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FALL 2015 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT SYLLABUS PROFESSOR SHASTRI

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FALL 2015 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT SYLLABUS PROFESSOR SHASTRI
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  Page 1  of 4   POS 2041-U06: American Government   Fall 2015 Tuesday and Thursday at 7:50PM  –  9:05PM in Ziff Education Building Room #150 CONTACT INFORMATION Instructor: Anand Shastri Department: Politics and International Relations Office Location: Ziff Education Building Lounge Office Hours: Tuesdays 5PM-7PM, or by appointment Email: ashastri@fiu.edu or ashas002@fiu.edu,  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. However, an important course objective for me is that some of what you learn will help in any career or Advanced Degree level you pursue, and also daily life in society. 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: 150 pts Foundations of American Government (multiple choice/short answer) Exam #2: 150 pts. American Political Behavior (multiple choice/short answer) Exam #3: 150 pts. American Political Institutions (multiple choice/essay) 3 Short Typed Essays X 50: 150 pts. (Each is on 1 part of the course, 600-800 words each). As far as the exams, all are 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 pts. taken off your score (meaning starting at 160/200 before I even evaluate). Either way, makeup exams are more difficult. ATTENDANCE:   It’s not mandatory, but I’m providing positive reinforcement. For every class you attend, you gain a point on your Final Semester point total. So, if there are 30 classes, and you had perfect attendance, if you had 534/600, which is an 89% (B+), you’d finish with a 564/600, which is a 94% (A). I reserve the right to change how I evaluate you, but any changes will only be beneficial; they will NEVER be detrimental. This include a possible extra credit assignment, attendance, etc.  Page 2  of 4   GRADING SCALE Please note that there is no rounding up. A 93 or above A- 90-92.99 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 7   th  Edition, 2015. POLICIES & RULES Decorum Please be respectful towards classmates and me. 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, et c., 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 the night BEFORE 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 PERMANENTLY, and you will likely get an “F” for the semester, given that this is intentional rule -breaking/disrespect. Students with Disabilities (http://drc.fiu.edu) 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  Page 3  of 4   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: http://globaldatebooksonline.com/flipbooks2013/fiu2013/). Cheating and other forms of misconduct can result in severe penalties, which can include a failing grade and/or expulsion from the university. If I catch you cheating on an Exam, or catch you plagiarizing on a Short Essay, th e MINIMUM penalty will likely be an “F” for the semester.   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, 10/1 that means it should be completed before class starts Thursday, 10/1. Also, I do NOT lecture and teach directly from the book. There is a substantial part of each lecture from the readings, but som e 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 8/25 Reading: (Ch. 1, ALL) Thursday 8/27 Reading: (Ch. 2 ALL BUT NOT  PGS. 48-53) Week #2 Politics of the American Founding Tuesday 9/1 Reading: (Ch. 3, pgs. 61-76) Thursday 9/3 Reading: (Ch. 3, pgs. 76-88) Week #3 Federalism & the U.S. Constitution Tuesday 9/8 Reading: (Ch. 4, pgs. 93-104) Thursday 9/10 Reading: (Ch. 4, pgs. 105-126) Week #4 Fundamental Civil Liberties Tuesday 9/15 Reading: (Ch. 5, ONLY pgs. 138-156) Thursday 9/17 Reading: (Ch. 5, pgs. 156-173)  WEEK #5 CIVIL RIGHTS AND EQUALITY/Review for Exam #1 Tuesday 9/22 Reading: (Ch. 6, pgs. 179-209) (ARTICLE FOR ESSAY #1)   Thursday 9/24 Reading: (Ch. 6, pgs. 209-226) End of Thursday 9/24: Brief Review for Exam #1  Page 4  of 4   Week #6 Exam for Part 1 & Media  Tuesday 9/29 Exam for Part 1 PART 2: AMERICAN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR  Thursday 10/1 Reading: (Ch. 15, ALL)   SATURDAY 10/3 ESSAY #1 DUE 11:59PM EST. WEEK #7 PUBLIC OPINION Tuesday 10/6 Reading: (Ch. 11, ONLY pgs. 397-404)   Thursday 10/8 Reading: (Ch. 11, pgs. 412-428) WEEK #8 POLITICAL PARTIES Tuesday 10/13 Reading: (Ch. 12 ONLY DEFINITIONS pgs. 450 & 454-460)   Thursday 10/15 Reading: (Ch. 12, pgs. 451-454) (ARTICLE FOR ESSAY #2)  WEEK #9 VOTING, CAMPAIGNS, & ELECTIONS Tuesday 10/20 Reading: (Ch. optional 14 LECTURE COVERS ALL+MORE) (article, too) Thursday 10/22 Reading:  (Ch. optional 14 LECTURE COVERS ALL+MORE) Week #10 Review & Exam on Part 2 MONDAY 10/26 ESSAY #2 DUE 11:59PM EST. Tuesday 10/27 Review for Exam on Part 2 Thursday 10/29 Exam on Part 2 I WILL HAVE EXAM #2 GRADED BEFORE THE DROP DATE GIVEN BY THE REGISTRAR’S CALENDAR DROP DATE: Monday, 11/2/15 (November 2 nd ) PART 3: AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS WEEK #11 CONGRESS Tuesday 11/3 Reading: (Ch. 7, ONLY pgs. 233-238) Thursday 11/5 Reading: (Ch. 7, ONLY pgs. 261-273) Week #12 Interest Groups Tuesday 11/10 Ch. 13 (ALL)   Thursday 11/12 NO CLASS! HONORING VETERAN’S DAY, WHICH IS WEDNESDAY!   WEEK #13 PRESIDENCY Tuesday 11/17 Reading: (Ch. 8, ONLY pgs. 287-295)   Thursday 11/19   Reading: (Ch. 8, ONLY pgs. 306-313) (ARTICLE FOR ESSAY #3)  Week #14 Bureaucracy Tuesday 11/24 Reading: Ch. 9 (ALL) THURSDAY 11/26 NO CLASS THANKSGIVING Week #15 Judiciary Tuesday 12/01 Reading: Ch. 10 (ALL) (ESSAY #3 DUE 11:59PM EST)   Thursday 12/03: Review for Exam on Part 3 Week #16 FINALS WEEK EXAM Tuesday 12/08, 7:15PM-9:15PM NO ROOM SET YET  

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Dec 31, 2018
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