Syllabus - University of Michigan

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Introduction to American Government – Winter 2014
POL 101 section 004, 9:55-11:10am, 2195 SSB
Instructor: Prof. Lara Rusch
Office: 2154 SSB
Office hours: TR 11:15am - 12:30pm or by appointment
Email: [email protected]
Course website: http://canvas.umd.umich.edu
COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course provides an overview of American politics, from the nation’s historical roots
to contemporary events. The primary goals of the course are to help you build the
knowledge and critical thinking necessary for life-long democratic engagement and a
foundation for future coursework in political science.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
Each student is required to participate in one of the two following civic engagement
activities this semester at Henry Ford Community College. The Public Service
Seminar will be Wednesday, March 6, 6:00 to 8:30pm. Additionally, the League of
Women Voters, Dearborn/Dbn. Heights is holding a community forum with local
superintendents on “Schools at Risk” on March 25 (location TBA). The purpose of
these activities is to learn about opportunities for civic engagement in our area and to
hear from local public officials on significant local issues. You will write a reflection
paper about the event you attend.
SPECIFIC COURSE OBJECTIVES1
 Learn to think and write critically about political issues and arguments
 Build knowledge of major institutions, organizations, actors, and political
processes of American government and policy making;
Meets stated program objectives for the discipline of Political Science. For the full list visit:
http://www.umd.umich.edu/index.php?id=577501
1
1
 Learn, be able to discuss, and apply key theories and concepts used by political
scientists;
 Improve understanding and evaluation of competing claims by public officials and
the media;
 Recognize shared and competing values underlying public debates over issues;
 Develop citizenship competency and efficacy: know your options for political
action gain experience in using them.
EXPECTATIONS
 Be prepared: do the assigned readings before class;
 Turn off your cell phones before class. Interruptions or distractions (i.e. texting)
will negatively impact your grade.
 Be considerate: if use of laptops or other technology distracts students or the
instructor, usage privileges are over for the rest of the term.
 Be attentive and participate with thoughtful comments and questions. Take
notes.
 Complete the assignments by the assigned due dates. All work must use correct
citations, be typed with 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins, and stapled.
 Maintain contact with the instructor about your progress and questions or
concerns.
EMAIL CONTACT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Email is the best way to contact me: [email protected] It is your responsibility to
check your UM-D email and our Canvas site to receive necessary course
information. Keep in mind that messages sent the day or hours before a due date may
not reach me in time to help you.
COURSE MATERIALS AND READINGS
The updated syllabus, required readings, and other materials are available online at our
canvas website: login http://canvas.umd.umich.edu/ and click the yellow login button.
Once logged in, you will be able to see your courses and rosters on the "Courses" pulldown menu.
2
The following text is available at the campus bookstore (also available as an e-book):
Shea, Daniel, Joanne Green, and Christopher Smith. 2011. Living Democracy, Brief
Edition. New York: Longman. Hereafter Shea in the schedule.
COURSE
DESCRIPTION
REQUIREMENTS
%
Quizzes
5 quizzes are listed on the schedule. Questions
will be based on readings and the sample tests
in your text. I will drop the lowest quiz (including
0 for absence).
10
Assignments
Complete 5 assignments, following the
directions on the schedule and on Canvas.
10
Civic
Engagement
activities
Each student is required to attend at least one
of the two activities and participate in
discussion in class. Take notes to prepare for
Paper 2! [Note: You can receive 1 extra credit
point on your final exam for attending both
events.]
5
Paper 1: case
analysis
Paper 2:
Reflection
Paper
Midterm
Exam
Final Exam
15
Topics posted on Canvas under Assignments.
15
Both exams will include a combination of
defining concepts and short essays
20
The final will focus on 2nd half of semester and
also include broader themes
25
Total
100
Grades
A+
98 & up
B+
88-89
B-
80-83
A
94-97
B
84-87
C+
78-79
A-
90-93
3
C
74-77
D
64-67
C-
70-73
D-
60-63
D+
68-69
E
<60
RULES ON GRADED WORK
I expect each student to participate thoughtfully and respectfully through questions,
involvement in small group discussions, and debates. Great attendance and ongoing
participation will work in your favor if you have a borderline final grade .
This class will not have an attendance grade per se. Quizzes and in-class activities will
serve as a proxy for attendance; the lowest quiz grade will be dropped for all students.
There will be no make-up quizzes. Assignments must be typed and I will not accept
them late except in a verifiable medical emergency.
PAPERS: Late papers will be marked down a full letter grade for each day late. All
papers and exams are required for you to receive a final grade.
MAKE-UP EXAMS: Documented medical emergencies are the only situations in which you
can miss an exam without penalty. Contact me in advance if you must miss an exam, or
within 24 hours to make up an exam in the case of emergencies.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
Plagiarism, cheating, fabrication or any other form of academic misconduct will be
subject to disciplinary action as described in the Code of Academic Conduct. For a clear
explanation of plagiarism, see the university’s Tutorial on Academic Integrity.
http://webapps.umd.umich.edu/aim/Section1a.html. You are responsible for
understanding the meaning of plagiarism for this class. If you plagiarize any material
you will receive a ZERO grade for that assignment or exam. You can avoid plagiarism
by knowing what it means and by knowing how to correctly cite and paraphrase the
work of others. For information on correct paraphrasing:
http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/QuotingSources.html
CITING SOURCES
For all assignments that require reference of sources, use the Chicago Style for
citations. This style includes footnotes or in-text parenthetical citations with (author date,
page#) at the end of sentences, such as (Rusch 2010, 3). Also include a full reference
at the end of the paper, such as:
4
Shea, Daniel, Joanne Green, and Christopher Smith. 2011. Living Democracy,
Brief Edition. New York: Longman.
