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Course Materials
Grading and Assessment

Course Learning Outcomes

When you have successfully completed this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Historical Events: Demonstrate factual knowledge of major Western European historical events from approximately 1515 AD/CE to the modern period.
  2. Figures and Movements: Demonstrate factual knowledge of major Western European figures and movements in philosophy, science, literature, art, architecture, and music from approximately 1515 AD/CE to the modern period.
  3. Ideology vs. Artifacts: Explain the connections between dominant Western ideologies and cultural artifacts produced from approximately 1515 AD/CE to the modern period.
  4. Analysis: Analyze the basic components of a literary work, a painting, or a building through the correct use of appropriate terminology and evaluative models.
  5. Communication Skills: Construct cogent, lucid, and persuasive arguments in essays and short papers combining formal analysis of cultural artifacts with critical evaluation of the Western ideologies that helped produce them.

Course Materials

You will need to purchase these books:

Note: You should purchase the etext that combines volumes 1 and 2, so that you have access to the multimedia elements. We will cover chapters 16–40, skipping chapters 18 and 32. The etext access information will be emailed to you after you buy it. You do not need MyArtsLab. You do not need access to anything other than the etext itself. This online course and the Sayre etext are your primary resources.

When you receive your access code email, click Sayre, "The Humanities" Etext (in the course table of contents, right after the syllabus).

The screen will show a "Loading..." message, then seem to freeze. Look at the address bar of your browser. You will see a shield icon. Click the icon, and choose the option to disable protection or enable unsafe scripts. This will allow you to see the etext content.

Enter the access code for the Sayre etext, and you will be able to read the chapters online.

Throughtou the course, to view your etext, click Sayre, "The Humanities" Etext, click the shield icon to enable the script (if necessary), and enjoy!

You will need to buy this novel as well.

These readings are provided in the course or available online:

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Self Check Exercises

Each chapter includes a Self Check exercise which consists of 20 multiple-choice questions that cover the chapter material. You can take the Self Check exercises an unlimited number of times, each time with a different set of questions. It is recommended that you take them until you can comfortably answer any question that appears.

Self Check exercises do not count toward your course grade, but they give you helpful practice for the chapter quizzes and exams.

Chapter Quizzes

You will take a 20-question multiple-choice quiz at the end of each chapter. The quizzes do count toward your course grade.

They test your reading comprehension of the chapter and your understanding of the learning objectives as well as concepts, images, and terms. The quizzes help you understand what you have learned well and what can be improved. As such, they are good study material for the exams.

Quizzes are open book and open note. They are, however, timed. You will have 1 hour to complete each one.

Reading Responses

Reading responses are informal writing assignments intended to help you engage some specific question or idea broached by a text. These reading response assignments should help you in getting beyond surface description of the text and to ask and answer meaningful and more complex questions about the texts. These assignments are also intended to help you develop the writing and critical thinking skills fundamental to the learning objectives of the course as well as those necessary to write thesis paper.

You will read all 11 selections, and complete 8 reading responses. In three cases, you will be able to choose between two different readings.

Note: It is very important for you to read each reading selection, because ideas from them will also be covered in the quizzes and exams.

Reading responses should be approximately 250 words (one page) in length. They should answer the question clearly and directly but also substantively. A clear and direct statement answering the question should begin your reading response (a thesis) followed by multiple sentences that explain your answer. Use at least one quote from the text to support your ideas. You may use more quotes but these should be kept to a minimum and, if used, should be short. Be careful to consider alternatives to your answer or other ways of thinking about the question. This will help you write a more focused and better answer.

A premium is placed on a focused, clear, and succinct answer to the question. Here is how points will be awarded:

Cultural Event Reports

The humanities and culture is more than just the history and artifacts found in the course text and assigned readings. It is what is going on around you right now. During the semester, you are required to attend two cultural events and report on them.

Please note that not anything and everything will count as a cultural event. The rule of thumb here is an event that would be considered “high culture.” This is to say that a classical music concert counts whereas a rock concert will not. Attendance at a Las Vegas-style show will not count whereas a play performed by your local theater company will. This is not to say that these events that do not count are not culture. They are. However, in this course we are interested in high culture, even as the course is also noting how tenuous that line is between high and low culture. If you have questions, err on the side of professional or semi-professional performances done of major works of western culture.

These reports are rather informal. Answer briefly each of the following questions in your response:

  1. What did you see?
  2. What did you learn?
  3. What connections did you make to the course material?

The reports are graded on an honest-completion basis, but points may be lost through excessive bad spelling, inappropriate material, or failure to complete the assignment.

Thesis Papers

Two analysis or thesis papers are required. These analysis papers can be considered expansions of the reading response assignments, and you are welcome to use ideas from the reading responses to help you write your analysis papers. You may choose the object on which you wish to write as well as the thesis, but the object should be one of the literary, visual, or musical works assigned for the class or something from the Sayre book.

There is no need to do any outside research for the thesis paper. All evidence and support for your thesis should come from your own close reading and analysis of the selected object.

Thesis papers should contain a focused thesis statement with three to five supporting paragraphs containing evidence to support your thesis. The paper should conclude with a restatement of your original thesis and summarize the argument of your paper.

Thesis papers should be between two and three pages (500-700 words) long, double-spaced, and in 11-12 point font.

Here are the specific requirements that I will use to grade your thesis papers:

Save your thesis papers as Word documents (.DOC or .DOCX files) and submit them electronically for grading. Follow this naming convention: IHUM202_JaneSmith_Thesis1.DOCX.

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The course includes three exams, two midcourse exams and the final, corresponding to three sections of material.

Exams consist of image identification, comparison of images, passage identification, short answer, multiple choice, definitions, and short essay questions. The exams are not necessarily comprehensive, although you may be required to draw general connections between historical and cultural periods.

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Study Habits

Adopt these habits to help you succeed in this course.


Understanding and knowing the syllabus is essential to doing well in this course. The syllabus and course materials contain all of the information necessary to doing well in this course. Please consult the syllabus first with any questions you might have.

Course Time

Effectively managing your time for this course is crucial to your doing well. The university recommends that for every 1 credit hour spent in class you should spend 2 outside in preparation. Since this is an online course and there is no time spent in class, you should still be thinking of spending approximately 10 hours a week on this course alone. With the flexibility of the online  course, there is very little in the way of external structure to the course. Thus, you will have to monitor your own time commitment. Doing well in this course is directly correlated to how much time you invest in it.


Although there are several small assignments, understand that I have eliminated busy work from this course. Every assignment is integrated as preparation for other assignments. For example, careful reading of the assigned readings will allow you to write good reading responses. Writing high-quality reading responses will in turn will help you to write better thesis papers, which in turn will help you be better prepared for exams.


You will complete these assignments and exams during this course.

Assignment % Each Total %
22 end-of-chapter quizzes 1 22
8 reading responses (1 page each)  3 24
2 cultural-event reports 4 8
2 thesis papers (2–3 pages each) 8 16

Midcourse Exam 1

MidcourseExam 2

Final Exam





Grade Scale

Your letter grade will be determined using these percentages:

A 100–94
A− 93–90
B+ 89–87
B 86–83
B− 82–80
C+ 79–77
C 76–73
C− 72–70
D+ 69–67
D 66–63
D− 62–60
E (fail) 59 and below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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