United States Military History, Independent Study

Syllabus: United States Military History, Independent Study
Alan R. Millett and Peter Maslowski, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United
States of America.
Course Overview:
The independent study course, United States Military History, primarily will be a reading-focused
course. Besides the primary text, each student will be expected to read a military biography, a
monograph on a particular battle or campaign, a monograph on some specific aspect of the
military arts, and an alternate history book. Class members will select these books with the
approval of the teacher. In addition, students should begin to read articles in various military
history magazines on a regular basis.
Students will be required to produce an 8-12 page research paper on a topic of their choosing with
the teacher’s approval. Students can elect to do this project in either semester, but all projects
must be complete by March 30, 2008.
Students will prepare a 2-3 page review for each of the self-selected books they read.
Students will serve as critical reviewers of the work of their classmates, both as to the technical
aspects of the writing and to the quality of ideas contained in the work.
The weekly meetings of the class will operate in a seminar format with discussion of the week’s
reading assignment and presentations by students on their current independent reading.
Grades in United States Military History will be based on four things:
1) the research paper.
2) the written reviews of the books they have selected to read.
3) the quality of the student’s presentations on their own reading and the quality of
his/her contributions to the overall discussions.
4) the quality of the student’s work as a critical reviewer.
If there is sufficient interest, it is possible that the group could take some weekend or school
holiday field trips to nearby battle sites. A longer trip, perhaps at spring break is also a possibility
if there is interest.