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Topic: Gold Rush Era Los Angeles – 1850s to 1870s


This “assignment” is an invitation for you to submit an essay over the material presented in the Second Chapter of A Short History of Los Angeles.
Course Learning Objectives Addressed: • Recall basic information about the history of Los Angeles, including a fundamental timeline of significant historical epochs, and specific important events. • Apply knowledge of historical events to develop and defend opinions about current issues in the context of public sector management. • Collect, analyze and evaluate data from a variety of sources • Use data effectively to argue or defend positions on topics of concern. • Use logic effectively to argue or defend positions on topics of concern. • Communicate effectively with text, numbers, and graphics. • Demonstrate personal and/or policy dispositions characteristic of a productive public sector manager, employee or citizen.
Purpose: Essay assignments provide students a medium that permits them to demonstrate that they have met the learning objectives listed above. Students will collect a variety of data (histories, numeric data, visual data, etc.) from the readings, videos or other sources, and use that data to leverage a logical argument. Students will defend a position (thesis statement), in the course of making an argument about a policy or an interpretation of a historical/current event.
Instructions: Students are provided weekly prompts during the semester for discussion. The prompt is the same each week and it informs both the discussion forums and the short essays. The historic period, historic person, issue or policy changes from week to week. For each week you have the option of writing an essay in which you either draw a parallel between something that happened in LA’s past and the present, or you make an argument about a current policy by leveraging some information from a historic period. Detailed instructions and examples are available in Canvas.
Grading Rubric: Essays are graded on the following basis: 11% grammar and syntax – no paper can get an “A” if the grammar and syntax is poor 39% appropriateness – did the submission address the prompt / topic adequately? 60% cogency – was the argument, clear, logical and convincing? Did students forcefully apply the “lesson” from history to a policy debate? THIS HAS TO BE AN ARGUMENT ESSAY

REQUIRED TEXTBOOK AND READINGS Gordon DeMarco. 1988. A Short History of Los Angeles. San Francisco: Lexikos *The book is available on reserve at the Oviatt Library, at many branches of the Los Angeles Public Library, and for purchase from numerous online book vendors. 093853037


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