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Distance Education · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Fall 2020
  • Section N46 CRN-20994
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/19/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 08/16/2020

Meeting Times

This is an internet class, which runs constantly (24/7) during the semester.

Students will have assigned ending times for assignments throughout the course.

Exams will be available for the entire week they are assigned. (No excuses!)

Contact Information

Instructor: Mr. Larry G. Salazar

I am available virtually through my ZOOM application weblink.

Zoom is a third-party software (that operates like Skype) that offers teleconferencing.

Since I am out of town, students can email me 24/7 or contact me via Zoom.

Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 7:15 AM to 7:45 AM, Virtual

If these times do not work, please let me know.


Government 2305 is a study of the organization, functions, and administration of the several branches and agencies of the national government, including a study of the federal constitution. The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events. Emphasis will be placed on the interaction of these subsystems. 48 contact hours. Credit: Three semester hours.


Student must be college reading ready according to Texas Success Initiatives Standards (TSI). Please see the Catalog section under Texas Success Initiative.

Core Curriculum Statement

Through the Texas Core Curriculum, students will gain a foundation of knowledge in human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning. For details relating to this core course, please see:


Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.

Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.

Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.

Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.

Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.

Analyze the election process.

Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.




  • EDITION:  12E
  • ISBN: 9780393431261


Course Requirements

Exams: There will be four required exams in this class (including the final exam). The first three exams will be non-cumulative and will be comprised of seventy questions, chosen at random by the test, worth one point each. Plus, there will be three short answer questions, chosen at random by the test, worth ten points each. In total, each of these three exams will be worth 100 points. The fourth exam will be a cumulative final exam. It will be comprised of one hundred (100) questions, chosen at random by the test. Each question will be worth two points, for a total of 200 points. However, you are REQUIRED to take this exam as your proctored exam, per Blinn's policy. {see the information on HonorLock for the required proctoring} The first three exams will have seventy-five (75) minutes to complete both sections of each exam. The comprehensive final exam will have total time limit of two hours allotted--remember it must be proctored!

Quizzes: During the course of the semester, there will be fifteen short chapter quizzes each comprised of twenty questions, chosen at random by the test, based off of the relevant material from the weekly learning module. These are designed to get you to make sure that you comprehend the content — which is a vital part to ensuring your success on the exams. The quizzes will be at the end of the respective learning module when they are to be assigned. Each of these questions will be worth one point, so each quiz will be worth twenty total points. You will have twenty-five (25) minutes to complete each respective quiz.

Discussion Boards: A portion of your grade will be based off of eight discussion postings that will be given on D2L that will allow each student an opportunity to discuss his or her opinion more thoroughly. These postings might be from something in the lecture material or something entirely abstract that relates to the material being discussed. While these are designed to encourage discussion among classmates, they should NOT turn into an argument. All of the requirements and discussion prompts are posted on the discussion postings at the end of any learning module that has a discussion posting. Here are the highlights of the requirements: 1) Each student will be required to provide at least once outside source per discussion board posting. 2) Students are required to write at least 400 words per discussion board posting, plus reply to another student with at least 150 words. 3) All postings (your own and your replies) are due by midnight on the respective due dates. The discussion boards will be worth up to twenty-five (25) points each, for a total of two hundred (200) points collectively.

Syllabus Quiz: To ensure that students understand what is asked of them in the course syllabus, there is a ten-question quiz based on the syllabus early in the semester. It is comprised of five True/False questions and five multiple-choice questions. Each one is worth one point for a total of ten potential points. This is the only possible extra credit assignment of the semester--so take advantage of it early in the semester!

Reading Assignments: While this is not an official part of your final course grade, you should keep up with the weekly textbook reading in order to do well in this course! The chapters that you are to read (in your textbook and online) are listed in the learning units. You will have the entire week to read the material, familiarize yourself with the relevant chapters in the textbook, and learn the material accordingly. The purpose of assigning reading in the textbook is to help you to better follow the learning modules and to allow you ample time to ask questions on aspects that you are unsure about along the way. Most importantly, please do not skip or skim any of the weekly readings!


