Page Last Updated: September 15, 2011 10:48 AM  
  Syllabus Contents  

Find your required and recommended texts.
Find the Dixie College general education requirements.
Find the Political Science 1100 course objectives.
Find the student polices link

Find the grading system for this class
Find a description of the course's Written Exam requirement
Find a description of the course's Timed Tests requirement
Find a description of the course's Quizzes and Attendance requirement
Find a description of the ideology paper assignment.


  American Institutions Requirement: This course satisfies the American Institutions category of the Dixie State College General Education requirements.  


Required Texts


Ginsberg, Lowi, Weir, and Spritzer, We the People: An Introduction of American Politics, 8th Essentials Edition, ISBN 978-0-393-93565-3

      McKenna and Feingold, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Political Issues, 17th Edition, ISBN 978-0-07-804992-7 ts  
  Back to top  

  Gifts: Gift from students to the teacher can be misinterpreted. While the thought will be appreciated, Mr. Green cannot accept gifts under any circumstances. I would be better for all concerned if they were not offered.  

  Class Interruptions: Please turn off your cell phones, radios, walkmans, and alarms such as watches and palm pilots during class. Electronic disturbances of this class will not be allowed.  

  Political Science 11 00 Course Objectives  



Students will identify and understand the major topical divisions in American Government including the nature of politics and political science, the development and principles of the American Constitution, the Institutions of American Government: the Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, and the meaning of and issues concerning federalism, public opinion, elections, political parties, interest groups, and policy formation. 

Students will effectively analyze governmental and political decisions and processes. 

Students will argue and write analytically and coherently about significant issues and problems in American Government.

Students will learn about American Government and about current political issues that relate to American Government by reading significant authors and authoritative texts.
  Back to top  


Use the link to find the 1) the semester schedule, 2) information on student resources including the library, disability resource center, IT help, testing center etc., 3) policy statements including academic integrity,, disruptive behavior, absences for college functions and disability accommodation, and 4) D-Mail.

  Back to top  


"An eminent mathematician once remarked that he was never satisfied with his knowledge of a mathematical theory until he could explain it to the next (person) he met in the street. This is hardly exaggerated; however, we must remember that a satisfactory explanation entails duties on both sides."

  Course Attendance Policy  

Missing class will involve costs.There will is no such thing as an excused absence for any reason.As a matter of policy, I will not to go over or in any other way make up lectures or other activities for students who miss class. I will make no adjustments nor will I allow exceptions to policies regarding missing papers, quizzes, tests, or exams when the reason is discretionary such as a vacation, the deer hunt, or a visit home. This said, consideration will be given for rescheduling class activities in the event 1) of school sponsored activities, illness, or accident and 2) if consultation if done privately [in Mr. Green’s office and not in front of the class] before the scheduled time of the activities.

  Student Duties  

You must commit to a fifteen week program of rigorous study. For the average C+ to B-) Dixie College student, this course will demand two hours out-of-class study for every hour we meet in class or 6 hours a week. This means careful reading: in order to perform well on exams and class assignments you will have to work with your textbook, as opposed to just reading it. It also means you will do college level writing. Finally, you must be willing to consider viewpoints different from your own and to express your opinion in class.

  Back to top  


At the end of the semester, I must make a judgment concerning how much of the content of the class you have learned. I will use the following formula to make this assessment:

    Exams (grade times 50%)  
    •  Tests (grade times 30%)  
    •  Quizzes (grade times 20%)  
  Grade Creation  

All grades, except the journal, will be determined using one of the following two methods. First, the score on the will be divided by the high score in the class. If the score is within 95% of the high, the resulting grade will be an A. The breakdown will then descend by percentages of the high until the a score that is 60% of the high earns a D- (see the % of Grade conversion box). However, if the average grade for the class, calculated using the first method, is less than a C, at the instructor’s discretion a second method might be used in place the first. Under this second methodology, instead of dividing by the high score, the instructor will divide until the average grade for the class is set at or near C. Further adjustments will be made if there are several sections of the class and significantly differentiated denominators between the classes. If there are multiple sections of the class that use the same measuring instrument, as when all section take the same test, the average will calculated from all sections rather than each class individually.

