The American Yawp  This is a free, online, collaborative text book, edited by two recent Rice Ph.D.s.

History Matters

Outline of U.S. History  This is a free pdf, provided by the U.S. Government

Crash Course.  Some students really like these 10-minute history jams.  Just keep in mind that you may not be getting the entire picture.

And, not surprisingly, wikipedia has a fairly reliable version of American History. Check the links to the subheadings.


Be able to

Construct a basic, meaningful, and intellectually honest narrative America’s history from late 19th century to the present

Execute a basic set of moves that constitute historical thinking

Comprehend, ponder, and write about key ideas, events, and interpretations relating to the history of the period

Work effectively as a team


Three major themes run though the course material.

1.  expanding role of the federal government

2.  expansion of personal and civil rights

3.  expanding U.S. international role


a.  home & family

b.  society

c.  economy

d. diplomacy and foreign affairs

e. reform & critique

f.  race, gender, equality

g.  media & technology


Tips for Writing Successful History Essay Exams

Grading an Essay –General criteria for grading an essay exam

History Exam EXAMPLE

 Research: Through the UT library, students have access to a wealth of research databases (EID required). If, while reading, you come across a name, place, or event that you don’t understand, we recommend:

Gale Virtual Research Library

Britannica Online

Oxford Reference Online

Dictionary of Literary Biography

Finally, if you’re the type of person who likes to have a paper reference at hand while reading, we recommend Eric Foner and John Garraty’s Reader’s Companion to American History. Amazon sells copies for as little as a penny (plus shipping)!

Reading: A professor named Mortimer Adler, who wrote a whole tome on the subject (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading) , has posted some tips on approaching a difficult text while keeping your wits about you.

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