Class Discussion—Because this is hybrid class, class discussion will take place on the class website instead of face-to-face. Every week, students will write a blog post summarizing the reading assignment for that week. Blog posts need to demonstrate that you have completed the reading assignment to receive full credit. For book length assignments, students must write 3-4 paragraphs to show that they have completed the reading. No late or incomplete blog posts will be accepted. Students may miss one blog post without affecting their final grade. For specific dates and times, see the Schedule. 

Blog Comments—In order to promote conversation, students must comment on at least two other blog posts by 5PM of the day on which blog posts are due. Comments are to engage the blog post author’s ideas in a thoughtful and substantive manner to receive full credit.

U.S. Immigration Research Project—Students are required to write a 10-page research paper and give a 5-minute video presentation on any subject related to U.S. immigration history. There will also be a series of smaller assignments that will lead to completion of the final project. Assignments will be marked down a full letter grade everyday they are late, and will no longer be accepted after 48 hours. All assignments, except for the video presentation and final research paper, are to be in hard copy and handed in at the beginning of class. Students must use Chicago Manual of Style for all footnotes/endnotes and bibliographies. See the Schedule for specific deadlines.

  • Primary Source Analysis (2-3 pages): Students will write a close analysis of a primary source that is central to their research project. The essay must include the following:
    • A description of the primary source
    • Contextual information related to the source’s periodization
    • Contextual information related to the source’s author(s)
    • A historical discussion of the meaning of the item 
    • A historical discussion of any inferences that can be made about an event or periodization
  • Project Description (2-to-3 pages): Students will write a short essay that lays out each person’s research plan. Each essay must address the following: 
    • The subject that you plan to research
    • A working argument
    • The types of primary sources that you plan to use and examples (including the one used for your primary source analysis)
    • The name and brief summary of two book-length secondary sources
    • The significance of your proposed project
    • Bibliography (separate page) 
  • Video Presentation (5 minutes): Students will submit presentations of their research in video form using one of the software that are currently available (Screencast-o-matic, Powerpoint, etc.). Below are the components required in the video presentation:
    • An introduction and conclusion.
    • An overview of your topic.
    • A thesis.
    • Specific subthemes that support your argument. 
    • Meets the 5-minute criteria.
    • Speak loudly and coherently.
    • Use suitable posture and gestures.
  • Student Research Paper (10-pages): This assignment is a culmination of your research and writing. It will include analyses of both primary and secondary sources that support your thesis statement. A bibliography must be included at the end of your paper. The 10-page minimum does not include the bibliography or citations, both of which are to be in Chicago Manual of Style formatting. 

Exams—There will be a midterm and a final exam. The midterm will be a two-part exam consisting of identifications and an essay. Both parts of the midterm will be held in class. The final exam will be an essay comparing NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names: A Novel to the other book-length readings discussed in the class. If you need to learn more about Zimbabwe under the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe, students can only use the following news outlets:

Specific articles:

All sources need to be cited and included in your bibliography (separate page), using Chicago Manual of Style for formatting. The final essay will be emailed to me directly ( For specific dates, see the Schedule.