Course Policies

Learning Objectives

In this class, students will learn to:

1. Develop historical perspectives
2. Express themselves clearly
3. Locate relevant information
4. Identify key historical issues and debates
5. Support plausible historical arguments.

Attendance & Participation

Class attendance and participation are both required, though with some necessary adaptations this semester for our online-only experience.  Each week there will be at least one Zoom discussion scheduled during our regular class time (usually on Tuesday mornings).  Anyone who cannot participate live must email some thoughtful reflections on the reading assignment before the Zoom session begins.  Reflections should be about a paragraph or two in length and should focus on explaining what you consider to be the most significant insights or lessons of the reading assignment.  Students might focus on significant changes in voting participation, campaign norms or media coverage being illustrated by the readings, or perhaps by considering any potential relevance for the present day.   On our other scheduled class times without Zoom sessions, ALL students will be required to email such short reflections.  Once again, these reflections should be about one or two paragraphs in length and will be due before the scheduled start time for those classes (usually Thursdays by 9am).  On these email-only days, Prof. Pinsker will compile excerpts from the student responses into a transcript which includes his own comments on the reading and will redistribute the material to everyone later that day.  All Zoom sessions will be recorded but those recordings are only intended for participants in the course and should not be posted or shared in any way.  Owing to the special conditions related to the pandemic, there will be extra flexibility for students regarding participation deadlines, but repeated failure to contribute in a timely manner will result in a reduction in course grades.

Accommodations for Disabilities

Dickinson values diverse types of learners and is committed to ensuring that each student is afforded equitable access to participate in all learning experiences. If you have (or think you may have) a learning difference or a disability – including a mental health, medical, or physical impairment – that would hinder your access to learning or demonstrating knowledge in this class, please contact Access and Disability Services (ADS).  They will confidentially explain the accommodation request process and the type of documentation that Dean and Director Marni Jones will need to determine your eligibility for reasonable accommodations. To learn more about available supports, go to or email

If you’ve already been granted accommodations at Dickinson, please follow the guidance at for disclosing the accommodations for which you are eligible and scheduling a meeting with me as soon as possible so that we can discuss your accommodations and finalize your Access Plan.


See the Handout on Plagiarism at the Methods Center as well as the blog post on Plagiarism 2.0

To plagiarize is to use without proper citation or acknowledgment the words, ideas, or work of another.  Plagiarism is a form of cheating that refers to several types of unacknowledged borrowing.

  • The most serious degree of plagiarism involves the wholesale and deceptive borrowing of written material from sources such as published authors, web sites, other students, or paper-for-hire services.  Students who submit papers or significant sections of papers that they did not write themselves are committing this type of violation.


  • Another serious degree of plagiarism involves less wholesale but still repeated and inappropriate borrowing from outside sources.  In some of these cases, students borrow several phrases or sentences from others, and do so without both quotation marks and proper attributions.  In other cases, students secretly collaborate on assignments in defiance of specific prohibitions outlined by their instructor.


  • Finally, there is a degree of plagiarism that involves the borrowing of specific words or phrases without quotation marks. In such cases, citations may be present, but they are inadequate. This problem most commonly occurs when students paraphrase sources by attempting to change a few words in a sentence or brief series of sentences.  It can also occur when students rely too heavily on parents or friends for ideas or phrases which they mistakenly claim as their own.