Please note the following suggestions for writing your assignments.
- Writing is hard work done to make reading easy and enjoyable. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader. Would you enjoy reading your paper is someone else had written it? Think about it, hard!
- Procrastination is the enemy of a good paper. Get it done early. Leave plenty of time to rewrite and edit. Don’t expect to hand in a good paper until you work it over several times. The practice of type, save, send (or print) generally does not produce a high quality essay.
- As part of the rewrite and edit process, try reading the paper aloud to yourself or better yet to someone else. Reading aloud will help you smooth out the flow of sentences and remove errors of syntax (sentence organization). If you find it hard or confusing to read aloud, it is probably not “reading” very clearly either.
- The sequence of any essay is important. Essays should start with a clear thesis paragraph that outlines the major points you will make in the essay. The paragraphs that follow must support the thesis and lead progressively to a conclusion. The conclusion should restate the thesis.
- Double space and use a reasonable font size. This was typed using Times New Roman 12 point. That is pretty standard these days. The font size you use should be approximately this size. What I don’t want to see is something like Times New Roman 14 point or Courier New 12 point or larger. (Yes, life was easier when there was only pica or elite type. If you don’t know what those mean, ask your parents, especially if they went to college in the 1960s or 1970s.)
Any academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the course. If you are not sure of the definition of plagiarism see: http://www.wadsworth.com/english_d/special_features/plagiarism/definition.html Papers will be graded primarily on their content. However, as suggested above, grammar, spelling, organization and other factors will also play an important role. Writing is one of our most important forms of communication. It is, in part, based on following the rules. Writing that does not follow the basic rules, that is difficult to follow and decipher is bad writing. Bad writing obscures content. You cannot expect to gain full credit for your ideas if bad writing makes those ideas difficult to understand and follow. If you think is this something nobody does or should care about, remember that one of the best-selling books of 2004 was about punctuation (Eats, Shoots and Leaves).
- All essays must be based SOLELY on the assigned readings for each assignment. While the information covered in the essay assignment may be found elsewhere, the purpose of each assignment is to judge your comprehension and analysis of the assigned readings.
- Essays deemed to be based on materials not assigned for the class will not be accepted. The instructor will notify the student concerning the factors used in determining the essay was not based solely on the assigned reading.
- The first time a student turns in an essay based on materials other than the assigned reading(s), the essay will be returned and the student will have an opportunity to re-write the paper based on the assigned reading(s).
- If a student turns in an essay on a second assignment that is based on materials other than the assigned reading(s), the essay will receive a failing grade and the instructor will notify the student concerning the factors used in determining the essay was not based solely on the assigned reading.
- Upon a third offense, the student will receive a failing grade for the course.
- The same three-step procedure will govern all cases of plagiarism as well.
These rules are based on the part of the Student Honor Code that states students will “Complete all assignments and examinations by the guidelines given to me by my instructors.” You must follow both the general and specific guidelines in this syllabus.
The course assignments will be based on the course readings. Three books will be available at the bookstore (and on-line booksellers – all are also available on Amazon, for example – and libraries, UD and/or OHIOLINK). They are (in order of reading and with some sources beyond bookstore):
Roach, The Wright Company: From Invention to Industry (UD Library on-line, OHIOLINK, purchase or rent electronically from OSU Press, Amazon and KINDLE edition) Courtwright, Sky as Frontier (OHIOLINK, also Amazon and Kindle edition)
Hansen, The Bird is on the Wing (OHIO LINK, also Amazon and Kindle edition)
Additional readings will be posted on Isidore. For an introduction to Isidore, go to http://learn.udayton.edu/index.jsp and click on the Isidore tab. If you have any questions about using Isidore, ask them early.
Therefore, given the wide variety of ways you have to acquire them, there is no excuse for not having the readings in time to do the assignments. All you have to do is not wait until the last minute. OHIO LINK can take over a week and there are limited copies available! Do not expect to find the book at the last minute at the bookstore – it may be sold out as the bookstore does not always buy enough copies to match course registration because these other options are out there. And the bookstore clears the shelves in late June to make way for the fall. Instructors have no control over the bookstore’s policies. If you order the book from the bookstore after the class starts, expect to wait at least a week to receive it. Especially if you are off-campus, it is highly recommended that you purchase the books in advance from the bookstore or Amazon or directly from the publisher.
