History 202 Reaction Papers

My definition and guidelines for a reaction paper can be found on this web page.

From the syllabus:

“Reaction papers. Throughout the semester you will have the opportunity to do 5 reaction papers, complete 4 of the 5. General guidelines for a reaction paper can be found at https://www.historyprofessorpayne.com/teaching/reaction-papers-guidelines

Identify a theme or idea from that can be found in both lecture and in a podcast. This is your chance to identify a theme and take a deeper dive. In the paper clearly identify the lecture and the podcast and the theme you will be discussing. Reaction papers are due in the second week of every module and should use materials from the module.”

Keeping those guidelines in mind, for History 202 the reaction papers focus on following a theme or idea from my lectures to the podcast, the chance to take a deeper dive into something and explore those links.

To that end, at the beginning of the paper identify the lectures, podcasts, and any other resources you are using.

When you pick a podcast(s), they are organized chronologically and thematically in weeks and the weeks are organized into modules. You need to pick a podcast from the current module. In reality, the podcast often (usually) does not fit really neatly into a specific week. Look for one that sounds interesting and go with it.

If you pick a topic that I haven't covered yet in lecture you can go forward and use one of my recorded lectures or a Crash Course History. This is also your option if you miss due to COVID.

If you have questions or want to ask about an upcoming topic, bring it up in class.

Grading for the reaction papers will be straightforward. If you apply yourself this should be interesting and beneficial to your grade. I will follow these guidelines when grading them.


100 - way to go. Nice use of the lecture and podcast. Interesting insights.

85 - pretty good job. Could have been a little more of your thoughts and less summary.

75 - Not clear you really listened to the material. Show your work. Take care to get the details right.

60 - This really isn’t up to standards. It needs overall improvement.