Poiltical Science 1 - U.S. Government

Fall 2017 - Prof. J. Meyer

Section 18866 (M&W @ 9:35am)


Section 18798 (M&W @ 2:20pm)

(each class has it's own Canvas shell)

(and Ralph Bunche Honor's Program sec # 31039)*

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/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"

*For Ralph Bunche Honors Program Students:

You do the same assignments, etc as on this syllabus, on the same time schedule. Send all work to me via email. There will not be a seperate Canvas shell. I will email you the quiz questions upon request. All Honors Students must meet with the professor, individually to discuss an expanded Course Project and other raised expectations for student performace.

*Helpful Hint*

Read This ENTIRE Web Page (and all links)... About 15 pages, if you print it out...Too Much To Read??? Drop this class NOW! If you can't read a 15 page syllabus you will not succeed in this course.

This is college. - I do not teach children.

Be prepared to do the work, or DROP THE CLASS NOW!

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. 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.


Learn To Use APA.

You MUST use APA citation format for the Course Project and the California State Government Essay: click here for a great page on APA style citations.

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

All Course Projects must have an APA style refrences. You are expected to do RESEARCH for your Course Project. You are expected to have citations in your Course Projects using the APA style citation format. Many assignments require citations in APA format.

*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

How to Reach Me:

On Campus Office Hours: FH 219 - LACC ext. 2562

Mon. & Wed.: 12:45 - 2:15pm

*Virtual Office Hours: T & Th 1-3pm

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 24 hours (not Friday - Sunday).

Please! No Drunk Texting

(No drunk texting ever!)

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

Or call and leave a message at (323) 953-4000 x2562 Non emergency calls only - I check it through our email system.

Stop by and visit sometime

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. Please leave me my virtual privacy.

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

Schedule: The week ends 11:59 Sunday. All work is due by end of week (mostly)*

You can do work early, but you CANNOT do it late!!!!

By the end of week 1 - if you have not done the student statement - you WILL be excluded from the class!

to view the Key Terms, Concepts and "some things to think about" for each chapter... click here

My online classes have access to several videos - click here - to view them (optional).

Week (dates)

Reading (Chps from "We The People')& Lecture Topic

Work Due

week 1



"Intro to Political Science"

*Student Self Assesment & Ugly English Assignment Explained - Orwell Article .... Click here for Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”

Take the Student Self Assesment bring it to class on 8/30*

Student Statement DUE

week 2





Ch 1 ..... "US Political Culture"


Course Project "1st Thesis" DUE

week 3



Ch 2 ... Why Back then never was"

Ch 3 ... "How's your relationship?" (with the Federal Government)


QUIZ #1 DUE (Chs 1 & 2)

week 4



Chs 4 & 5.... "Civil Rights & Civil Liberties and Are You Rich?"

No Reading, LIBRARY DAY - Meet outside MLK Library

Start Your Social Media Project

week 5



No Reading: "Critical Thinking and YOU"

Ugly English Assign. - Instant Grade-ificationin Class


QUIZ #2 DUE (Chs 3 - 5)

week 6




Guest Speaker

Ch 6 ... "Methodology"


Critical Thinking Project DUE

week 7



Should We Run It? Print it out - BRING IT TO CLASS or have access to it.

Ch 7 "The Media - Setting the Agenda"


Course Project "Working References" DUE

week 8






Ch 8... "We the People..."

Read, PRINT OUT - Bring to class: Privacy, Libel and Free Speech.

Social Media Grade Project DUE on Canvas * and bring to class on 10/23

Party ID Project DUE on Canvas *and bring to class on 10/25




week 9



Social Media Grade Project discussion* (Bring it to class or have access to it)

Ch 9... "Where's the party at?"BRING your PARTY ID PROJECT to Class!

