Political Science 4984 Dr. Paul Masters
Office Hours: T, Th 11:30-12:30;
Fall Semester 2005 3:30-5:30
Writing Across the Curriculum
This course is part of the Writing Across the Curriculum requirement for all students majoring in disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Senior Seminar is designed as a capstone course that provides a broad overview of the major fields of political science (American
Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Thought). This class will put a great deal of emphasis on writing assignments. Writing is a valuable tool for learning as well as for communication. Some of the writing assignments in this class are designed primarily to help students learn about the discipline of political science. Other assignments are designed to help students communicate what they have learned to others.
Students will be required to write a 15 page paper; it will count 1/3 of the final grade.
The paper will be in an area of political science in which the student has a deficiency. That deficiency will be defined by the professor in consultation with the student. This is a formal research project including: 1) the use of scholarly sources; 2) typed double space text; 3) footnotes; and 4) bibliography. The paper is due four weeks before the last day of classes.
During the last three weeks of class students will give oral presentations of their papers.
The presentation should last fifteen minutes. The grade for the oral presentation will be incorporated into the grade for the term paper.
Three Required Books
1) Robert A. Dahl and Bruce Stinebrickner, Modern Political Analysis (6 th
2) Michael Parenti, Democracy for the Few (7 th
3) Michael G. Roskin et al., Political Science: An Introduction (8 th
There will be two essay exams each counting 1/3 of the final grade. Students should know the material from both the class discussions and the reading assignments. The first exam will be during the seventh week of class and the second exam will be during finals week. The exams will cover the following material: a) 1 st
exam: Lectures on American Politics and Comparative Politics
Roskin, Chapters 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Parenti book b) 2 nd
exam: Lectures on International Relations and Political Thought
Roskin, Chapters 3, 5, 19, 20, 21, 6
Students will be expected to write a journal during the semester. At least one entry per week must be made. Each entry should be at least two handwritten pages. The journal should record the student's thinking about various political issues. The entry may be a reflection on ideas discussed in class that week or thinking about any political issue that is of interest to the student. The journals will not be graded but writing a journal is a course requirement. Any student not complying with this requirement will be denied credit for the course. The journals will be due the last day of classes.
Class attendance is very important. Any student missing class more than four times will be dropped from the course. All excuses are counted the same.
The goal of this course is to provide a broad overview of the discipline of political science and its four major areas: 1) American Politics; 2) Comparative Politics; 3) International Relations; and 4) Political Thought. Prior to enrollment in this course, students are expected to have taken at least one course in each area. The specific purpose of this course is to identify and to concentrate on remedying deficiencies in individual student programs of study. Students will be required to write a research paper in that area of the discipline in which they are deficient.