The Great Plains

Course Details

Course Number: HIST 6003  Section Number: 180

Fall 2010

Location: O'Donohoe Hall

Classroom Number: 231

Days & Times:

T, 5:30-8:20 pm

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Michael L. Collins   
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Course Objectives

The student will achieve a clear understanding of the major historical currents in the development of the Great Plains of North America.  In the process the student will demonstrate a firm grasp of important historical concepts as well as an ability to evaluate major historical problems relating to the Great Plains.  At the same time the student will show evidence of a precise and well-reasoned analysis of the causes and consequences of those historical events and trends.  The student will also be able to identify conflicting historical interpretations, with particular emphasis on the "Webb Thesis," and to distinguish such differing points of view from actual fact.

Each student will also demonstrate a clear understanding of the principles and practices of sound historical research and of effective writing and research.

Course Expectations

The final course grade will be determined primarily by an assessment of the student's quality of research and presentation of a formal paper of 12-15 pages in length (including end notes). Each student will present their paper in seminar and will offer a thorough and thoughtful critique of at least two other student papers.

Each student will also be required to submit and present two formal book reviews, typed and double-spaced, using the format provided in class.  The student will consult with the professor regarding the selection of the topics and books to be read.  The reviews will be approximately two and a half to three pages in length (no more than four pages).

Each student will also be required to write a "take-home" essay to be submitted during final exam week.  The discussion question will focus upon Webb's The Great Plains.

Grading Standards

90-100   A

80-89     B

70-79     C

60-69      D

59 & below     F

Submission Format Policy

To be provided in class.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Class attendance is required, with participation in class discussions being factored into the determination of the final course grade.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.