Political Science 1, US Government, J. Meyer



Section 19166

Short Term Class (8 weeks)

FALL 2017- 100 % online

Prof. Joe Meyer, email: meyerjn@lacitycollege.edu - Please always put your section number and name on all emails and on all texts!

This is the Class Home Page AND Syllabus.

Read This ENTIRE Web Page (and all links)... About 12 pages, if you print it out...

Too Much To Read??? PLEASE - Drop this class NOW!.

Class Home Page/ Syllabus

Table of Contents:

Textbooks, Class Rules & Expectations, SLO Rubric

  How to Reach Me
  Schedule (Due Dates)
  Grading & Assignments Explanations
  LACC & Related info
  DAY 1 (ONE) Checklist and "Student Statement"

*Helpful Hint*

*Read This Entire Web Page (and all links).

This class is 15 weeks - crammed into SEVEN (7) Weeks! (The 8th Week is for the Final Exam, you will thank me).

That's TWO (2) weeks of work each week!

It moves very fast - do not fall behind or you will fail!

This online-short-term class is not easier than "regular online" classes, nor "normal" on campus classes... It is much more work, at an accelerated pace.

And you DO IT ALONE!!!

Maybe this class is NOT FOR YOU? THINK and be honest with yourself.


Textbook, Class Rules & Expectations and SLO Matrix:

GET YOUR BOOK NOW and start reading:  

Text: "We the People," by Ginsberg, Lowi & Weir. Shorter Tenth edition (10th, 2015), WW Norton Publisher (or any recent edition). You may purchase the new text from the LACC bookstore. It comes with a California Government text attached (for free?) Why not buy a used version of our text online?There are many versions of WW Norton's Ginsberg's We The People - any of them will work.

NOTE WELL: There are many US Government Texts called: "We the People." Only the one by Ginsberg, Lowi & Weir is acceptable. It must be published by W.W. Norton. Any recent used edition of this text by these authors and this publisher is acceptable to use for this class.

For a No Cost E-Book that can be used as a substitute for "We the People" text for this class: Click Here.

ALSO YOU MUST BUY A "California Government" text book: OR Buy ANY recent Textbook on Califorina Government (there are about 30 different one's out there). ANY ONE WILL WORK! "Governing California " by Anagnoson et al., Published by WW Norton, 2015, comes with the bookstore package. There are many used (and cheap) California Government Textbooks - they all work the same - they help you prepare to do your course project. Any recent California Government text will work... get a cheap used one online.


No Late Work will be accepted in this class. All late work will earn 0 points. No exceptions. You CANNOT TEXT Work! You CANNOT email work! All work is posted on canvas.

This class starts on August 28, 2017 and runs through October 22, 2017. No work will be accepted after 10/22/17.

Online classes are not for everyone!

Not everyone succeeds in online classes.  

Ask your self - do you have SELF Discipline?   Can you motivate YOURSELF to finish tasks? Do you work well alone at the computer ?  Can you read and write at the college level? If so, I bet you will love this course and do well in it (if you read the book and web pages and do the assignments ON TIME, of course). 

If not, maybe you should DROP THIS CLASS NOW!

Learn To Use APA.

You MUST use APA citation format for the Course Project and other assignments... click here for a great page on APA style citations.

Here is the official APA website: www.apastyle.org

For your Course Project, you are expected to do RESEARCH. You are expected to have citations in your Course Project using the APA style citation format. Many assignments also require use of APA style.

*For ALL assignments: DO NOT use Headers, etc.

Course Objectives:  Students will develop an understanding of and be able to discuss the following concepts: power, federalism, limited government, civil liberties, the pluralist and elite theories of U.S. government, the legislative process, the electoral process, interest groups, the independent judiciary, political parties, domestic and foreign policy and the role of the media in politics. Students will be able to write college level essays on all these topics. Students will be expected to analyze their own political beliefs and others'. Students will also learn to spot "ugly English."

