The University of Louisiana at Monroe

POLS 2010 – Honors Political Science (Fall, 2013) – 3 credit hours
12:30 – 1:45 P.M. (Tuesday & Thursday)
Dr. Joshua Stockley (preferred)
Phone: 342-3216
Stubbs Hall, Rm. 106

Office Hours:
7:30–12:00 MW
12:00-12:30 TR
And by appointment

Students now arrive at the university ignorant and cynical about our political heritage, lacking the
wherewithal to be either inspired by it or seriously critical of it.
Allen Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind
Course Description: This course provides a survey of the concept of politics, the importance of power,
and the organization of government. This includes an overview of the historical significance and
provisions of the constitutions, rights and liberties, legislative branch, judicial branch, executive branch,
political parties, interest groups, media, policies, and popular culture. The objective of the course is to
lay the proper foundation for informed citizenship and more specialized study in political science.
Course Description (plain English version): We have a government, but few of us know what kind. We
have branches of government, but few of us know their powers and responsibilities. We have political
parties and interest groups, but few of us join. We have a media, but few of us really pay attention to
what they are saying. We have civil rights and civil liberties, but few of us know what they. We the
people are supposed to be in charge and hold government accountable, but few of us vote. I hope to
change this.
Course Prerequisite: None.
Course Objectives and Outcomes: At the end of the course, students should be able to:
1. Describe the structure and mechanics of governments;
2. Identify the extent that actions of governments are determined by the preferences of a majority
or minority and, in the cases that they are not set by the majority, identify how policy
preferences are determined;
3. Describe the impact of policies on various groups in society, especially groups defined by
gender, race, class, and culture;
4. Discuss contemporary policy problems facing society;
5. Read, think, write, and speak at an intellectual level appropriate to upper-level university
Course Topics: The structures and functions of government; relationship between intermediary
institutions and citizens; trends and implications of policy.
Instructional Methods and Activities: This class will be taught primarily in a traditional lecture method;
however, students will be expected to keep abreast of current political developments and be prepared
to discuss these topics during class discussions. Students are expected to read all materials and
complete scheduled assignments before coming to class. All course documents and resources, including
this syllabus, can be found on Moodle.

Texts: None
Course Requirements: In computing grades, the requirements will be weighted as following:
Midterm Exam:
Final Exam:
Participation & Current Events:
Class Presentation:


Grading: Categories are as follows: A=90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, F=0-59.
Midterm Exam: The exams will have short answer and essay questions based upon the materials
presented both in class and in assigned readings. On many occasions, the lecture will focus on ideas and
issues not covered in the readings; so, it will be important to attend the lectures. Make-up exams are
given only in cases of serious illness or death in the family, verified by a written note from appropriate
Final Exam: The format of the final exam will be exactly the same as the midterm exam and may be
Moodle: All exam results and course documents will be posted on Moodle. Therefore, students will
need to register for a Moodle account if they have not already done so for previous courses.
Participation: Your participation grade will be comprised of several parts: one, the quality of your inclass contributions during discussion days; two, attendance on discussion days; three, completion of
current event papers and assignments.
The following scale will be used for determining your Current Event/Reaction grade:
A (100%) = no missed assignments, no more than one absence
B (85%) = one missed assignment, no more than two absences
C (75%) = two missed assignments, no more than three absences
D (65%) = three missed assignments, no more than four absences
F (55%) = four or more missed assignments, five or more absences
Current Events: Every Tuesday that we have class a current event assignment will be due. Students are
expected to turn in an article with a typed one- to two-paged paper summarizing an article and
discussing your opinion on the issue or controversy. Students should be prepared to discuss –in class– its
relevance or its significance in being chosen. The articles may be manually clipped from any
newspaper/magazine or printed from an online source so long as there is some relevance to
government. Note: Letters to the editor or opinion/editorial columns will not be accepted.
**Assignments will only be accepted in-class and in-person – an assignment turned in on someone
else’s behalf will result in no credit being given to both individuals, and papers slipped under my door
will be thrown away.**
Furthermore, all class periods will involve some discussion of current events; so, I strongly encourage
students to regularly read a newspaper, magazine, or watch the news. Not only will these sources keep

