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04/19/2013

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 1
Vermont History 
HST 184 May 20-June 28Credit hours: 3 Summer 2013Email: psearls@uvm.eduPhone: 684-2181Online office hours: TWR, 10-12 AM
Course Summary:
 HST 184 is intended to introduce students to the majorhistorical themes and questions that have shaped the state ofVermont over time. Our goal is to better understand Vermont as aphysical entity, as an idea, and as an identity that is bothshared and contested. Our course is about not only interactionsbetween people, but also the interactions of people with theirlandscape, and with their ideological inheritance andtraditions. The course is intended to provide students with apersonal,
usable
appreciation of Vermont’s past that intimatelyinforms the present.
Learning Objectives:
1. Critical thinking: through papers, personal reflection, andespecially online discussion, students demonstrate anappreciation of ambiguity, able to see why both sides of aquestion have merit while ultimately choosing one.2. Writing skills: students’ ability to write clearly andarticulately will improve.3. Events in Vermont history: students will demonstrate anacquaintance with, and understand the context and significance,of major events in Vermont history.4. Issues in Vermont’s past: students will demonstrate anunderstanding of the major issues that have been debated overtime in Vermont.
Prerequisite Knowledge:
HST 11 or 12 is recommended, but can be waived.
Required Reading:
 Potash, et al,
Freedom and Unity 
is our basic text. It isavailable in the bookstore.In addition, supplementary reserve readings in the form ofarticles are posted on Blackboard.
 
 2
Requirements and Grading:
 Three “assessment” papers: 33% eachThree town meeting papers: +/- 1, or 0, final grade points
 Note:
one assessment paper can be replaced by a genealogicalproject that uses Ancestry.comThe
three assessment papers
each should be 2-4 pages. You havefive opportunities to write the three papers. They are intendedto be analytic exercises drawing strong conclusions about theevolution of Vermont both physically and conceptually. Eachpaper should possess a strong thesis statement that reflectsdisciplined,
critical
thinking, supported well by factualinformation, which needs to be cited (preferably in footnotes).The exact nature of these papers will be described in class.Grades on papers are determined by performance in three areas:form, structure, and content. Your paper must be asgrammatically correct as possible. It must have a strong, clearthesis statement in its introduction (which is reiterated in theconclusion), and follow a coherent line of reasoning throughlogically-structured paragraphs.There will be six town meetings interspersed throughout thesemester.
Three
times during the semester, students must turn ina
1-to-2 page paper
in a class containing a town meeting. Thesewill be short responses to at least two of the primary documentsassigned for that town meeting. Further directions, and primarydocument assignments, will be given during the semester. Theseare intended not only to stimulate online discussion, but alsoto force students to think
critically 
about what they havelearned in lectures and reading, and not simply take a passiveapproach to their work. When writing these papers, students willbe asked to put themselves in the minds of past Vermonters; youmight well be asked to write a paper sympathetic to a positionwith which you don’t necessarily agree. These papers willreceive grades indicating whether a point has been added to yourfinal course grade. To gain a “+1”, papers should not be randomspeculation, but instead opinions well informed by cited coursematerial, such as our textbook. At the same time, studentsshould have fun with them, and try to make them entertaining.In class sessions when both assessment papers and town meetingpapers may be submitted, students may certainly submit one ofeach at the same time.
 
 3
Behavioral Expectations:
 Students are expected to complete all of the readings prior tothe discussion that takes place during each unit, and will teachthe course under that assumption.Students are expected to participate at least once in discussionabout the important questions that are raised in each unit ofthe course.Students are expected to take part in every town meeting, givingan online response to each document from their uphill ordownhill perspective.Responses to the town meeting documents must be posted on theonline discussion forum by 10AM on the Monday following the endof their unit.All assignments must be completed to receive a passing grade.Under no circumstances will cheating or plagiarizing of any kindbe tolerated in this course.This syllabus is a social contract, not a legal document. Ireserve the right to make changes to it as the semesterprogresses. These changes might include, but are not confinedto, the assignment of replacement or extra readings, andaltering the form or dates of exams. Almost always, wheneverpossible, these changes will come after consultation with theclass. The idea of keeping the syllabus a little flexible is tomake the course as productive for you as it can be.
Technical Help:
If you need immediate assistance with Blackboard during thiscourse you can click on the HELP tab at the very top of theBlackboard course page. That will provide you with numerous waysto get help. If you have a question that is not urgent about howsomething in Bb works, go to the Discussion Board, and post tothe Technical Support forum. There is a 12-24 hour response timeframe. Please feel free to contact me, too, with any questionsor assistance you may need.
Lecture Topics and Text Reading Assignments:

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