American Exceptionalism – GOVT 329

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/09/2021

Course Description

This course introduces the student to the concept of American exceptionalism, the belief that the United States is unique among the nations in advancing justice, liberty, and freedom. The student will examine theological, historical, and political perspectives on American exceptionalism and discuss the influence and impact of the United States on the dynamics of the international policy landscape.  Finally, the student will thoughtfully examine when the United States has failed to achieve its highest liberty ideals and formulate strategies to secure her position as a positive model of representative, republican government and responsible citizenship to the nations.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


American Exceptionalism is a course designed to introduce and examine the unique role of the United States of America in history. The course examines the principles and history of America’s founding and the ways in which America has struggled to live up to its founding ideals, and provides discussion of what can and should be done in the future for America to fully realize the creed under which it was created, "that all men are created equal."

Course Assignment

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, there will be 5 opportunities for discussion participation on topics provided in Canvas. Student participation is required and will be graded. The student must use proper netiquette in the discussion; quality as well as quantity counts. The student will present his or her own informed opinion on the assigned topic in a minimum 400 word thread (with citations to support assertions for full credit). Then, the student will submit 2 replies to at least 2 other students’ threads (the student must not let the minimum be his or her maximum—minimal participation means a minimally passing grade). Each reply must be at least 200 words and must bring in new ideas and analysis. The student must cite course-specific and non-course-specific material in the thread and the replies. Each post must be in current APA format.

This assignment will be completed in 3 distinct parts: a Topic Brief, an Annotated Bibliography, and a final Research Paper.

Research Paper: Topic Brief Assignment

The student will write a topic brief of 2 pages, with a minimum of 3 scholarly sources, choosing from 1 of 4 topics pertaining to the traits of American exceptionalism. The topic brief will be the basis for the final research paper at the end of the course. The topic brief must be in current APA format.

Research Paper: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will develop an Annotated Bibliography to jumpstart his or her research into the topic selected for the topic brief for the final research paper. The student will use the sources/information recorded in the Annotated Bibliography as they develop their paper. The student will submit the annotated bibliography, citing a minimum of 8 scholarly sources in current APA format (this includes the 3 provided in the topic brief) with 1–2 paragraphs of summarized notes under each source listed.

Research Paper: Final Assignment

The student will write a 6–8-page Research Paper with at least 10 scholarly sources, discussing the topic chosen with the Topic Brief. Scholarly sources used must include those previously indicated in the Topic Brief and those from the Annotated Bibliography. This assignment must be completed in current APA format and include an abstract, title page, and bibliography.

Each quiz will cover the reading material for the assigned Modules: Weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and contain 50 multiple-choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions. Each quiz has a 2-hour time limit and multiple retakes are allowed.