political tradition.

  • Examine the role and relationship of government to the citizen during this formative period.

  • Differentiate between emerging patterns of development in antebellum society and explain the factors that contributed to these patterns.

  • Evaluate the influences that lead to a polarization of American society in the mid-nineteenth century.

  • Analyze the forces and stimuli that began the transformation of the nation towards a market and industrial economy.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Satisfactory completion of all required Learning Support competencies or appropriate entrance test scores. Students must read and write at a level expected from a college freshman.

Course Topics:
  • Colonial America
  • American Revolution and Early National Era
  • Rise of Democracy and the Civil War 
Specific Course Requirements:

This course requires a large amount of reading and the writing of critical essays. The successful completion of this course will improve students' skills in these areas as well as critical thinking. 

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:
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

Testing Procedures:

All exams will be online exams. No proctor is necessary. 

Grading Procedures:

Students will accumulate points based on their performance on three On-line Exams, three Written Assignments, and ten Discussion Topics. 


Exams cover material from specified lessons in the course outline and chapters from the textbook. Each exam will consist of three short essays (60% of grade) and one long essay (40% of grade). The short essay section involves identifying and discussing the historical significance of three out of six terms. These terms include people, places, and events, which have been covered in the course. The long essay section requires students to answer a specific question. Students will know this question in advance and should prepare and consult an outline during the exam. For each exam there is a study guide (see Key Words and Concepts under each module), which lists the possible terms and the long essay question. An excellent essay must 1) have a clearly defined thesis or main point, which is stated at the beginning of the essay, 2) support this thesis with sound logical arguments, which cite relevant facts and data, and 3) directly address the question(s) or relate the significance of a term.

Written Assignments

For each written assignment students will answer essay questions based on certain assigned readings. Each assignment must be a minimum of 500 words in length. These essays will be evaluated according to the same criteria as essays in exams. In addition one-half point will be deducted from the total score of each assignment for every egregious error in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Students must forward their assignments by using the course dropbox.

Discussion Topics

Students will participate in class discussion through the discussion board. At periodic intervals during the semester the instructor will post questions concerning a specific topic on this board and students will be expected to respond to them and to a minimum of two students' responses to these questions for each topic. There will be ten discussion topics and each topic is worth 8 points. If a student does not respond to the instructor's questions concerning a certain topic, respond to other students' responses, and does not provide a reasonably intelligent response or comment (as determined by the instructor), the student will not receive the 8 points for that topic.

3 Online Exams @ 100 points each300 Points
3 Written Assignments @ 40 points each120 Points
10 Discussion Topics @ 8 points each80 Points
Total Points500 Total Course Points


Grading Scale:
Point RangeAssigned Grade
450-500 PointsA
449-400 PointsB
399-350 PointsC
349-300 PointsD
under 300 PointsF


Assignments and Projects:

Written Assignments and Exams:

In this course students write essays for their exams and written assignments. So that students are aware of the criteria that the instructor employs to assign grades to essays, please consult the following chart: 

AThesis is well written and directly answers the question(s) under consideration.Author supports the thesis with at least three clear and rational argumentsAuthor cites very specific and accurate facts, which clarify and substantiate all arguments.
BThe thesis clearly states the main point(s) of the essay, but does not directly address the question(s).Author supports the thesis with some rational arguments.Author cites some general facts to support arguments.
CThe thesis is not clearly stated.Author makes statements that show familiarity with the subject matter of the question(s), but does not address or answer the question(s).Author does not consistently cite relevant facts to clarify or substantiate statements.
DEssay appears to lack a thesisAuthor makes some incorrect statements, which indicate that the student either has not studied the subject matter of the question(s) or misunderstood it.Author does not cite facts or cites inaccurate facts to clarify or substantiate statements.
FThe essay clearly has no thesis.Author repeatedly makes incorrect statements, which indicate little or no familiarity with the subject matter of the question(s).Author repeatedly cites incorrect facts or cites no facts at all to clarify or substantiate statements.
Class Participation:

Students must participate in the discussion board. The instructor encourages all students to contact the instructor to ask questions or receive feedback. 

Late Policy:

Students need to consult the course calendar for the due dates of Discussion Topics, Written Assignments and dates for Exams. No late Written Assignment or Discussion Topic will be accepted by the instructor unless the student can demonstrate to the instructor that she/he had a legitimate reason for missing a due date (i.e. medical or family emergency, natural disaster). The instructor may accept late work at her/his discretion. Students who miss an exam for a legitimate reason (see above) may contact the instructor to make arrangements for a make-up exam. 

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 March 23, 2018