World War II – HIWD 555

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course is a comprehensive examination of the causes, course, and significance of World War II.

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


World War II is the most costly war that the world has ever known and caused significant changes in the world as old power structures collapsed and new ones arose. This course will provide the student the opportunity to explore why the war occurred, how it was fought, and what the consequences were for the 20th century.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (6)

The student is required to write a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 200–250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 100–150 words.

Research Paper: Topic Proposal Assignment

The student will complete a 1-2 page topic proposal describing a topic to be researched. The topic will address a research question of historical significance to the World War II era. This assignment will serve as the first milestone building to a 7-8 page research paper that will be due in week 7. The proposal will include the following: an explanation of the historical significance of the topic; a clear and concise research question; and a research plan that describes the accessibility of important sources for the project.  

Research Paper: Bibliography Assignment

The student will compile a 10-source Bibliography in current Turabian format that focuses on a significant topic or issue (specific battle, military unit, technological innovation, homefront, propaganda, etc.) from World War II. The student should use the JSTOR database to find 5 scholarly articles and the ILRC or Worldcat to find 5 scholarly books on the subject.  Students may use other sources for materials as well.

Research Paper: Thesis Statement and Outline Assignment

The student will complete an outline of how the main points of the research paper will be organized. The outline will begin with a draft of the student’s introduction, to include a clear and concise thesis statement, and will end with a draft of the student’s conclusion. More detailed instructions on how the outline is to be written are contained in the assignment instructions.

Research Paper: Final Submission Assignment

The student will write a 7–8-page Research Paper in current Turabian format that focuses on a significant topic or issue (specific battle, military unit, technological innovation, homefront, propaganda, etc.) related to World War II. A study of an individual leader is not allowed.  The student must use footnotes in the Turabian format to cite a minimum of 10 scholarly articles, books, or other sources. A bibliography in proper Turabian format must be included at the end of the paper. The bibliography does not count towards the 7-8 page limit.

Book Review Assignments (2)

The student will write two Book Reviews that focus on each of the following books: Bergen’s War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust and Symonds’ The Battle of Midway. Each Book Review must be 4–5 pages. Students must use footnotes in current Turabian format to cite their examples.