Course Learning Outcomes & Rubric:

Students will (outcome)

To the following standard (criteria) As measured by the following method (assessment)

Fall '17 SLO: Determine the impact of the news media on American politics and state and local politics.

Prompt: “Give an example of the news media’s  impact on US and/or California politics. Include strong thesis and explain the relevance of your example.”


(1) Quality of example (2) Quality of explanation 

“F”    0
No thesis

“D”     1
Poor thesis

“C”   2
Adequate thesis

“B”    3
Strong thesis

“A”    4
Exemplary thesis

No examples

Poor example

Adequate example

Strong example

Exemplary example

This Class is all about YOU!

How much work are YOU going to do? (More than a regular class, that's for sure) How much can YOU motivate YOU?  Are you self motivated? If not: DROP THE CLASS. Its all about YOU!!!! This class is NOT LESS WORK than a so-called regular class.  It may be MORE WORK! Are you good at doing work EVERY DAY? If not, DROP THE CLASS!

Be Honest with Yourself!

Maybe this isn't for you!

This class is designed to be 100% online. All work is done through Canvas. If all this seems too much, DROP THE CLASS NOW!


How to Reach Me:

Office Hours:

Mon. & Wed.: 12:45 - 2:20 pm - FH 219

*Virtual Office Hours:

Tues. & Thurs.: 1-3 pm.

*Text Only: (Google voice, PLEASE DO NOT leave a message, I will NOT pick up nor listen to voice messages on this number. (Don't know how, not gonna learn.)

During Virtual office hours, I will return your text as soon as I can, instantly if possible. The rest of the time I will get back to you within 48 hours, but not Friday - Sunday. I do NOT work on the week ends).

TEXT ONLY: 323 920 5308

Please! No Drunk Texting

(No drunk texting ever!)

Or send me an email (meyerjn@lacitycollege.edu)

Or call and leave a message at LACC x2562 (Non emergency calls only - I check it through LACC's email system.)

Please: Do not communicate with me using Facebook or Linked-in or any other social media as these are NOT appropriate ways for us to communicate in this course.

If you wish to do so, you may follow me on Instagram, under jopeyer. Please do not feel you should.


Schedule (Due Dates) (Each day ends at 11:59pm. The week ends 11:59 Sunday.)

Remember - what Canvas calls "the syllabus" is really just a calender. This is the class Syllabus and Home Page and Course Guide. (Bookmark this web page).

You MUST adapt to the Schedule. It will not change for you. You can do work early, but you CANNOT do it late!!!!

The Class Lectures are found in the PAGES section of Canvas. each Lectures takes more than an hour or so to read and view the video(s).

By the end of THURSDAY (8/31) - if you have not done the student statement AND posted on the WELCOME Class Discussion, you WILL be excluded from the class!

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thu Fri Sat

week 1





"Welcome" Class Disc. OPENS



"Day 1"

Student Statement DUE


Web Lecture: Intro to Poli Sci.



Class Disc.

Post Due




week 2




Class Disc #1 Opens

Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 1


Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 2


Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 3


Class Disc #1 Your Post Due


Course Project "1st Thesis" DUE





week 3


Class Disc #1 Closes


Class Disc #2 Opens



Read Text & Ch 4



Ugly English Example & Translation DUE



Class Disc #2 Your Post Due

Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 5 (Ch 4 & 5 are combined in one Web Lecture


Critical Thinking Project DUE



week 4


Class Disc #2 Closes


Class Disc #3 Open

Read Text &Web Lecture Ch 6









Course Project "Working References" DUE


Class Disc #3 Your Post Due

Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 7


Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 8



week 5


Class Disc #3 Closes


Class Disc #4 Open

Course Project "Working Thesis" DUE


Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 9






Class Disc #4 Your Post Due

Party ID Project DUE



Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 10





week 6


Class Disc #4 Closes


Class Disc #5 Open

Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 11


Political Contribution Project DUE


Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 12


Class Disc #5 Your Post Due



Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 13











week 7


Class Disc #5 Closes




Course Project DUE


Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 14


Read Text & Web Lecture Ch 15


Don't Forget






week 8


Final Exam Opens




























Sunday - Oct. 22


Before the strike of mid-night!

