World History A Syllabus
World History A
Dr. Copeland
This course provides an in-depth overview of key events in the development of human history beginning with the earliest civilizations and progressing through high Middle Ages and their immediate aftermath. As a rough guide this overview will cover a period that begins around 5000 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and ends in approximately 1400 C.E.

There will be four (4) units in this course: 1) The Rise of Ancient Societies, 2)The Classical Age, 3) Faiths and Military Societies, 4) Restructuring Societies

EHS Essential Learning Goals for World History A:

At the end of this course, all students should at a minimum know and/or be able to:

1. Identify key people, groups, places, and institutions for each historical era
2. Describe and explain the cause and effect of dominant traits of various global civilizations including of economics, religion/philosophy, ethnicity/race/class, conflict and technology.
3. Demonstrate the ability to accurately locate key cities, civilizations and landforms.

4. Analyze the impact or influence of geographic features on various civilizations.
5. Compare, contrast and analyze the influence of past civilizations on the modern world.
6. Demonstrate skills of historical writing including the use of thesis statements, clear organization, supporting evidence, and conclusions.
7. Analyze a variety of primary and secondary historical documents. This analysis will include evaluations of bias, reliability, authority and accuracy in both print and electronic media.

Due to the vast amount of information present in this time period, this class is conducted in a survey fashion, highlighting what historians have identified as pivotal events in the development of human civilization. Many of the seeds of our own customs, traditions, beliefs, and philosophies were planted in these earlier societies.

We will be dealing with themes including the development of politics, societal morality, religion, economics, art and architecture, and conflict to name only a few.

Each unit draws on learning from the previous unit and will be tested independently.

Each unit will be assessed using student open-note, open-rough draft essays.  Students will be expected to write comprehensive historical essays for these units. In each unit students will work with a variety of historical documents. This work will generally be completed in a short answer question, or multiple choice format.  While there are no scored worksheets or homework assignments included in the final grade, students are encouraged to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes each day reviewing key information covered in class and preparing outlines and rough drafts for their essays. Students will be able to use notes and outlines on unit essay exams. Each essay is worth 50 points. Unit essays are worth 40% of your final grade. Short Answer assessments are worth 15% of your final grade. In class multiple choice quizzes comprise 15% of your final grade.

You will be given the questions for each unit essay during the first week of class. These questions are also available under the World History A Essay Questions button on the left. The question upon which you will write will be determined by a random in-class drawing from these questions. It is expected that students will prepare for all essays and exams by taking good notes in class and by preparing outlines or rough drafts for each essay question before the essay examination is administered. 

All essays must be original compositions with a complete introduction, main idea or thesis, accurate historical evidence, explanations, and examples. Although only a small percentage of your score, spelling and grammar will count toward your grade on these essays so I would recommend that you prepare outlines or rough drafts for each prompt PRIOR to the date the essays are written in class. These essays must be entirely your creation and written in your words. DO NOT simply copy text from the book, other history books, or web sites. If you use any quotes, phrases, or styles from another source without citing them appropriately it is plagiarism. Additionally, do not copy or paraphrase the work of your fellow students, or friends. These are also examples of plagiarism. If someone asks to see your essay or rough draft I would advise you not to share your work as it usually means the other student is not prepared and may take phrases or ideas from yours. This is also an example of plagiarism. In each of these cases, or any other involving plagiarism, all involved parties will receive a score of 0 for their essays. There will be NO opportunity to make up plagiarized essays! 

One of the key elements of historical examination is the ability to use the past to inform the present, and perhaps even shape the future. The World History A course includes assignments requiring you to obtain and analyze information about current events taking place throughout the world. There will be 5 of these assignments, each must be linked to the topic(s) we are examining in class. These assignments will be three paragraphs in length. A basic template for these current events can be accessed from the left hand menu bar of my World History website. Current event assignments are worth 10% of your final grade. 


The course will conclude with a 75-question final exam that will be given to all World History A students during the 2-hour period of final exams. The final exam is worth 20% of your final grade.

a) During the first week of the trimester, you will be given a study guide for the common final that will include a list of the state standards for World History, a list of terms under specific categories and a list of places. These items can also be accessed by clicking on the World History A Terms for Final Exam, and the Minnesota Standards for World History buttons on the left hand menu bar of this website. This study guide will allow you to prepare for the final exam all trimester!

b) The Common Final will be closed notebook with no “cheat sheet.” It is a test of your knowledge!

c) The Common Final Exam will consist of three sections:

1) 40 Multiple Choice Questions: These questions will be based closely on the state standards. Because the goal is to assess students’ in-depth understanding, they will often require students to choose “which of the following does not belong” on the list of causes, reasons or descriptions. It is meant to be fair, but challenging!

2) 15 Geography Questions: This section will require students to know where something took place or why a site was important and then to identify the location of that place on a map. It could be a country, city, territory, region, battle site, landform, or body of water

3) 20 Document Based Response questions: These questions will focus on students' ability to gather and analyze information from an excerpt of a historical document. Questions could be drawn from any documents from across the various regions and societies covered in the course.

Final Grade Calculation:

Unit Essays = 40%
Multiple Choice Quizzes = 15%
Short Answer Question = 15%
Current Events = 10%
Final Exam = 20%

Total = 100%

I love teaching history and hope my passion for scholarship and historical investigation will help open the world for your intellectual exploration.

I encourage you to contact me regarding questions about the class.
Voice: 651.683.6969 ext. 86572