For more examples, see the quick citation guide:
http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
For advice and feedback on writing drafts, contact the Writing Center on campus,
http://www.casl.umd.umich.edu/writ_center/
DISABILITY RESOURCE SERVICES
The University will make reasonable accommodations for person with documented
disabilities. Students need to register with Disability Resource Services (DRS) every
semester they are enrolled for classes. DRS is located in Counseling & Support
Services, 2157 UC. To be assured of having services when they are needed, students
should register no later than the add/drop deadline for each term.
A NOTE ABOUT THE SYLLABUS: The syllabus is subject to change. Any changes will be
announced in class, on Canvas, and through umich email addresses. All papers are due
on Canvas by the posted times.
SEMESTER SCHEDULE
WEEK
1
DATE
TOPICS
READ/ASSIGNMENTS
1/7
Introduction to
the course &
expectations
Buy text; sign into
canvas.umd.umich.edu
1/9
The meanings
of democracy
and politics
Shea Ch. 1
1/10
2
1/14
IN-CLASS
Extra Credit Quiz due
Go to Quizzes>Extra Credit Quiz 1
on Canvas by midnight!
Political
Participation
Shea pages 394-397
Picture and paragraph
due printed and typed
in class.
Assignment 1: Think of a
political, economic, or social issue
that matters to you and that you
believe deserves government
action. Bring to class a print-out of
5
an image (photo, drawing etc.)
representing why this issue is
important to you. Include one
typed paragraph explaining what
the image represents and why it is
important to you. Cite the image
source.
1/16
The
Constitution &
compromises
Shea pages 31-54
Quiz 1 on reading.
1/21
Federalist
Debates
Shea pages 56-65 and
Federalist No. 10 (in
the back of your book,
Appendix 3)
Assignment 2: Answer the
Federalist 10 discussion questions
posted on Canvas; bring your
typed answers to class.
1/23
Federalism
Shea Ch. 3
1/28
The Judiciary
Shea Ch. 9
Quiz 2 on reading.
1/30
Civil Liberties:
freedom of
speech (and
background
on U.S. v.
Windsor in
class)
Shea Ch. 4, and also
Shea pp 93-97 and
Brandenburg v. Ohio,
on Canvas: Selections
from Classic Ideas and
Current Issues, 13.1
Prepare for discussion: briefly
summarize the court’s decision in
your own words. What are the
strongest arguments, both for and
against the Court’s decision?
5
2/4
Civil Liberties
and Rights:
recent case
Read U.S. v. Windsor
on Canvas, specifically
the opinions of
Kennedy and Scalia
(pages 13-26 and TBA)
Paper 1 In a typed analysis (3
pages), briefly describe the case
and explain whether you agree
with Justice Kennedy or Scalia
and why. Explain what you think is
the most convincing argument.
Cite and include page numbers,
such as (Kennedy, p. 14).
6
2/62/11
Civil Rights
and social
movements
Shea Ch. 5
2/11 Quiz 3 on reading.
2/13
Catch up and
review
Be prepared to discuss
items on study guide
In class exam review
2/18
Midterm
3
4
7
Bring blue book
6
exam
2/20
Public
Opinion
Shea pages 314-325
8
2/25-7
Spring Break
No class
9
3/4
Socialization
and Ideology
Shea pages 295-313
Also read “Beyond Red
vs. Blue” from the Pew
Center for People and
the Press.
10
3/63/11
Interest
groups &
parties
Shea Ch. 12
SPECIAL
3/5
Public
Service
Seminar
Henry Ford
Community College,
6 to 8:30 pm
3/13
Political
parties cont’d
Shea pages 398-407
3/18
Congress
Shea Ch. 6
3/20
Congress,
continued
Canvas: Packer,
George. 2010. “The
Empty Chamber: Just
how broken is the
Senate?” The New
Yorker, Aug. 9.
12
3/25
$$$ in
elections
Shea 408-415 and
these two articles on
Citizen’s United: by
Matt Bai for the NY
Times and by Richard
Hasen for Slate.
13
3/27-
The
Presidency
Shea Ch. 7 and pages
EVENT
11
Assignment 3: At
http://www.peoplepress.org/typology/quiz/ read the
introduction “Beyond Red vs.
Blue” and take the Political
Typology survey, “Where Do You
Fit?” Answer the questions on
Canvas about your results.
Quiz 4 on reading
Assignment 4: Answer the
questions on “The Empty
Chamber”, available on Canvas.
Bring your answers to class.
4/1 Quiz 5 on reading.
7
14
15
4/1
and the
Electoral
College
408-411
4/3
Bureaucracy
Shea Ch. 8
4/8
Public Policy
Process
Shea Ch. 14
4/10
The Media
Shea Ch. 10
Assignment 5: Choose any
political issue important to you.
Find 2 news articles on that issue
and describe how the articles
frame the issue. See
Canvas>assigments.
4/15
Catch up and
Review
Be prepared to discuss
items on study guide
Paper 2 due
4/17
Final exam in
class
Bring a blue book
8
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