When the assignment is closed you are too late!


Grading and Assignments Explained:

Grading by points:

Day 1 Student Statement 10
Course Project "1st Thesis" 20
Ugly English Example and Translation 20
Critical Thinking Project 20
Course Project "Working References" 20
Course Project "Working Thesis" 20
Political Party ID Project 20
Political Contribution Project 20
Five (5) Class Discussions (20 each) 100
5 "In Your Own Words" Quizzes (10 each) 50
Course Project 100
Final Exam 100
Total Possible Points 500

This class is transferable to UC and CSU system.

This is a college level class. We have no time for your drama, games, disruptions, nor for that matter, anything that distracts from the class. You are expected be an adult.

Please do not involve me (nor the class) in the drama that is your life!

NO EXCUSES! Here is a list of real excuses sent to me from my online students. SPARE ME YOUR LAME EXCUSES!

As the great poetess said: "Be grow or be gone."

For my grading rubric on the Course Project, California Government Essay and the rest of the assignments, click here .

Approximate Points-to-Letter Grade scale:


500 - 450


449 - 400


399 - 350


349 - 300


Below 300

I will not grant an incomplete. So please do not ask!

By the end of DAY1 - DO ALL THE STUFF ON THE CHECKLIST First ...

THEN... post the "student statement" with your full name and section number in the correct spaces on Canvas in the Assignment section.

...If you cannot do all you need to do by DAY One, then maybe you should drop the class...

Find the Checklist and Student Statement at the bottom of this syllabus

About the Class Discussions...

The "Welcome" Class Discussion simply involves you telling the class how many online classes you have taken, what your major is (if any) and what you like to be called. (This proves you can use Canvas - if you do not post in time, you will be excluded from the class. - you earn 1 point).

The Graded Class Discussions...

The questions are all taken from the "Some things to think about" questions at the bottom of each Lecture.

For the class discussions, the basic rule is, like email: Don't post anything you would not want your Grandma to hear you say (assuming you have a "normal" Grandma). No anonymous posting or childish b.s. like that PLEASE! This will greatly effect your grade! You should put forth your own ideas and respond to others' posts. Both are all part of contributing to a discussion, and that's how you earn participation points in the class. Contribute to the discussions, positively.

Write and post your own Post by Thursday - reply to two others (at least) before it closes on Sunday...

GRADING for Discussions:

The class discussions are graded as follows: Opening post (minimum of 500 words - about two pages, typed double spaced or 5 - 8 paragraphs) AND Two replies (at least 100 words EACH - a real, thoughtful, complete paragraph).

If you do MORE THAN THE MINIMUM you can earn up to 20 points (up to 10 for your post, up to 5 each for replies).You must use complete sentences. You must make sense, you must use the vocabulary from the text and lectures correctly... not be offensive or silly... When commenting on others' thoughts, don't just say "I agree,"or "Yeah that's soooo right." You have to demonstrate to me that you have read their post and are contributing to it... if not? No points for you. Sorry but it really is that simple.

Work associated with the Course Project:

PLEASE - Do Not use headers, etc. (on any work for this class)

For your Course Project you will need to READ any California Government Text. Buy it cheap, online, read it in a few days... Use it for background information (DO NOT CITE any textbooks, ever). They are all about 100 pages or less and you will NEED the background that a California Governmental text book will provide to do a good job on your Course Project.

The three assignments due before the Course Project is due are to help you prepare and build a great paper which is your Course Project.

Course Project "1st Thesis" in a sentence or two, you should be able to respond to one of the four questions provided below. It should be clear, concise and have a point worth making. It should also be clear which of the four questions you are responding to. If you make a good faith attempt it can't really be wrong. Keep in mind this thesis will probably change... maybe it should.

Course Project "Working References" should be at least ten (10) college level sources you will be using in your course project paper. Must be in APA format.

