Prof. Marcuse
HSSB 4221, 893-2635, Office hours: Wed. 1-3
UCSB Hist 133C, Fall 1998
Germany since 1945
HSSB 1174, T-Th 2:00-3:15

  1. For the writing assignment in this course you are required to keep a journal on a regular basis throughout the course. You will write two entries per week (total of 16), with each entry averaging about 450 words in length. That is about 2/3 page, single-spaced, in 12 point font.
  2. Each entry will be based on your thoughts about a) newspaper or magazine articles you read during that week, or b) readings, lectures and films for this course. You should relate the topics you discuss to the course theme. For articles you should include a clipping, copy, or printout. Over the entire quarter there should be a balance of about 8 entries on articles and 8 on course materials.
  3. For the entries on the course material: feel free to exercise criticism, ask questions, and raise important issues, especially if you are too shy to do so in class. You will be graded on how perceptive your discussion and how convincing your argument is, not on whether you agree with me.
  4. An occasional entry (perhaps 3 of the 16 required entries) may refer to a TV or radio news report, or a web site, book for another course, film or video, conversation or personal experience. Tip: Jot ideas down during lecture or whenever, and develop them later.
  5. You should use two large bluebooks for this assignment. Your name should be written clearly on the front cover.
  6. Leave the first right-hand page blank of articles, to keep a handwritten running table of contents with the entry number (1-16), the date, the source (e.g. name of newspaper), and a short descriptive title. This will be used for grading purposes. Example:
    1. Sept. 27, 98 LA Times opinion piece on the German parliamentary elections.
    2. Oct. 1, 98, slide shown in lecture of the June 1984 D-Day ceremony
  7. In each entry you should first briefly summarize the relevant information in the article (or whatever), then write your thoughts and analysis of it, relating it to the course. You should NOT write vague opinions or make unsubstantiated claims. (For example: I liked the article because it reported on an important issue. I didn't like this editorial because of its liberal slant. This article was interesting because it showed how important Berlin is.)
  8. Rather, you should explain your opinion, giving clear reasons and pertinent evidence. (If you are unclear on this, see the professor's example on the course web site.)
  9. When submitted, these entries should be typed and pasted in the bluebook, with the articles (or photocopies) to which you are referring on the left page, and your printed entries facing them on the right page. Each entry should begin with the date and a short headline indicating the source and topic of your reflection. An "entry number" should be written in the upper right-hand corner of each right-hand page. You can also use these numbers to refer back to other entries.
  10. Journals will be collected on four Tuesdays, at the start of class: 13 Oct., 27 Oct., 10 Nov., and 24 Nov.
  11. The journals will be graded as follows: each acceptable entry will receive one point, and a fifth "bonus" point will be awarded if at least two of each four entries show particular insight. Thus you can receive up to 5 points per submission for a total of 20% of the course grade.
  12. As the weeks progress, you will find that you are able to bring comparative perspectives to your reflections, relating various entries to each other and to the course materials. You may find that you wish to revise earlier assessments and reactions on the basis of new information. That is good-it is evidence of a learning process, and one of the main reasons you should be taking this course!! You have the opportunity to tie all of this together in the TERM PAPER.


  1. Topic. Drawing on one (or more) example in your journal, you should develop in depth one case in post-1945 German history in which you make an argument about how "the personal" and "the political" have interacted. Think of this as an op-ed piece for a newspaper, combining facts, analysis and opinion.
    You may have to do some additional research for this paper.
    Sample topics:
    What message did Heinrich Böll want to convey with his novel "Billiards at half-past nine"?
    What role did John Kennedy's Berlin speech play in the lives of ordinary Berlin citizens?
    How did Anna Rosmus help to shape Passau's political culture?
    How do private people differ from politicians in their assessment of the Berlin wall?
    How do Ronald Reagan's speeches in Germany reflect his view of how history happens?
    Why does the Green party need to choose between fundamentalist and realist stances?
  3. Length. Your term paper should be at least 1000 words-4 double-spaced, typed pages, with 1½x1x1x1 margins and proportional space font. Substantially longer papers will be returned to be rewritten.
  4. Due date. The term paper is due on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 2pm (at the beginning of lecture).
    Late submissions will be penalized 1 point per day, beginning at 2pm.
  5. Grading. The term paper counts for 30% of your final grade. Although it is not long (only 2½ times as long as a journal entry), you must take it seriously!!
    (Point values: A: 28; A-: 27; B+: 26; B: 25; B-: 24; C+: 23; C: 22; C-: 21; D+: 20)
  6. This course fulfills the general education writing requirement. If you do not submit the journal and the term paper, you cannot receive credit for this course (i.e., you will fail).
  7. Plagiarism-presenting someone else's work as your own, or deliberately failing to credit or attribute the work of others on whom you draw-is a serious academic offense, punishable by dismissal from the university. Offenses will be reported to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action.