How You Can Do Well in this Course

Jeffrey L. Bernstein
Political Science 112
Fall 2010
How You Can Do Well in this Course
Here we are, the first day of a new class. I expect that all of you sitting here want to
do well. Good. I want you to do well, too. To help you, let me offer some advice on
how to do that. Please follow this advice.
In Class:
Come to class. ALL THE TIME! If you need to miss a day, find someone in class
who can take notes for you, and then come see me if you have questions about the
notes. You are responsible for what you miss: absence is no excuse for ignorance.
Take notes. You will need them to refresh your memory when you are studying for
exams. I often summarize my lessons in the last few minutes of class, so don't
pack up to go with five minutes left in class.
Be active. Ask questions if you don't get something. Of course, this requires you to
stay awake in class. Sleep enough at home so you can do this.
At Home:
Do all of the readings. BEFORE CLASS! If they were irrelevant, I wouldn't make
them a required part of the course. Classes will make more sense if you do this.
A good way to review the material is to look over your notes after class, and then
again before the next one. Spend some time doing this: you will be amazed how
much it helps, and how much it will make studying for exams easier.
Your best bet in studying will be to go over your notes. Know them well! Also
know the readings well, especially as they are discussed in class.
Study with others. It can be fun, but it also can be a very effective way for you to
review material, and even a way to learn new stuff from other students. (Really!)
If you miss an exam, it is YOUR responsibility to contact me. I will make no
exceptions to my policy on missed exams as explained in my syllabus.
I really want for you to succeed in here. If you do these things, your
chances of success are going to be MUCH greater. I will do my part to
be available for you in office hours, and outside of class. But, if you
want success in this class, you must meet me halfway. I hope you will.