QUIZ #3 DUE (Chs 6 - 8)

Course Project "Working Thesis"DUE

week 10



Ch 10... "How to get elected" Create "Your Candidate"

Your Candidate's Ad - Instant Grade-ification in Class

Political Contribution Project DUE on Canvas * and bring to class on 11/13

week 11



Ch 11... "Interest Groups" BRING in Political Contribution Project

Who is your Senators and Congressmen? Find Out Before Class!


week 12




Ch 12... "...and three or more is a Congress"

California State Senate Simulation Game



(Chs 9 - 12)

week 13



Ch 13... "He (or maybe She) is just the president"

Crisis in Cuba - Should We Invade? Print it - bring it to class (Also bring a map of Cuba).


week 14




Ch 14... "The Bureaucratic Theory"

Ch 15... "...and justice for all."


Course Project DUE

week 15



Course Project Poster Day Poster Due in Class

SLOs, final business...



(Chs 13 - 15)

12/11 - 12/17

Final Exam Week - See Final Exam Schedule

When the assignment is closed on eTudes - you are too late!
Grading and Assignments Explained:

No Late work will be accepted.

No Late work will be graded. You will earn 0 points for all late work.

ALL WORK is posted on Canvas

Grading By Points:
Student Statement (5) & Course Project "1st Thesis" (5) 10
5 "In Your Own Words" Vocabulary Quizzes (20 each) 100
Course Project 100
Course Project "Working References" 20
Course Project "Working Thesis" 20
Course Project Poster & Presentation 20
Ugly English Example and Translation 20
Critical Thinking Project 20
Political Party ID Project 20
Political Contribution Project 20
Class Participation 50
Social Media Grade Project 50
Final Exam (2 parts) 50
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!


Here is a list of real excuses sent to me from my online students.


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!


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).

Other assignments for this class:

"In Your Own Words" Vocabulary Quizzes:

These are essays tied to the text book. You can find the words and concepts to answer in the text book but the understanding has to come from you. You are expected to use the vocabulary and concepts in the book to answer the essay questions asked about you, your politics, you beliefs, your knowledge, etc... they will always be open on Canvas for more than a week. Make the vocabulary words your own words...You need to write MORE than 500 words for each question (about two pages, typed, double spaced, or about three solid college level paragraphs.... do less than the minimum earn far less...

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 TV 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!

For further information and examples: Click Here

You will share your Example and Translation (into normal or standard English) with the class. It's called 'intstant-gradification."

The Critical Thinking Op-Ed Project:

First, choose the op-ed piece or 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 on Canvas in the assignment section. Click here to learn more about Critical Thinking and the Project

Your Candidate's Ad:

In a simulation in class, you will be a campaign manager and develop a message and an ad. You will share this ad with the class for points.

The Party Identification (ID) Project:

The Party Identification (ID) Project - click here for details - You are forced to look around your world and find which political party people around you identify with.  Then you share our results on Canvas. Just follow the directions and you will earn the max points!!! You DO NOT have to post 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 political groups.  This can be done on the web and just might be fun - check it out.   Post work on Canvas in assignment section - just follow the directions and you'll earn the max points!!

The Social Media Grade Project:

You will be viewing (following) two opposing political groups' efforts on various social media platforms and you will assign a reasonable letter grade to both organizations.

You will do an APA title page, citations and references. (There will be no APA abstract).

First - chose a broad political topic or political issue. Not one you know about or even care about. It helps you be objective if it is an issue you know little about and will learn about mostly from this project. With that issue in mind, find on the web, TWO (2) competing political organizations. Make sure they are on different (opposite) sides of the same political issue and also that they are not charities, but political organizations (read what they say about themselves).

Then you will follow these two (2) political organizations on their VARIOUS social media (web pages, twitter, instagram, please don't make me list them all). No you do not have to click "follow" - yes students have asked - like I could find out??? Hey guess what? My Little Pony isn't real either... Bill Gates isn't going to send you a dollar...)

View these organizations' social media efforts for AT LEAST one MONTH! (MORE is better.) You will be asked to include the dates and times you viewed these various social media platforms. Pay attention to how they differ or are simmilar. Take the grading process seriously (you want me to, don't you?)

