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American Government- SHASTRI Fall 2014 Graduate Instructor FIU

American Government- SHASTRI Fall 2014 Graduate Instructor FIU
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  1 POS 2042-U03: American Government   Fall 2014 Tuesday and Thursday at 7:50PM  –  9:05PM in U.S. Century Bank Arena (Panther Arena) Room #119 CONTACT INFORMATION Instructor: Anand Shastri Department: Politics and International Relations Office Location: SIPA 2 nd Floor Graduate Lounge Office Hours: Mondays 4PM-6PM, or by appointment Email: COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES This course is the introductory course to American Politics at the undergraduate level, and is often considered the introductory course in Political Science for students Majoring or Minoring in the Discipline, and for some, a General Social Science course. The goal here is to provide a basic understanding of the foundations of American government including the U.S. Constitution, the history behind it, different branches of the national government, the political process, and aspects of American Politics such as political parties, elections & voting, public opinion, media, etc. The course will be split up into three sections, but they are overlapping in nature, and are the following: Section 1) Foundations of American Government, 2) American Political Behavior, and 3) American Political Institutions. GRADING BREAKDOWN Exam #1: 200 pts Foundations of American Government (multiple choice/short answer) Exam #2: 200 pts. American Political Behavior (multiple choice/short answer) Exam #3: 200 pts. American Political Institutions (multiple choice/essay) Total points: 600 These exams are all NON-cumulative, but there is some overlapping between these three components of American Politics. For example, while voting is considered political behavior, and Congress a political institution, there is the topic of voting in Congressional elections. If you miss an exam, but have a legitimate reason supported by documentation, I will create a makeup exam with no penalty. If failure to take an exam is considered unexcused, you can take a makeup, but will have 40 points taken off your score (meaning starting at 160/200 before I even evaluate). Either way, makeup exams are likely to be more difficult. However, there is NO makeup for Exam #3 (Final Exam)!  Attendance: Attending class is not mandatory, but I am providing positive reinforcement. For every class you attend, I will add one point to your semester point total. So if you attend 30 classes and your ending exam total was 537/600, you would have 567/600, a pretty substantial increase. Given attendance is NOT mandatory, if you miss class, there is no need for a note, but non-mandatory attendance also means that if you miss a class, you don’t get an additional point on your total score for the semester that date.    2 GRADING SCALE Please note that there is no rounding up. A 94 or above A- 90-93.99 B+ 87-89.99 B 83-86.99 B- 80-82.99 C+ 77-79.99 C 73-76.99 C- 70-72.99 D+ 67-69.99 D 63-66.99 D- 60-62.99 F 59.99 or below  NOTE: Political science majors/minors need at least a “C” to fulfill academic requirements. REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics, The Essentials 6  th Edition POLICIES & RULES Decorum Please be respectful towards classmates and I. This means NO TALKING while others are talking. I do NOT allow food in class. Beverages are allowed, but I reserve the right to PROHBIT them if problems occur. I also do NOT allow texting or any other usage of phone in class. Remember, attendance is NOT mandatory, so if you need to text, show up late, talk to someone, etc., then don’t come to class, as it is disruptive to everyone else. I do allow laptops, but request that you sit on the side and/or back row of class, so if you want to facebook, tweet, etc., you don’t disrupt others. If you repeatedly talk while a classmate is participating or I am lecturing/reviewing, or break ANY of the other rules of decorum stated here, I reserve the right to eject you from the classroom. Lectures Taping of lectures is PROHIBITED. This is especially because after each class, I will put the lecture slides up on blackboard. It is important to note that these slides have the most basic information, and only by attending the lectures regularly will you be able to understand concepts put on the slides. As far as breaking