ASSIGNMENT ONE (100 pts; due 27 May):
This assignment is based on a careful and thorough reading of the first chapter of Hansen,
The Bird is on the Wing (additional chapters in later assignments) and Roach, The Wright
Company, the entire book. Most histories of American aviation begin with the Wright
Brothers. This one will do so as well. However, the Hansen reading will show you that the Wrights were not the first to investigate powered flight – nor were they the only ones at work in the 1890s and early 1900s. Most histories of American aviation focus on the Wright brothers’ many accomplishments. The Roach book, in contrast, will also focus on some of their shortcomings
For this assignment you will write three 3-page (double space, one-inch margins) essays. The total number of pages will be 9. Each essay will be worth approximately 33 points.
Essay One (based on Hansen, Chapter One): Write an essay in which you explain how the Wright brothers’ pursuit of powered flight was part of a larger national and international community of researchers.
Essay Two (based on Roach): Write an essay in which you explain how the patent fight slowed the development of an aviation industry in the United States
Essay Three (based on Roach): Write an essay in which you explore two to three reasons – beyond the patent fight — why the Wright brothers basically failed as aircraft manufacturers.
ASSIGNMENT TWO (100 pts; due 10 June):
This assignment is based on a careful and thorough reading of material in Chapters 1-2 in Joseph Corn’s The Winged Gospel and Courtwright, Sky as Frontier: Adventure, Aviation, and Empire, chapters 1-4 (additional chapters in later assignments).
For this assignment you will write two five-page essays. Each essay will be worth 50 points.
Winged Gospel is an example of what is often being called “the new aviation history.” Traditional aviation history focused primarily on planes, pilots, and, to a less extent, aircraft designers or entrepreneurs. It was very “internalist” in that it focused on the “thing” or the “person” without placing the “thing” or the “person” within the larger context of American history. In The Winged Gospel, Corn examines the social and cultural responses to the airplane in the United States, focusing on the period from 1908 to
- Sky as Frontier is also part of the “new aviation history.” Courwright’s work draws on one of the most powerful interpretative themes in American history, the frontier, and applies it in a very systematic and sophisticated way to the history of the commercial aviation industry. It also briefly explores how well the “frontier typology” can be applied to the history of space exploration (where space has been described as “the final frontier.) The idea of “frontier” has been an important one in the history of aviation to the
present: Boeing recently had as it corporate motto “always new frontiers.” Published in 2005, this book, like Corn’s, is widely cited by other scholars in the field.
Essay One: (based on Corn) Write an essay in which you describe the response of the US public to the invention of the airplane and then explain three beliefs about airplanes and aviation that became part of what Corn called “The Winged Gospel.”
Essay Two: (based on Courtwright) Write an essay in which you explain the two types of frontiers Courtwright argues were both part of the US frontier experience and the development of aviation in the US and then demonstrate how aviation fit one of those frontier types almost exclusively through the mid-1920s.
ASSIGNMENT THREE (100 pts; due 24 June):
The third assignment introduces you to one of the key “tools” of historians, primary source documents. You will be reading works by two of the leading figures in the development of military airpower doctrine, Guilio Douhet, an Italian military officer and considered the father of strategic airpower theory and William Mitchell, an American military office and
considered the father of US strategic airpower theory. You will be reading Chapter I from Douhet’s book The Command of the Air, and Chapters V and XI from Mitchell’s book,
Winged Defense. Assignment Three is also based on a careful and thorough reading Leonard S. Riech, “From the Spirit of St. Louis to the SST: Charles Lindbergh, Technology, and the Environment” (Isidore). This assignment, as largely with assignment four, will focus on the inter-war years, 1918-1940.
For this assignment you will write three, 3-4 page essays. The total number of pages should be 9-12 pages. Each essay will be worth 33 points.
Essay One: (based on Douhet) Write an essay in which you address the following: According to Douhet, what will future wars be like? What role will airpower play in this future war; what will be the objective of airpower? And what types of weapons will be used?
Essay Three: (based on Mitchell) Write an essay in which you identify and explain three arguments Mitchell made as to why the US should develop independent airpower. Essay Three: (based on Reich) Write an essay in which you trace Lindbergh’s changing view of technology. How, when and why did it change?
ASSIGNMENT FOUR (100 pts; due 8 July):
Assignment four will also focus on the 1920s through the 1940s. This assignment will be based on a careful reading of two chapters from Hansen, chapters 2 and 3 and three chapters from Courtwright, chapters 5-7. All these chapters deal with remarkable changes and transformation in aviation between the 1920s and the 1940s.