  Back to top  


% To Grade Conversion


95% and above     =    A
90% to 94.9%        =    A-
87% to 89.9%        =    B+
83% to 86.9%        =    B
80% to 82.9%        =    B-
77% to 79.9%        =    C+
73% to 76.9%        =    C
70% to 72.9%        =    C-
67% to 69.9%        =    D+
63% to 66.9%        =    D
69% to 62.9%        =    D-
59.9% and below   =    F

  Return to the top  

  Written Exams  

The exam grade is based on the grade on two major written exams given during the semester and accounts for 50% of the grade; All student’s must take both exams to pass the class.  The midterm exam will account for 40% of this exam grade while the final exam will account for 60%.

Exam Grade Options
Most students in the class will not have been exposed to a written exam.  Because of this, many will be disappointed by their performance on the midterm exam.  They will not really have understood what to expect.  To manage this weakness in the course structure, each student will be given a choice as to how the exam grade is calculated.

Option  One:  the midterm will count as 40% of the exam grade while the final exam will count as 60% of the exam grade. 

Option  Two:The midterm grade will be thrown out and the final exam grade alone will be the exam grade.
The default grade will be option one.  To be eligible for option two, students must comply with all five of the following requirements:

  1. take the midterm exam. Those who fail to take the midterm will automatically fail the class; choosing not to take the midterm makes option two meaningless.
  2. retrieve the midterm exam within one week of when the exam is turned back. [Most will receive their exams during the class period when the exam is returned. Those not in attendance on that day will have one week to pick up their graded exams from the end of that class period.]
  3. go over the midterm using the Written Exam Grading Codes (posted on the exams and quizzes page) to determine areas where improvement is needed.
  4. by option one week (see the semester schedule) bring the midterm to Mr. Green’s office and go over the midterm exam with Mr. Green in his office during his office hours. At this time the procedures need to improve the exam score on the final exam will be revealed and assignments for the option two meeting agreed.
  5. by option week two (see the semester schedule) bring the assignments made in the first meeting to Mr. Green in his office during his office hours for critique. 

Exam Schedule
The date of each exam is listed in the schedule of semester activities in this syllabus. Each will be administered in the classroom. The midterm will cover lecture material for the first half of the semester.  The Final will cover lecture material for the second half of the semester only.

Exam Questions
The exams will be constructed using the following question and point format.
A list of all the possible questions are contained in the Exam Guide which is posted on the Exams and Quizzes page of the American Government the web site.  All questions on the midterm exam will be taken from the Midterm Exam lists in the Exam Guide, and all questions on the final exam will come from the Final Exam lists.

Exam Grading           
Both the midterm and the final exams will be scored based on criteria that are posted on the exams and quizzes page of Mr. Green’s  website.  The best answers will receive the highest scores.  Failure to show competence with the topic addressed in the question will result in no credit. A sample midterm exam, displaying all instructions that appear on the actual exam,  is included in the Exam Guide. A sample final exam is posted on the exams and quizzes page.  Because the final exam period is longer than that set aside for the Midterm exam, there will be two essay questions on the final while the midterm exam has only one.  Therefore, while the midterm essay is worth 24 points, the final exam essay will be worth 48 points.

The midterm exam and the final exam scores will be converted to letter grades using the procedure outlined in the Grade Creation section above.

Sources of the Exam Questions
The questions for each exam will be drawn from the issues from the lectures and class discussions only.  They will have nothing to do with the textbook, encyclopedias, websites, or any other source. Each  question will be graded based only on class lectures and discussions outlined in the Power Point slides.

Blue Book
The midterm and final exams are written exams.  Each student will need to bring a blue book to class and a pen or pencil.   Which can be pick up at the bookstore.  Please use the small 7” x 8½” version rather than the large 8½” x 11” version.

Open Notes
In addition to the blue book and a pen or pencil, each student is permitted bring any and all notes, written or typed, hard copy or electronic to the exam.  The open note policy creates two pitfalls, however. First, the exam is not based on the textbook.  Only material presented in the lectures will earn points in the scoring. Attempting to formulate answers using the text will not help in passing the exam.  Second, use the notes too much during the exam creates a big disadvantage. Those who have prepared strategies for each of the possible questions on the exam spend their time writing and get ahead of those trying to formulate answers on the spot.  Be prepared to answer most of the questions without referring to the notes; use them only to check the details that might have been forgotten.