this rule, if I catch you, I reserve the right to eject you from the class, especially since this is an intentional rule-breaking on your part. Students with Disabilities ( Students in need of special accommodations in the course need to register with the Disability Resource Center. FIU offers a wide range of services to help students with disabilities. These services include, but are not limited to: permission to receive extra time on exams, sign language, note takers, readers, and research assistants. IF YOU HAVE A DISABILITY, I WOULD ADVISE USING THE ACCOMODATIONS AS 3  3 OUT OF FAIRNESS TO OTHERS AND YOURSELF, I CANNOT MAKE EXCEPTIONS  WITHOUT MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION. Academic Integrity It is important to know FIU’s rules about academic misconduct as described in the Student Handbook (available: Cheating and other forms of misconduct can result in severe penalties, which can include a failing grade and/or expulsion from the university . Given there are just three in class exams each having a large percentage of multiple choice, plagiarism is likely to be a non-issue. However, cheating on the exams is something I take very seriously, and if I catch you, the MINIMUM penalty will likely be an “F” for the course. COURSE SCHEDULE I reserve the right to add readings, remove readings, or modify this schedule. I will let you know in advance of any changes . Readings dated should be read BEFORE class, so for example, if Ch. 15 is assigned for Thursday, 10/2 that means it should be completed before class starts Thursday, 10/2. Also, I do NOT lecture and teach directly from the book. There is a substantial part of each lecture from t he readings, but some of it isn’t . Any week where the topic is in CAPS and underlined are areas of specialization for me. Thus, these weeks will be the least taught from the book, so I strongly suggest attending these classes. In cases where there is a substantive conflict between the textbook and what I teach, what I teach ALWAYS supersedes the textbook as there are matters of interpretation (textbooks even disagree with each other at times) . Lastly, if there is anything requiring class cancellation or postponement, I will post it on blackboard before class. PART 1: FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT Week #1 Basics of Politics & AMERICAN POLITICAL CULTURE Tuesday 8/26 Reading: (Ch. 1, ALL) Thursday 8/28 Reading: (Ch. 2 ALL) Week #2 Politics of the American Founding Tuesday 9/2 Reading: (Ch. 3, p. 63-79) Thursday 9/4 Reading: (Ch. 3, p. 79-92) Week #3 Federalism & the U.S. Constitution Tuesday 9/9 Reading: (Ch. 4, p. 93-109) Thursday 9/11 Reading: (Ch. 4, p. 110-130) Week #4 Fundamental Civil Liberties Tuesday 9/16 Reading: (Ch. 5, p. 131-158) Thursday 9/18 Reading: (Ch. 5, p. 158-176) WEEK #5 CIVIL RIGHTS AND EQUALITY/Review for Exam #1 Tuesday 9/23 Reading: (Ch. 6, p. 177-207) Thursday 9/25 Reading: (Ch. 6, p. 207-228) End of Thursday 9/25: Brief Review for Exam #1 4  4 Week #6 Exam for Part 1 & Media  Tuesday 9/30 Exam for Part 1 PART 2: AMERICAN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR  Thursday 10/2 Reading: (Ch. 15, ALL) WEEK #7 PUBLIC OPINION Tuesday 10/7 Reading: (Ch. 11, p. 397-412) Thursday 10/9 Reading: (Ch. 11, p. 412-432) WEEK #8 POLITICAL PARTIES Tuesday 10/14 Reading: (Ch. 12, p. 433-455) Thursday 10/16 Reading: (Ch. 12, p. 455-470) WEEK #9 VOTING, CAMPAIGNS, & ELECTIONS Tuesday 10/21 Reading: (Ch. 14, p. 509-525) Thursday 10/23 Reading: (Ch. 14, p. 525-550) Week #10 Review & Exam on Part 2 Tuesday 10/28 Review for Exam on Part 2 Thursday 10/30 Exam on Part 2 I WILL HAVE EXAM #2 GRADED BEFORE THE DROP DATE GIVEN BY THE REGISTRAR’S CALENDAR DROP DATE: Monday, 11/3/14 (November 3 rd ) PART 3: AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS WEEK #11 CONGRESS Tuesday 11/4 Reading: (Ch. 7, p. 229-256) Thursday 11/6 Reading: (Ch. 7, p. 256-280) Week #12 Interest Groups Tuesday 11/11 VETERAN’S DAY NO CLASS Thursday 11/13 Reading: (Ch. 13, ALL) WEEK #13 PRESIDENCY Tuesday 11/18 Reading: (Ch. 8, p. 281-300) Thursday 11/20 Reading: (Ch. 8, p. 300-324) Week #14 Bureaucracy Tuesday 11/25 Reading: Ch. 9 (ALL) THURSDAY 11/27 NO CLASS THANKSGIVING Week #15 Judiciary Tuesday 12/02 Reading: Ch. 10 (ALL) Thursday 12/04: Review for Exam on Part 3 Week #16 FINALS WEEK FINAL EXAM Tuesday, December 9 th , 7:15PM-9:15PM GC #277  
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