GOV 310L • American Government - Honors - W
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Fulfills first half of the legislative requirement for 6 hours of American government. This course introduces honors students to the government and politics of Texas (some) and the United States (a lot). It concentrates on the political philosophy and political history of the United States: What are the ideas about politics and government that are most relevant to understanding the United States as a representative democracy? What were the events, ideas, and realities behind the political development of the United States from thirteen states on the Atlantic coast to its emergence as a superpower and, now, as sole superpower at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The course similarly discusses the political development and institutions of the state of Texas. Course lectures will be supplemented by guest lectures and videos. Class attendance and participation is expected, and students may be called upon.
3 exams consitute 70% of final grade: 2 during the semester, each worth 20% of the final grade. The third test is a cumulative final exam, worth 30% of the final grade. The two exams will be a combination of multiple choice (10%) and take-home essay tests (10%). The final exam will require an in-class essay. There will be no makeup exams. Also, your are responsible for two short papers. One is due the second week of class. You are to write an autobiographical account of what politics means to you. This should be no longer than four pages double-spaced (or 1500 words). You are to put in your own words what politics means to you;it is up to you-and there is no right answer here-to define "politics". The paper is worth 5%. The other paper will be due later in the semester and is worth 10% of your grade. Third, you are responsible for attending and engaging in class discussion. There will be pop quizzes on the assigned readings and students are expected to participate in the discussion of course materials covered in class or that week. Discussion, participation, and the quizzes constitute the final 15% of your course grade.
There is no textbook; there is a reading packet available at Longhorn Copies on Guadalupe St., which has readings in US and Texas government.