Political Science 261.26

Principles of American Government; National and State

3 Credit Hours, Fall 2006


Instructor: B.D. Marshall

Date/Time: Tuesday and Thursday/ 8am 9: 20am

Location: AB1, Room 317


Contact information :

  My office is in AB1, room 318C, 3 rd cubical on the left.

  It is easiest to contact me by email. My address is: bdm001@shsu.edu

  Office hours are: T days, 9:30- 10:30


Textbook : Patterson, Thomas E. 2005. The American Democracy-7 th edition,

Texas Edition. ISBN 0-07-322651-3

    McGraw-Hill Publisher, Boston .


Course Description: This course is a broad survey of the political systems and culture of the United States and Texas . Upon completion of the course the student should have a better understanding of political and governmental processes that they will deal with throughout their lives. The course will be lecture based and will follow the text closely.

Note taking is necessary as information given in class may not be in the text. Class discussion is encouraged.


Attendance: Attendance will be taken regularly. After the first couple of class meetings a seating chart will be made in order to check attendance more efficiently. Absences will be used when figuring the final grade. 3 tardies will count as an absent. 3 absences will reduce your final grade by 2 points. I reserve the right to deduct one point off the student's final grade for each absence after the third.


Grades: Grades will be based on 3 exams and one paper. Each exam is worth 30% of your grade and the paper is worth 10% of the final grade. Make up exams will be given if a student has an excused absence, (illness, death in the family, or an official university activity). Please let me know ASAP if you will be absent for an exam and bring with you documentation for the excuse the first day back at class. Make up exams will be given at the instructor's convenience.


A standard scale will be used to figure the grades:

A = 90-100

B = 80-89

C = 70-79

D = 60-69

F = 59 and below




Academic Dishonesty: All students are expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach. Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of dishonesty in any phase of academic work will be subject to disciplinary action. The University and its official representatives may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of any form of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work which is to be submitted, plagiarism, collusion and abuse of resource materials.


Classroom Behavior: All students are expected to treat each other and the instructor with respect. This include allowing the instructor to present material to the class without unnecessary interruptions, (this includes arriving to class on time), as well as respecting the opinions and views of other students. Laptop computers and recording devises are acceptable to use in class as long as they do not interfere with other students. These devises are not permitted during exams. Turn off all cell phones before entering the classroom.


Americans with Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities that might affect their academic performance are expected to visit the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities located in the Counseling Center . They should then make arrangements with their individual instructors to that appropriate strategies can be considered and helpful procedures can be developed to ensure that participation and achievement opportunities are not impaired. All disclosures of disabilities will be kept strictly confidential. NOTE: No accommodation can be made until the student registers with the Counseling Center .


Religious Holidays: Students desiring to absent him/herself from a scheduled class in order to observe a religious holy day(s) shall present to each instructor involved a written statement concerning the religious holy day(s). The instructor will notify the students of a reasonable timeframe in which the missed assignment and/or examinations are to be completed.


Tentative Dates for Exams:

  Exam 1: Covering chapters 1-5. Expected on Oct. 3 rd .

  Exam 2: Covering chapters 6-10. Expected on Nov. 7 th .

  Final Exam, non-comprehensive covering chapters 11-14 and Texas .

  On assigned day and time during Final Exam week, Dec. 11-15 th .

All exam dates are tentative and may be changed by the instructor as the semester and student achievement is assessed.


Paper: The paper will be due on November 16 th . Please clear your topic with the instructor no later than October 3 rd . Paper will consist of two pages, typed, 1 margins, in Times New Roman, 12 font over a current affairs topic in American or Texas government. No late papers will be accepted .