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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Summer 2008

GOV F310L • American Government

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
85985 MTWThF
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
MEZ 1.306
Jessee, S

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to American government and politics. Topics include the structure of government, theories of electoral campaigns, public opinion and legislator behavior. The course will be a lecture format, but feel free to ask questions if anything is unclear. Because of the size of the course, though, discussion will be kept to a minimum. While the course material is introductory in nature, I also hope that throughout the semester you will come to understand what it means to be a political scientist and to do political science research. With this aim, we will be discussing not only basic structures, rules and concepts in the American political system, but also looking at theories, hypotheses and evidence in the study of politics.

Grading Policy

The course will include three exams, which will likely be comprised mostly of multiple-choice questions with some short answer and essay questions possible as well. There will be no final exam. The final grade for the course will be determined by the following formula: First Exam Date TBD 20% Second Exam Date TBD 20% Third Exam Date TBD 25% Fourth Exam Date TBD 25% Quiz/Participation --- 10% The professor reserves the right to adjust this formula including, but not limited to, imposing curves on exam grades and adjusting the relative weights of the assignments. Issues of academic dishonesty will be taken very seriously and any finding of cheating or other unethical behavior will be pursued to the full extent possible under university policy. THERE WILL BE NO MAKEUP EXAMS WITHOUT **PRIOR** WRITTEN CONSENT (either by email or in hard copy) BY THE INSTRUCTOR. Makeup exams will be granted only for valid medical or other serious reasons. Students who miss exams and provide an excuse afterwards will not be granted a makeup and may be given zero percent on the exam in question.

Texts

"The New American Democracy, 5th Edition", Fiorina, Peterson et al. The Lanahan Readings in the American Polity, 4th Edition, edited by Serrow and Ladd While the bulk of the readings will come from these texts, the instructor reserves the right to assign other materials such as newspaper or journal articles in the future.

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