Follow these directions or lose points:

Part 1 - APA Title Page

Part 2 - List the name, street address, web address and other social media platform addresses (#, @, etc) of the two groups you followed.

List the EXACT DATES you viewed each groups' social media presence and which social media platforms you viewed. The more you view - the more fair the grade.

List the letter grade you gave each of the two groups.

Part 3 - (In at least 500 words) Find, discuss and synthasize grading rubrics (NOT MINE) which discuss the diference between an A, B, C etc... Using at least two (2) others' rubrics, develop your own grading rubric. In general, explain what each group should have done to earn an A, B C, etc...

Part 4 - (In at least 1000 words) Give a detailed explaintion of the letter grade you gave each group. State specif things they did correctly or poorly. Use spefic examples to support your grade. If all you had was the information from this project which "side" of the issue seems most attractive to you now?

Part 5 - APA References. You list the resources that helped you in Part 3 as well as using APA to cite the exact date and time you viewed each social media platform (HINT - make sure this information, now in APA format - matches what you claimed in Part 2).

The FINAL EXAM : 50 points for (my choice of) One or two of the ESSAYS from the list provided by clicking here. and one to five (5) "short answer" questions (1-3 paragraphs) based on the discussion questions on each weekly lecture pages ("Some things to think about").

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

Click Here To See Potential Final Exam LONG Essay Questions.

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.

Any questions - please email me: meyerjn@lacitycollege.edu

A Few Things to Remember:

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

Always include your Full Name & section number in all emails and your name on all texts (ur name on all txts, pls). Or I will not respond.

LACC Addendum Mandatory Information - FALL 2017

Course: POL SCI 001
Course Description: An introduction to United States and California government and politics, including their constitutions, political institutions
and processes, and political actors. Examination of political behavior, political issues, and public policy.
Units/Transferability: Transferrable to UC and CSU

Grading Scale or Criteria
A - Excellent
B - Good
C - Satisfactory
D - Less than satisfactory
F - Failing
P - Pass; at least equivalent to a “C” grade or better
NP - Not Pass; equal to “D” or “F” grade;

Drop Date and Repeats:

For classes from 8/28/17 to 12/17/17, the deadline to drop without a “W” on your transcript is September 10, 2017. Effective July 1, 2012 students are allowed three (3) attempts to pass a single class within the Los Angeles Community
College District. If a student gets a “W” or grade of “D”, “F”, or “NP” in a class, that counts as an attempt. If you think you will not be able to complete this course with a C or better, drop by November 19, 2017. If the class begins or ends
on a different date, please refer to http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/admissions/dates.html

Attendance Policy:

Students who are registered and miss the first class meeting may lose their right to a place in the class. Whenever students are absent more hours than the number of hours the class meets per week, the instructor may exclude them
from class. If the instructor determines that there are no mitigating circumstances that may justify the absences, the instructor may exclude a student from the class. Students are responsible for officially dropping a class that they stop

Financial Aid

If you need help paying for books and other college expenses, call the Financial Aid Office at (323) 953-4000 ext.2010, http://www.lacitycollege.edu/stusvcs/finaid/.


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 (323-953-4000, ext.2270) as soon as possible, and at least two weeks before any exam or quiz. All information will remain confidential.

Student Code of Conduct:

Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following actions: cheating on an exam, plagiarism, working together on an assignment, paper or project when the instructor has specifically stated students should not do
so, submitting the same term paper to more than one instructor, or allowing another individual to assume one’s identity for the purpose of enhancing one’s grade (see LACCD Board Rule 9803.28). Penalties may include a grade of zero or
"F" on an exam or paper, or even suspension from the College.

Checklist and Student Statement

Week 1 Checklist:

1. Register for the class. Buy the Text book. Buy it used, it's 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. Get on Canvas and read 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. 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 eTudes 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 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 overselves 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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