For this assignment you will write three 3-page essays. The total length of all three essays should be 9 pages. Each essay will be worth approximately 33 points.
Essay One: (based on Hansen) Write an essay in which you explain what Hansen meant when he argued that the airplane was “re-invented” in the 1920s and 1930s. Be sure to include specific examples.
Essay Two: (based on Hansen) Write an essay in which you examine three important breakthroughs or events associated with the first supersonic flight (October 14, 1947). For example, what made it possible? What led up to the creation of the X-1? What technologies were needed for the X-1 to break the sound barrier? All breakthroughs and/or events in this essay should be dated before October 14, 1947.
Essay (based on Courtwright): Write an essay in which you discuss the degree to which US aviation had begun the transition from a Type II Frontier to the Type I frontier by the end of WWII.
ASSIGNMENT FIVE (100 pts; due 22 July):
Assignments five and six will both include commercial and military aviation topics. These assignments will take you through World War II, the Korean War, a second major design revolution, and the failed attempt to build a US supersonic airliner. Assignment five is based on a thorough and careful reading of Hansen, The Bird is on the Wing, Chapters 4-5 and Clodfelter, The Limits of Airpower, pp. 1-37.
For this assignment you will write three 3-page essays. The total length of all three essays should be 9 pages. Each essay will be worth approximately 33 points.
Essay One: (based on Hansen) Write an essay in which you explain three major features of what Hansen called the “second design revolution,” which was necessary before the full achievement of supersonic flight.
Essay Two: (based on Hansen) Write an essay in which you discuss three reasons why the United States failed to build a supersonic commercial airliner.
Essay Three: (based on Clodfelter) Write an essay in which you compare the use of airpower in World War II and Korea. Which war’s experience proved most influential in the development of US airpower doctrine in the 1950s and 1960s?
ASSIGNMENT SIX (100 pts; due 5 Aug):
With this assignment you will finish your readings from Courtwright and Hansen as well as read an essay on airpower history. The Courtwright reading (Chapters 8-9) will involve aviation’s evolution in the post-WWII period. The Hansen reading (Chapter 6) examines the role of aero dynamists in making improvements to commercial airline technology. Finally, the reading by Leonard will explore the changing lessons learned as a result of the use of airpower in the Vietnam War.
For this assignment, all students will write three 3 page essays. The total length of all three essays should be 9 pages. Each essay will be worth approximately 33 points.
For those in the CAP curriculum needing this class to serve as their Inquiry course, this assignment also includes a required reflection essay.
Essay One: (based on Courtwright) The chapters for this assignment look at how both the airlines and the federal government worked to reduce the influence of two factors – fear and fare – that prevented more people from using commercial air service. For this assignment, write an essay in which you explore one major effort the federal government undertook to reduce fear or fare, one major effort the airlines took to reduce fear or fare, and a third major effort to reduce fear or fare carried out by either the federal government or the airlines.
Essay Two: (based on Hansen) Write an essay in which you identify and explain (including indicating the significance of) three major contributions aerodynamists made to commercial airline technology.
Essay Three: (based on Leonard): Write an essay in which you explain the “traditional” interpretation of the Linebacker campaign and the “revisionist” interpretation of the Linebacker campaign. Conclude with a discussion of the degree to which the revisionist interpretations have changed USAF air power doctrine.
INQUIRY ESSAY: This course represents one of the ways an historian would approach an examination of aviation technology. While other historians might take up different topics, assign different readings, the basic approach would be the same.
Here is how the work of historians as a discipline of inquiry has been described and which I tried to emphasize in this course:
Thinking in terms of causation, change over time, contingency, context, and chronological frameworks;
Drawing upon and synthesizing the content and methodologies of humanistic and socialscientific disciplines to study and interpret the past;
Analyzing the interplay between choices individuals have made and developments societies have undergone.
Other fields approach aviation technology (or technology generally) quite differently. As a requirement for an inquiry course, you must write a 2-3 page essay in which you reflect how this course reflected the approaches listed above and compare/contrast that with how someone in the field in which you are majoring would approach the same general topic (i.e. aviation, airplanes, technology, etc.).
This essay will be graded Pass/Fail. Your paper must be deemed as passing the assignment for you to earn Inquiry credit.