Because of the open notes policy, each exam will be timed – the midterm will last 55 minutes and the final will go 75 minutes.

Early, Late or Make-up Midterm Exam
Early or late midterm exams are possible but highly unlikely. (See the Attendance Policy.) An early or late midterm will require private consultation with Mr. Green (in his office, not the classroom) and will require evidence of school sponsored activities or real emergencies before they will even be considered.

Early or Late Final Exam
The date and time of the final exam are listed in the schedule bulletin and on Mr. Green’s web site.  You must take the final with the class on the correct day at the correct time.  Student’s missing finals for any reason without written permission from Mr. Green and the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters will not be allowed to make up the exam.

  Back to top  

  Timed Tests  

The grade on three timed tests, which will be based on the reading of Ginsberg, Lowi, Weir, and Spritzer, We the People: An Introduction of American Politics and of the Constitution of the United States, will constitute 30% of the final grade

The Timed Tests
Number of Tests: Three timed tests will be held during the semester.  Each will be available using  Blackboard’s “Assessment Tool” on the dates indicated in the semester schedule. (The dates also appear with the link in the “Assessment Tool” or using Blackboard’s “Calendar Tool.”)
Source of Questions: The purpose of these tests are to insure that you thoroughly read, study, and understand the material in the textbook and in the Constitution.  All questions concerning material in the textbook are written by the publisher, not Mr. Green. The questions are chosen at random by a computer program with approximately the same number of questions from each chapter. Literally anything mentioned in the text could be the focus of a test question.  Students who thoroughly read and master the book usually to do well.  (The exception to this rule will be the questions on The Constitution  which were written by Mr. Green.)
Number of Questions: Each test will contain 60 questions based on material from the following chapters:
Test Rules
Each test will be conducted using the assessment tool in blackboard.  Each will begin on a Friday and run until Monday midnight on the scheduled weekend. 
Grading the Tests
The score on the test will be available on Blackboard as soon as the test in completed.  The test grade will be based on the high score eventually achieved in the class. See the grade creation section above.

The Practice Tests
Each timed test will cover 5 chapters in the textbook. To prepare for each timed test, three practice tests for each chapter are available on Blackboard using the “Assessment Tool.”  These tests are not timed, each can be taken only once, and the score does not count toward the test grade.

The practice test arsenal also includes is one practice timed test to correspond to each of the three timed tests.  Each contains 60 questions like the timed tests, is timed for 60 minutes like the timed tests, and  covers the same chapters as its corresponding  timed test, Unlike the timed test, its score does not count toward the test grade. These practice tests should allow each student to thoroughly test their knowledge of the material before taking the actual timed test.
No Late or Make-up Tests

Because each test is available over several days, it should not be necessary to ever ask to make one up.  Class policy, therefore, discourages make-up tests. Sometimes students miss tests for reasons beyond their control such as scheduled school sponsored activities or real emergencies.  In these cases, a one make up test per semester will be allowed.  If arrangements are made before the test is scheduled, and if there is a valid – college activity related reason – no penalty will be assessed.  If no arrangements are made, a 10 point reduction of the test score will be imposed.  Under no condition whatever will more than one make up test per semester be allowed.

  Back to top  

  Quizzes and Attendance  

Quizzes and attendance constitute 20% of the final grade. The Quiz section will be worth 70% of the grade while the attendance section will be worth 30% of this grade

The quiz grade is derived from four activities:

  • First, the syllabus quiz, the pre-test and the post test. The first graded exercises of the semester, the syllabus quiz and the pre-test (plus the post-test at the end of the semester will be included with the quiz grade. Each will be worth 8 points, just like each of the "Taking Sides" quizzes discussed below.
  • Second, the "Taking Sides" quizzes. During the semester you will take seven quizzes, each worth 8 points, based on the reading of McKenna and Fein gold, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Political Issues, in preparation for class discussion that will take place around the issue introduced by the reading.
  • Third, the ideology paper. after we discuss ideologies the short paper on the three ideology quizzes will be assigned. This assignment is explained under the Ideology Paper heading below.) This hard copy paper will be worth 12 quiz points.
  • Finally, the ask Mr. Green quiz.  On the last day of the semester, you will prepare a list of questions to ask Mr. Green concerning his view on the issues raised during the semester. This list will be worth 12 points.