Course Project "Working Thesis" will be one sentence that, at least at the time this assignment is due, is currently the thesis statement of your Course Project Paper.

Your Course Project In a well organized and well written (at least) ten page paper, with APA citations, you will show research and make an argument in response to one of the following four questions about California state and local government policy:

1.   What is the ONE (1) MOST important problem facing California?  State specifically what must be done by the State of California (or a local government in California) to "fix" or improve this one issue. Give specific examples of this issue or problem and say what MUST BE DONE! Focus on one aspect of the solution to the problem, no matter how small. What state policy would address this issue positively? What can be done to improve the situation? What can be done (or not done) to make things better for this issue?... Or even simply to stop it from getting worse? Of course you should use other's ideas, just cite them properly. Be specific. Be Bold. But Be Realistic.

2.   How can we improve some aspect of the public educational system in California? Be specific.  What is ONE (1) proposal to “fix” some small area or issue within the state's education system? Make an argument for a specific educational policy change that will help improve some specific aspect of our state's educational system. Of course you should use other's ideas, just cite them properly. Be specific. Be Bold. But Be Realistic.

3.   Identify the one (1) most endangered element of our state government design that was inspired by, or is a result of, the progressive reforms.  Be specific as to how it is endangered and what that might mean for California. What MUST be done NOW to preserve, correct or improve upon that progressive reform to strengthen democracy in California? Of course you should use other's ideas, just cite them properly. Be specific. Be Bold. But Be Realistic.

4.   Looking at crime and the criminal justice system of California (state or local), identify one (1) area or problem that can be "fixed" or at least improved, by some specific state or local government policy. Something that is being done that can be improved. Something that isn't being done but should be, or something that is being done that shouldn't be...What must be done NOW to improve some aspect of crime fighting and prevention or the rest of our state criminal justice system or? Of course you should use other's ideas, just cite them properly. Be specific. Be Bold But Be Realistic. Be specific.

The Body of Your Paper should be MORE THAN ten (10) pages AT LEAST! With more than 15 sources, properly used and cited. (Of course the title page and etc does NOT count in the page count, what grade do you think this is?)

PLEASE - Do Not use headers, etc. for any work in this class.

About the "In Your Own Words" Quizzes:

These are essays respond to questions from "Some things to think about" at the bottom of each lecture.You are expected to use the vocabulary and concepts from the books and lectures to answer the essay questions asked about you, your politics, you beliefs, your knowledge, etc... Make the vocabulary words your own words...Write more than the minimum (500 words). You can not earn the maximum points by doing the minimum.

The Quizzes are not given through the QUIZ function on Canvas. They are found in Assignments.

The UGLY ENGLISH EXAMPLE AND TRANSLATION simply involves finding an example of what Orwell calls "ugly English." Then translate your example it into "standard" or "simplified" English.

Here's what to do:  Find an example (a word or phrase) and type it in quotes. Note the source. Provide the simplified "translation" of how the author (or speaker or whatever) could have better made the point. You can use newspapers, magazines, text books, radio or t.v. broadcasts, even things you hear people. All these are places to find examples of inappropriate jargon, obtuse verbiage, over-used expressions, inappropriate foreign terms and the like. Be creative, this just might be fun! The Ugly English assignment is posted on Canvas and shared with our class... Follow the format on my web page. For further information and examples: Click Here

The Critical Thinking Project:

First, choose the Opinion piece (op/ed) or commentary article you will be analyzing. You can use an opinion piece or article from any newspaper, magazine, web site, etc... It does not have to be about politics, but wouldn't it make more sense if it were? A traditional opinion/editorial is an argument by someone who is clearly identified, paid to write it, and qualified to have an opinion on the subject. DO NOT use editorials (they have no "by line." - they are written by a staff). DO NOT use "letters to the editor." DO NOT USE BLOGS - unless the piece conforms to the standards of a traditional op-ed piece (from 250 - 1500 words, clearly on one topic, expert, etc). The web page explains the eight answers you must provide about the op-ed piece. Just fill in the blanks, with bullet points or brief clauses, do not copy the question - Post answers Canvas and share with the class. Click here to learn more about Critical Thinking and the Project

The Party Identification (ID) Project:

The Party Identification (ID) Project - click here for details - You look around your world and ask the people in your life which political party they identify with. Keep a list and see if your work friends, family members, and the other groups the people in your life answer as you expected.  Then you share our results on Canvas. Just follow the directions and you will earn the max points. You DO NOT have to list the names of the people you asked, just discuss the results.