students abreast of current affairs, but it will also help place in context crucial concepts and issues
introduced throughout the semester.
Extra-credit: It does not exist; so, do not ask for it.
Academic Integrity (“cheating” or “plagiarism”): It is not tolerated. Students found guilty will receive a
failing grade in the course, and possible dismissal from their academic program and University.
Violations of student academic behavior are outlined in the ULM Student Policy Manual, available at policy/.
Student Services: The University of Louisiana at Monroe strives to serve students with special needs
through compliance with Sections 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with
Disabilities Act. These laws mandate that postsecondary institutions provide equal access to programs
and services for students with disabilities without creating changes to the essential elements of the
curriculum. While students with special needs are expected to meet our institution's academic
standards, they are given the opportunity to fulfill learner outcomes in alternative ways. Examples of
accommodations may include, but are not limited to, testing accommodations (oral testing, extended
time for exams), interpreters, relocation of inaccessible classrooms, permission to audiotape lectures,
note-taking assistance, and course substitutions.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an
educational program or activity that receives federal funds, including federal loans and grants.
Furthermore, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination to include sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual
harassment and retaliation. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based
discrimination, please contact Student Services at 318-342-5230 or to file a complaint, visit
Information about ULM student services, such as
 Student Success Center: http://www.ulm/edu.cass/
 Counseling Center
 Special Needs at
 Library
 Computing Center Help Desk
Current college’s policies on serving students with disabilities can be obtained at for the ULM website:
 If you need accommodation because of a known or suspected disability, you should contact the
director for disabled student services at:
 Voice phone: 318-342-5220
 Fax: 318-342-5228
 Walk In: ULM Counseling Center, 1140 University Avenue (this building and room are
handicapped accessible).
Mental Wellness on the ULM Campus: If you are having any emotional, behavioral, or social problems,
and would like to talk with a caring, concerned professional please call one of the following numbers:
 The ULM Counseling Center 342-5220
 The Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic 342-9797

The Community Counseling Center 342-1263

Remember that all services are offered free to students, and all are strictly confidential. If you have
special needs that I need to be made aware you should contact me within the first two days of class.
Class Courtesy: In an effort to minimize disruption, please arrive on time for class and try not to leave
early unless you have indicated to me prior to the start of class that you will do so. It would be further
kind to please remember to turn off cell phones and iPods prior to class; it disrupts your peers and, most
importantly, me. Sending text messages during class is prohibited; if I see you sending text messages
during class, then I reserve the right to dock your participation one letter grade per incident. If I even
see a cell phone or iPod out during class, then I reserve the right to dock your participation one letter
grade per incident. Laptops and tablets are okay and I encourage their usage; but if I find out that you
are looking at anything non-academic (i.e. Facebook, email) during class, then I will dock your
participation grade by one letter grade per incident. During all discussions please treat your peers with
the same respect and courtesy you wish to have accorded to yourself. Please do not call me or e-mail
me requesting grades; that can be found on Moodle. Finally, please do not wait until the last week of
class to discuss troubles you are having either academically or personally, come and see me while there
is still time during the semester to do something.

Important Dates:

Midterm Exam
Final Exam

October 7
December 4

DROP DATE: The last day to drop a course with a “W” is: October 27, 2014
Course Outline:
Week 1: Aug 19: Introduction
Week 1: Aug 21: Do The Right Thing
Week 2: Aug 26: TBA
Week 2: Aug 28: TBA
Week 3: Sep 2: TBA
Week 3: Sep 4: TBA
Week 4: Sep 9: TBA
Week 4: Sep 11: TBA
Week 5: Sep 16: TBA
Week 5: Sep 18: TBA
Week 6: Sep 23, 25: No Class the Week
Week 7: Sep 30: TBA
Week 7: Oct 2: TBA
Week 8: Oct 7: Midterm Exam
Week 9: Oct 14: TBA
Week 9: Oct 16: TBA
Week 10: Oct 21, 23: No Class this Week
Week 11: Oct 28: TBA
Week 11: Oct 30: TBA
Week 12: Nov 4: TBA
Week 12: Nov 6: TBA
Week 13: Nov 11: TBA
Week 13: Nov 13: TBA
Week 14: Nov 18, 20: No Class this Week
Week 15: Nov 25: Final Thoughts
Final Exam: Thursday, December 4 @ 10:00 A.M.