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Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Historical Knowledge of WWII: Students will be able to explain and analyze the history of the global conflict of 1939 to 1945.
  2. Research Literature: Students will be able to analyze and interpret primary source documents.
  3. Critical Interpretation: Students will be able to interpret and discuss the meanings and history and memory.
  4. Critical Analysis: Students will be able to formulate historical arguments based on primary sources and place them in a historiographical context.


It is recommended that history majors complete History 200 before taking this class.

Course Materials

Note: History courses typically have heavy reading and writing loads. This class is no exception.

You will need these textbooks for the course:

A note about names: Asian personal names on this course site and in most of the readings (other than for Terkel’s The Good War, which is aimed at a general reading audience) appear surname (family name) first followed by personal name, except in the cases of Asian Americans or Asian scholars based in the West who publish in English.

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Source Analysis

You will prepare a source analysis on the readings for eight different lessons. Each source analysis will be worth 2 points, and lowest score will be thrown out.

The structure of these analyses should be as follows:

  1. Answer the questions in a substantive paragraph(s) by intelligently discussing an implication (there will undoubtedly be more than one) or application of the concepts in the readings. In short, in your answer, be sure to consider what this reading selection tells us about the time, place, event, etc. under consideration?
  2. Answer the question “What percent of the readings did I complete for this lesson?”

Reading Quizzes

There are eight reading quizzes in the course. The questions are based on the assigned readings and the previous lecture.

The quizzes are open book and open note, but there is a strict time limit of 15 minutes—if you haven’t read and studied the material, you will not be able to pass the quiz.

You must receive a score of 70% or better on each quiz before you can continue to the next lesson. You will be able to retake each quiz as many times as you need to reach at least 70%.

Map Quiz

A computer-graded map quiz will help ensure that you have a basic understanding of the necessary geography.

Book Dissection

You will write a 3-page book dissection on Michael C. C. Adams’s The Best War Ever. Refer to the assignment page for full details.

Fiction or Film Essay

You are required to write a 3-4 page essay analyzing a piece of fiction or two films about the Second World War. Refer to the assignment page for full details.

Primary Source Analysis

You are to complete a 5-6 page analysis of a primary source. Refer to the assignment page for full details.

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You will complete two exams for the course:

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Your course grade comes from your scores on these assignments and exams:

Item Weight
8 Source Analysis Papers 14%
8 Reading Quizzes 14%
Map Quiz 2%
Book Dissection 8%
Fiction or Film Essay 7%
Primary Source Analysis Paper 15%
Midcourse Exam 15%
Final Exam 25%

Grade Scale

Your letter grade will be based on this breakdown:

A 94–100%
A− 90–93%
B+ 87–89%
B 83–86%
B− 80–82%
C+ 77–79%
C 73–76%
C− 70–72%
D+ 67–69%
D 63–66%
D− 60–62%
E (fail) 59–0%

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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 t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report 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 http://titleix.byu.edu 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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