The Political Contribution Project:

 The Political Contribution Project - click here for more details - You have a million dollars to give to either five or ten political groups.  This can be done on the web and just might be fun - check it out.   Share your work on Canvas. Just follow the directions and you'll earn the max points!

The FINAL EXAM 100 points: 50 points for (my choice of) ONE OR TWO ESSAYS from the list provided by clicking here. and 50 points for several "short answer" questions (1-3 paragraphs based on the "Some things to think about" questions on each weekly lecture pages.

Click Here To See Potential Final Exam LONG Essay Questions.

The Final cannot be taken early. It will be open for Final week. No work will be accepted after the final closes. The Final CAN NOT be taken late.


Related Info:

Students are responsible to live up to, and adhere to, all rules and regulations listed in the Student Handbook, the College Catalog, the College Schedule of Classes, and the various regulations, requirements and rules of the College and the District.

Students with disabilities or who need any assistance or reasonable accommodation should contact the instructor. Such students are encouraged to contact the Office of Disabled Student Services

Note Well:   Plagiarism is the serious ethical and legal violation of presenting other people's words or ideas as your own. Plagiarism or any other form of cheating can result in a failing grade for the paper, a failing grade for the course, and a formal report to the dean of students. See the student conduct code in the Catalog and Schedule of Classes.  

Students are encouraged to form and work in study groups. However each student must do her or his own work. Students who copy, cheat, plagiarize or in other fashion violate the spirit or letter (or both) of the rules of the College or the District (or both) may be excluded from this class, at a minimum.

Please do not ask for an incomplete. I will not grant it.

Take the student self assessment - click here - print it out and take it seriously.

DO NOT share your answers with me.

Put them to work in your life!!!!! Do this each semester and see how you have grown!

It's never too early to start thinking about Your Course Project . It is as Fun as you want to make it. The MORE YOU PUT INTO IT - THE MORE FUN IT WILL BE! 

Students with disabilities or who need any assistance or reasonable accommodation should contact the instructor.   Such students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Services. You need to be your own advocate.

Students are encouraged to form and work in study groups. However, each student must do her or his own work.   Students who copy, cheat, plagiarize or in other fashion violate the spirit or letter (or both) of the rules of the College or the District (or both) may be excluded from this class, at a minimum.

Remember: canvas, email, texting and the internet are NOT PERFECT (me neither, you?). If you think I have made an error or an omission, email me ASAP!

Prof. Joe Meyer, email: meyerjn@lacitycollege.edu

Please always put your section number and name on all emails!

Here's a few things to remember:

Please - On All Work - Do Not use headers, etc

No Late Work will be accepted in this class. All late work will earn 0 points. No exceptions. You CANNOT TEXT Work! You CANNOT drop work in my mail box. It must be posted on Canvas before it closes!

If you cease accessing Canvas, or fail to do the work for, the equivalent of TWO WEEKS of a regular semester, you will be excluded from this class. You are not allowed to enroll and then purposefully fail. BE AWARE - you will be excluded.


1. This class is VERY FAST - DO NOT FALL BEHIND - All work received LATE will NOT be graded. You will earn 0 points.

2. This is not an "instant class." It takes me a few days or a week to get through to all the grading and emails.

3. You are expected to do the reading (from the texts) and then click on the appropriate lecture page from Canvas. You can read ahead a little, but don't fall behind!