Quiz Content
We will use the Taking Sides reader to introduce important ideas about American Government nine times during the semester (See the semester schedule for dates and chapters).  Before the days activities begin, a short quiz will be distributed. Questions may be from material created by the author or they may be written by Mr. Green. These quizzes are designed to insure that you thoroughly read, study, and understand the material in the assigned Taking Sides reading before coming to class.

Quiz Rules

  • In Class: Each Taking Sides quiz will be conducted at the beginning to class.
  • Question Lists: A set of possible questions for each quiz will be posted on line on the Exams and Quizzes page.  All quiz questions will be selected from these lists.  In addition, two points will be added to each quiz as a reward for attendance.
  • No Pen or Pencil?: Failure to have a working pen or pencil for any Taking Sides quiz will result in a loss of credit (0, F) for that quiz. 

Ideology Paper
As part of the class’ discussion of ideology each student will be assigned to write a paper that identifies her ideology based on the criteria used in class.  Students may wish to use one or more of the several internet ideology assessments that are posted on the Political Science page of Mr. Green’s website. Link

Ideology Paper Grading Criteria. The paper must meet the following criteria:

  • The essay must have a proper purpose statement and a paper body that coherently develops purpose statement's structure. (See the posted exam guide for instructions on writing a purpose statement)
  • The essay must be a 750 (minimum) word, properly structured essay.
  • The essay must be submitted in hard copy (e-mail or other electronic submissions will not be accepted.
  • The essay must be submitted on time (late paper lose 2 points per day)

Formatting Requirements. To be acceptable, the paper must:

  • include your name and section (ex. MWF 8:00 a.m.) at the beginning of the paper
  • use either the Times Roman or Arial font
  • use a 12 point font
  • be double spaced
  • use normal margins (1" all around)
  • use proper grammar (too many mechanical errors -- commas, semi-colons, colons, point-of-view shifts, etc. -- make reading the paper difficult and will result in a grade of "unacceptable."
  • include a word count in parenthesis after the last period in the paper. Example: (750 words)

Ideology Paper Grade. The ideology paper can earn up to 16 points in the quiz grade if it meets the grading criteria above.

No Late or Make-up Quizzes
Each quiz is part of an in-class participation and class-discussion activity. No make-up of any of these quizzes will be allowed. Sometimes students miss class for reasons beyond their control such as scheduled school sponsored activities or real emergencies. These will be dealt with 1) privately on a case by case basis in the instructor’s office, by office phone, or possibly by e-mail – not in the classroom, 2) before the quiz begins, and 3) if allowed, will involve an extra writing assignment. Missing class for reasons that are in the student’s control – sleeping in, getting stuck in Salt Lake or Las Vegas because a ride doesn't show or the car breaks down, or choosing to go on family vacation rather than coming to class – will never count as a reason to make-up the quiz. (See the Attendance Policy )

Class Attendance
Large segments of the course will be devoted to various kinds of class discussions. The purpose of these discussion activities is to clarify the issues raised and presented in the lectures and to enhance class participation during the discussions of the "Taking Sides" readings after the quizzes. My intent is to give class members the chance to express and be challenged in their attitudes and opinions concerning the issues raised by the texts and lectures during the semester. To make this process work, each student is expected to attend each discussion session. Therefore, an informal note will be made of those present, and especially, those who participate in the discussion. Sometimes this participation will be voluntary and other times students will be called on to express either their understanding or their opinion.

Attendance Grading
A record will be kept of attendance and participation at each class period where discussions are held. The record may created formally by some kind of roll call or informally based on which students made comments. Those in attendance will receive points depending whether they participated actively in the class discussion.

The grade for attendance will be calculated based each student's percentage of the highest score in class. (See the grade creation section above)

No one will be able to make up attendance points for any reason.

  Back to top