Course Website: Ocean.Otr.Usm.Edu/ W487033

Course Website: Ocean.Otr.Usm.Edu/ W487033

American Politics

Political Science 101

Fall, 2005 (MW/2-3:15 LAB 207)

Instructor: Dr. Troy Gibson

Course Website:

Contact Information

Location: LiberalArtsBuilding

Phone: 228-267-8607


Hours: M 1-2pm

Course Description:

The purpose of this course is to help students become familiar with the structures and processes that makeup American government. We will focus on the interaction between political participants and the political institutions fashioned to govern them.

Course Requirements:

30% Exam 1

30% Exam 2

20% Discussion Days*

20% Daily Grades (Includes quizzes and other assignments)


A 10-point grading system will be used (i.e. 90-100 = A, 80-89 = B… Below 60 = F)

Course Materials:

Politics in American, Brief Edition. Thomas R. Dye.


While attendance will not be taken daily, missed quizzes and assignments will result in a zero and can not be replaced. However, I will drop your lowest daily grade at the end of the semester. Missed exams will not be made up without a documented excused absence. If you must miss class, notify me well in advance. Always consult the course website and contact me for any missed assignments.

Class Policies:

I strictly follow this institution’s standards with respect to academic dishonesty. Conviction will result in an automatic “F” in the course and may also involve an additional penalty from outside authorities. Consult your Student Handbook for details.

Course Schedule

Week of:

August 31 and Sept. 2– Introduction to course, Ch 1, American Political Context and Background

Sept. 5 – (No Class Monday)Ch. 2 Political Culture,Liberty Exercise

Sept. 12– Ch. 3 Constitution and Ch. 4 Federalism

Sept. 19 – continue material andDiscussion Day #1Wednesday (Should Homosexual couples be allowed to legally marry?)

Sept. 26 – Ch. 5 Participation, Candidates, and Elections

Oct. 3 – continue material and Discussion Day #2 Wednesday (Should Affirmative Action programs in Higher Ed be discontinued?)

Oct. 10 – continue and Midterm Exam Wednesday

Oct. 17 – Ch. 8 Congress

Oct. 24– continue and Discussion Day #3 Wednesday (Should Social Security be reformed? If not, why? If so, how?)

Oct. 31 –Ch. 9 Presidency

Nov. 7 – continue and Discussion Day 4 Wednesday (Should creationism or intelligent design theories be included in Public School science curriculums?)

Nov. 14 – Ch. 11 Judiciary

Nov. 21 –continue and Discussion Day 5 Wednesday (Should the death penalty be abolished?)

Nov. 28 – Ch. 7 Political Parties and Interest Groups

Dec. 5 – continue and Discussion Day 6 Wednesday (Are the nation’s gun control laws too strict, not strict enough, or about right?)

Dec. 12-16 – Consult Final Exam Schedule for Final Exam date and time.

**Discussion Day. Write a one-page summary (1/3 your supported opinion) using and citing two sources from the Think-Tanks page. Provide the web addresses to your articles. Find at least one fact/argument/point that you feel is particularly important and mention it in the discussion for minimum credit. Half of your discussion day grade is based on your input and half is based on the summary.

If a student has a disability that qualifies under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact ODA if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies.


The University of Southern Mississippi on the GulfCoast

Office for Disability Accommodations

730 East Beach Blvd

Long Beach, MS 39560

Voice Telephone: (228) 214-3232 or (601) 266-5024 Fax: (601) 266-6035

Individuals with hearing impairments can contact ODA using the Mississippi Relay

Service at 1-800-582-2233 (TTY) or email Suzy Hebert at .