4. This is the same class as any on campus class - it is not "easier" or "less work." Most students tell me it ends up being more work and even harder than an on campus class because you have to have self motivation and self discipline and the ability to work mostly alone.

5. All work for the course is due no later than midnight (11:59 pm) on Sunday 10/22/17. All work received after that will not be graded.

7. Always include your Full Name & section number in all emails and on all texts (ur name and sec number on all txts, pls).

LACC Important! Drop Date Information

The deadline to drop without a “W” is the last day of Week 1 (of the semester), which is end of week 1.  If you must drop a course, drop before the specified deadline for dropping a class without a grade of "W." Dropping after Week 2 will result in a “W” on your transcript. Effective July 1, 2012 students will only have 3 attempts to pass a class. If a student gets a "W" or grade of "D", "F", “I”, or "NP" in a class, that will count as an attempt. A student's past record of course attempts district wide will also be considered. Therefore, before the end of Week 1 you should carefully consider if you can reasonably manage this course with the other factors in your life (e.g. work, family, course load). If you think you will not be able to complete this course with a C or better, drop by end of week 1. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to talk to me.  You may also see a counselor in the Counseling Center in AD 108.

Financial aid statement:

If you need help paying for books and other college expenses,

call the Financial Aid Office at

LACC extension 2010,


Syllabus statement on Services for Students with Disabilities – prepared by the Office of Special Services. ... LACC ext. 2270.

Students with a verified disability who may need authorized accommodation(s) for this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and the Office of Special Services as soon as possible, at least two weeks before any exam or quiz.  All information will remain confidential. http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/oss/index.html


Checklist and Student Statement

DAY 1 Checklist:

1. Register for the class. Buy the Text book. Buy it used, its cheaper. If you buy it at the LACC bookstore it comes with the California Government Text included. If you buy the text used, also buy any current California Government text.

2. Go to our canvas shell and view the Class Home Page/Syllabus and READ IT. Begin doing all the things for the checklist BEFORE Day 1.. The class schedule will NOT change for you. You must adapt to it.

3. This is be a large class so please be courteous and give me time to grade things...

4. Read the student handbook especially about cheating and doing your own work.

5. If you cease accessing Canvas, or fail to do the work for, the equivalent of TWO WEEKS of a regular semester (one week in this class), you will be excluded from this class. You are not allowed to enroll and then purposefully fail. BE AWARE - you will be excluded.

6. After you have done all of the above and can honestly attest to everything in the student statement (Below) - copy it and paste it into the proper place in Canvas in the assignment section. Make sure you put your FULL NAME and Section Number) where it belongs (2 places) and - DO NOT email it to me ... just post it on Canvas.

"Student Statement" for Political Science 1, ONLINE:

. I, ________________________________(insert your name and section #), swear and attest to the following:

. 1.) That I have read the ENTIRE Class Home Page/Syllabus and all the links.

. 2.) I am able to access this class on Canvas. I have verified my email address.

. 3.) I have read the student code of conduct (in the student handbook) and understand that I can work with others but I MUST DO MY OWN WORK! No one will do any of the work in the class for me. I will not cheat, or in any way, violate the letter, nor spirit, of the district and college policies. I understand that plagiarism is a serious offense which will result in receiving 0 points for the work plagiarized, and contacting the Dean of Student Services for possible college action

. 4.) I will not make any anonymous postings. I will be courteous and appropriate in all my emails and postings and texts.

I _____________________________________(your name and section number) do so declare and affirm!"

About the individual in the Modern World.

"One aspect of modern life which strikes me very much is the elimination of the individual. In trade, vast and formidable combinations of labour stand arrayed against even vaster and more formidable combinations of capital, and, whether they war with each other or cooperate, the individual, in the end, is always crushed under...

We live in an age of great events and little men, and if we are not to become the slaves of our own systems or sink oppressed among the mechanism we ourselves created, it will only be by the bold efforts of originality, by repeated experiments, and by the dispassionate consideration of the results of sustained and unflinching thought."

Nov., 12, 1901. Sir Winston Churchill.

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