POLITICAL SCIENCE 261
Dr. Jim Carter—Fall 2006

 

 

Office:       AB1, 315B

Phone:       294-1461

E-mail:        pol_jlc@shsu.edu

Office hours:   MWF, 2:00 pm, Tuesday, 3:30 pm


TEXTS :   Patterson, Thomas E., The American Democracy , Alternative Edition, 7 th

        Edition

      

This course is designed to acquaint students with the fundamental concepts and the institutional arrangements of the American and Texas political systems. The course is also designed to stimulate the student to question the nature and purpose of government in general and the American and Texas systems in particular. Consequently, it is hoped that during the semester you will develop an understanding of this important influence in your life and reach some conclusions regarding your relationship to government and the nature of the impact you expect it to have on the world around you.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:


1.   There will be four major exams during the semester. This number includes the final. The   first three “regular” exams will constitute 60% of the course grade. Consequently, each will   be worth 20% of the course grade. Each of these exams will cover only the material   addressed since the previous exam was administered. The final exam will be worth 30% of   the grade in the course. The “final” will be mildly comprehensive.
2.   A true learning experience requires interaction. Consequently, 5% of the course grade will   depend upon class participation. Each student is expected to perform their reading   assignments before attending class and to be prepared to ask and answer questions during   each class meeting.
3.   Each student will be expected to prepare a critique and an analysis of an outside reading   devoted to politics. The book to be critiqued must be approved by the Professor. The critique   and analysis must be typed and will not be more or less than four (4) pages in length. The   critique will be worth 5% of the course grade.
4.   While there is nothing sacred about class attendance, roll will be taken at each class meeting.   A student's grade will be subject to adjustment following three absences. This does not   mean, however, that you have three free absences! Further, being subject to adjustment on   grade does not mean that your grade will be automatically adjusted after 3 absences, but   simply that you have forfeited most of the privileges of any special, concerned consideration   in the grading process.
5.   Extra credit: to be explained in class.
6.   Make-ups are the responsibility of the student. If an exam is missed, it is the students   responsibility to call that fact to the attention of the instructor and to make arrangements for   a make-up. Otherwise, at the end of the semester the instructor will record a zero for the   grade found to be missing.
7.    No final examinations will be given early for any reason.
8.    PLAGIARISM - A writer can be said to be guilty of plagiarism when he or she uses the   work of another author without acknowledgment in the text and in the bibliography. We all   rely heavily on the work of others as we go about our own research and writing. If   information of a common, general nature obtained through background reading is   incorporated into a paper in our own words, plagiarism is not involved. On the other hand, it   is crucial that you be candid when presenting specific facts, interpretations, or analyses of   data which are not your own. Identify your sources and/or supporting evidence. If parts of   another writer's material are used directly, either paraphrased or directly quoted, without   acknowledgment, you are guilty of plagiarism. There are degrees of plagiarism. Complete

plagiarism involves submitting a paper, essay, review, etc., that is entirely the work of another person. Substantial plagiarism exists when there has been fairly extensive copying of phrases and/or complete sentences. The reproduction of a lengthy passage without acknowledgment, even though a few words may be changed in each sentence, also constitutes substantial plagiarism. Minor plagiarism exists when one presents the writing in a sentence or two a one's own, when it is not. I do not view plagiarism lightly. It is a serious academic offense, and will be treated as such. The penalty for minor plagiarism is normally a reduction in the grade assigned for the assignment in question. Substantial plagiarism will result in a grade of zero for the assignment in question. Repeated instances of substantial plagiarism will result in a grade of F in the course. Complete plagiarism will automatically result in a grade of F in the course.

 

 

Americans With Disabilities Act

It is the policy of SHSU that individuals that otherwise qualified shall not be excluded, solely by reason of their disability, from participation in any academic program of the university. Further, they shall not be denied the benefits of these programs, nor shall they be subject to discrimination. Students with disabilities that might affect their academic performance are expected to visit with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities located in the Counseling Center . They should then make arrangements with me so that appropriate strategies can be considered and helpful procedures can be developed to ensure that participation and achievement opportunities are not impaired.

 

Religious Holy Day or Days

A student who is absent from class for the observance of a religious holy day or days or to travel for the purpose of religious observance may taken an examination or complete an assignment within a reasonable time. The student should inform me before or immediately after the absence in writing. The student will have 15 days to complete the assignment or take the exam. If you are to miss the lecture, have a fellow student tape the lecture for you.

 


TENTATIVE CLASS SCHEDULE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS :

I.   INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

PATTERSON, Ch. 1; HALTER, Ch. 1

II.   THE FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN POLITICS, THEORY AND PRACTICE

PATTERSON, Ch. 2-3; HALTER, Ch. 2

III.   AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
PATTERSON, Ch. 6; HALTER, Ch. 3

IV.   VOTING AND ELECTIONS
PATTERSON, Ch. 7; HALTER, Ch. 6

 

V.   AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES
PATTERSON, Ch. 8-9; HALTER, Ch. 5

 

VI.   MEDIA POLITICS
PATTERSON, Ch. 10; HALTER, Ch. 4

VII.   THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH   
PATTERSON, Ch. 11; HALTER, Ch. 7

 

VIII. THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
PATTERSON, Ch. 12; HALTER, Ch. 8

IX.   THE BUREAUCRACY
PATTERSON, Ch. 13

X.   THE JUDICIARY
PATTERSON, Ch. 14; HALTER, Ch. 9