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Group Case Studies

The format of this course will be lectures with the scheduled 4 GROUP CASE STUDIES. The cases will focus on the assigned readings and videos. Vigorous participation in the group presentations will constitute 40 points of your course grade.


   Excellent  Proficient  Needs improvement  Your grade
 The problem was formulated perfectly 1
 The content correlates with the chosen problem  1 0.5  0.2   
 The work with the resources on the problem is seen 1
 0.5  0.2  
 The information is structured, analyzed and logically presented 1
 0.5  0.2  
 Visualization of the information: graphs, pictures, diagrams, infographics  1  0.5  0.2  
 Indication of references and links, absence of plagiarism  1  0.5  0.2  
 Grammar and vocabulary mistakes NO MISTAKES – 1 point  One mistake –  0,1 point     
 Contact with the audience:
eye contact, questions, etc.
 0.5 0.2
 Oral skills:
clear pronounciation, loudness, pauses, voice quality
 1 0.5
 Time management 13 minutes - 1  16+ minutes – 0,5  More than 16 minutes - 0   



TOn a random basis over the course of the semester you will have a series of short-answer and multiple-choice tests on the readings and lectures. The purpose of the tests is to let me know which concepts are coming through well, and which ones I may need to go over again. The midterm test will count 10% and the final will count 20% of the total course grade. The final test will cover the entire course, including all readings. Makeup exams can only be provided for absences documented and excused in advance (e.g., activities, illness).

Collaborative Web Project "Our Vision of Modern American Culture"

Description: This is a long term project you will be working collaboratively with your group mates (a group consists of 4-5 students). This site will focus on the analysis of historical, cultural contextual information; online versions of web resources (as links). You will construct a collaborative written and visual web-portfolio for this assignment. This project will give you the opportunity to consolidate and expand upon the work you’ve done during two semesters. The project will constitute 30% of your course grade.

Possible topics for Web Projects

1. The Role of New England in Cultural and Political Life of the U.S.
2. Ethnic Communities in Modern America.
3. The Impact of Immigrant Minorities on American Society.
4. Race, Sex, and Class in Modern America.
5. Ethnics and Behavior in the South (cultural and historical perspective).
6. Racism in Contemporary America.
7. Suburb, Neighborhood and Community in the Metropolises of the United States.
8. Social and the Political Impact of the Mass Media in the USA.
9. Liberty of the Press in the USA.
10. Judicial Power in the USA and its Influence on Political Society.
11. Non-governmental Organizations and their Role in U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy.
12. American English: Major Dialects and Variations.


The introductory page of your site is crucial, it should introduce:
• the theme of your project;
• a mechanism for contacting you;
• site map (table of contents);
• your own interpretation of the theme (possible to include your papers or presentation);
• your analysis of the material;
• presentation of socio-cultural information (your interpretation + links);
• presentation of Web sites relating to your theme (they might be hyperlinks or a list of useful links with their description);
• useful links;
• include at least one picture / image into your website.

For section 3-6 do not simply provide a list of links. After the title of each web site and its URL, describe the site in a few sentences. You must include at least five links for each category.

Submission format: You must put all files on one disk and save them.
Late projects are not accepted !!!
You will be presenting your projects in the computer Lab on April 26 and May 10 . The best three web-projects will be published on the site of our faculty.

Grading criteria for Web Project

45 %
your texts, related sites, description of the sites
10 %
effective overall organization of the material (easy to find and navigate)
20 %
grammar, syntax, vocabulary, style
(visual aspects)
10 %
text characteristics, attractive background, pictures/images
10 %
about 20 links
5 %
contact information

The project will count 30% of the total course grade.

In pursuing research for the project, take advantage of the vast array of source materials and bibliographies now available through the World Wide Web which are introduced in Useful Internet Links on American Studies. The sites provide a subject-based index to American Studies materials on the web.

Course Paper

Requirements to the course paper

• You will complete a course paper (10-15 pages) which will be due on May 14 in class and to my e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
• I will suggest possible topics and hand out instructions on this assignment in class (preliminary directions are on the website). You may also suggest a topic you are interested in. Be sure to discuss with me the wording of the title of the paper before you start writing it.
• Your course paper can be a part of your collaborative web project work.
• Your paper should be based on 10-20 primary sources ( books, articles, letters, diaries, etc.). You can include tables, diagrams, etc (visual information).
• All papers will also be electronically submitted to plagiarism.org, an Internet clearinghouse that works to prevent fraud in paper composition. Be sure to cite all the sources you are going to use in the paper!
• In fairness to students who hand in their papers on time, late papers will be assessed a penalty for each day the paper is late.
• type #12, Times New Roman; line space 1,5; center your title on the top of the first page; leave uniform margins on each page: an inch (2,5см) on both sides and at the top and the bottom of the page; number the pages in the top right-hand corner.
See PPpresentation how to write a research paper.

Samples of course paper topics

Russian-language Mass Media in New York City
Non-governmental organizations in the 19th century in the USA
History of Brighton Beach: Russian background and Influence
Anti-soviet propaganda in Mass Media and cinematography in the USA during Cold War
Preservation of the Russian ballet traditions in the USA
The image of a Soviet person through American movies of 1917-1930s
USSR and USA relationships in 1970 – 1990 through the Hollywood movies
Russian Charity organizations in New York City

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