UCSB Hist 133D, Fall 2001
The Holocaust in German History
Phelps 1508, T-Th 11:00-12:15

Prof. Marcuse
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Tues. 12:30-1:30, Wed. 11-12

Hist 133D: Journal and Book Essay Assignments

  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 one or two entries per week (total of 6), with each entry averaging about 450 words in length. That is about 3/4 page, single-spaced, in 12 point font.
  2. Each entry will be based on your thoughts about newspaper or magazine articles you read during that week, or readings, lectures and films for this course. Occasionally, web sites, books for another course, conversations or personal experiences may be appropriate. You should relate the issues you discuss to the course topic. For articles you should include a clipping, copy, or printout. There should be a rough balance of entries on articles and on course materials.
    For the entries on the course material, feel free to exercise criticism, ask questions, and raise important issues, especially if you are uncomfortable doing so in class. You will be graded on how insightful your discussion or how convincing your argument is, not on whether you agree with me.
    Tip: Jot ideas down during lecture or whenever, and develop them later.
  3. In a large bluebook, use the first right-hand page to keep a handwritten running table of contents with the entry number (1-6), the source and date, and a short descriptive title. Example:
    1. LA Times, Sat. Sept. 1, 2001, p. A3: "Obstacles Abound for Racism Forum" (professor's entry)
    2. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2001, thoughts about lecture on Intentionalism/Functionalism/Structuralism
    3. LA Times, Mon. Oct. 1, 2001, A5: "German Hunt for Terrorists Haunted by Past"
  4. In the rest of the bluebook, glue, tape or staple the article (or photocopy) on the left hand page, and attach your typed entry facing it on the right hand page. Write the entry number in the upper right hand corner. (You do not need to photocopy course materials.)
    Please single or 1½-space to fit each entry on one page. Each entry should begin with the date and a short headline indicating the source and topic of your entry.
  5. In each entry you should first briefly summarize the relevant information in the article (or whatever), for about ¼ of the entry. The main portion should be your thoughts and analysis of the article, relating it to the course topic.
    You should not write vague opinions or make unsubstantiated claims.
  6. 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.)
  7. Journals will be collected three times, at the beginning of class: Oct. 11 (with 2 entries),
    Oct. 25 (with 2 new entries), and Nov. 15 (with 2 new entries).
  8. The journals will be graded as follows: each entry can receive up to 4 points for a total of 24.
    The grading scale will be check -, check, check +, or +.


  1. Finding a topic. A good way to find a topic is to look though the textbook, the course reader, and the course web site for ideas. When you find something you would like to know more about, check for bibliographical references. If you have trouble finding a topic, or literature on a topic, please come to talk to me—sooner rather than later!
  2. Suitable books. I would prefer that you select academic works of history, and not memoirs or fiction, although I may make some exceptions. That means the books you choose should have a scholarly apparatus of foot- or endnotes, and a bibliography.
    1. Format. The purpose of the proposal is to find a suitable book on your topic of interest. It has three main elements:
    2. a descriptive title that indicates the main theme you are interested in.
    3. a short description and explanation of your topic, including an explicit list of a few questions that you hope the book will address.
    4. full bibliographic information on one, two or three books that you think may be suitable, including library call number or other information on the availability of the book.
  3. Published reviews. You should attach photocopies of at least one, preferably two or possibly three reviews of that book from scholarly journals. For books published since 1987, these are most easily accessible through the Magazine and Journal Articles database (MAGS) on melvyl.
  4. Proposal grading. The proposal will be marked Ö -,Ö , or Ö +. A Ö - must be resubmitted until the professor approves the book. The photocopied review(s) are worth 4 additional points.


  1. Once your book has been approved, you should read it and write a 1-2 page summary description of the book. This is a separate assignment from the book essay, which should discuss how the book addresses and answers your question. This summary may be included in the final book essay.


  1. Content/Grading. When I grade, I look for five things. First, a thesis statement tells me the goal of the paper, what it is trying to argue or explain. Second, I look for an argument supporting that thesis. Third, I look for concrete evidence—specific cases or examples—used to support that argument. A paper with any two of these three is a "C;" all three elements earn a "B."
    Fourth, I look to see whether counterevidence is discussed—whether you refute evidence that supports a thesis different or contradictory to your own. If elements one, two and three are also present, this would bring a paper into the "A" range.
    Finally, I look to see whether a paper is carefully written and proofread, and has clear organization or perhaps even stylistic grace. This can lift a paper up to a "+" or, with two or more typos/errors per page, drop it down to a "."
  2. Length. Your book essay should be about 1500 words—5-6 double-spaced, typed pages, with 1½x1x1x1 margins and proportional space font.
    Number the pages!
    By hand is ok if you are word-processor challenged. Otherwise one point off!
  3. Due dates. The book essay is due twice: as a rough draft on Tuesday Nov. 20, and in its final version on Thursday Nov. 29, at the beginning of lecture.
    Late submissions will be penalized one point per day, beginning at 11am. I do this because students entering late disrupt the class and distract me.
  4. Scoring. The book essay counts for 1/3 of your final grade. It is worth taking seriously!
    Papers that are not proofread or do not have numbered pages will be reduced by one point.
  5. This course fulfills the general education writing requirement. If you do not submit the journal, proposal and the term paper, you cannot receive credit for this course (i.e., you will fail).
  6. Plagiarism—presenting someone else's work as your own, or deliberately failing to credit or attribute the work of others on whom you draw (including materials found on the web)—is a serious academic offense, punishable by dismissal from the university. It hurts the one who commits it most of all, by cheating them out of an education. Offenses will be reported to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action.
created and uploaded Oct. 4, 2001, formatting added 5/5/04