Each student will be evaluated by the same assessment mechanisms: exams, quizzes, and discussion boards.


Grade Breakdown:

Exam I:                                   100                            A = 900-1000

Exam II:                                  100                            B = 800-899

Exam III:                                 100                            C = 700-799

Exam IV:                                 200                            D = 600-699

Quizzes (15 @ 20):                300                            F = 599 or less

Discussion Boards (8 @ 25): 200                         W/I = as appropriate

Syllabus Quiz (Extra Credit!):  10                            

Blinn College Policies

All policies, guidelines, and procedures in the Blinn College CatalogBlinn College Board Policies, and the Blinn College Administrative Regulations are applicable to this course.

Specific information on civility, attendance, add/drop, scholastic integrity, students with disabilities, final grade appeal, alternative retailers, campus carry and proctoring arrangements and cost.

Notice of any action taken under these protocol and procedures, by Blinn College or its employees, may be delivered by hand, through the U.S. Postal Service, or electronically to the student’s Blinn Buc e-mail account. Notice shall be deemed received upon actual receipt, on deposit in the U.S. Mail, or upon entering the information processing system used by Blinn College for Blinn Buc e-mail accounts, whichever first occurs.

Information about the changes Blinn has made to the Fall semester: Back with Blinn.

Course Policies


Too frequently, students wait until the end of the semester to try to rectify poor grades received throughout the term. I am here to help, so utilize me. However, once all the grades are said and done, there is not much that I can do. But, if you get with me earlier in the semester, chances are that grades can still be rectified.

Remember, there is no stupid question!

Late Work and Make-Up Work Policies:

Late work will not be allowed for any reason. This is college!


You must complete every assignment at the end of all learning units. (Every learning unit will end with at least one assignment: either a quiz, discussion board, or an examination--some might have more than one!) Each assignment's due dates are listed on the title page of each learning unit as well as on the syllabus. Not knowing when an assignment is due is NOT a valid excuse for non-completion!

If you do not complete any assignment, you will be submitted to Blinn as having "missed" one week's worth of classes. At that point, you will be required to meet with me regarding why you missed the assignment before you will be allowed to continue in the course further. If you have two such weeks, you are subject to being dropped from the course, according to the Blinn Attendance Policy. Please keep in mind, that if the second missed assignment occurs after the "Q" drop date, your grade will be officially recorded as a "QF."

Important Dates for 16-Week Courses (Fall 2020):

10/19: 2nd-Week Classes Begin

10/26: Day of Record

11/30: Last Day to Drop

12/9: Last Class Day

12/10: Final Exams

12/11: Grades Due by 5PM



Week / Class Cancellations



Reading(s) for the Week


Assignments, Quizzes, & Exams


October 19 - October 25

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Syllabus / Meet Your Instructor

Ginsberg Chapter 1


Log onto Blinn eCampus /

Student Introductions, American Political Culture Quiz


October 19 - October 25 

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Ginsberg Chapter 2



The Founding and the Constitution Quiz / Syllabus Quiz


October 26 - November 1

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Ginsberg Chapter 3



Discussion 1 / Federalism Quiz


October 26 - November 1

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)

Ginsberg Chapter 4

Ginsberg Chapter 5

Civil Liberties & Civil Rights Quiz / Discussion 2


November 2 - November 8

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Study for Exam# 1

Exam# 1: 

Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 of Ginsberg

(Make sure you leave enough time for the Course Feedback too!)


November 2 - November 8

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)



Ginsberg Chapter 6

Ginsberg Chapter 7



Public Opinion Quiz / Media Quiz




November 9 - November 15

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Ginsberg Chapter 8

Ginsberg Chapter 9


Political Participation and Voting Quiz / Political Parties and Interests and Groups Quiz / Discussion 3




November 9 - November 15

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)

Ginsberg Chapter 10

Ginsberg Chapter 11

Campaigns and Elections Quiz / Discussion 4


November 16 - November 22

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)

Study for Exam# 2

Exam# 2:

Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, & 11 of Ginsberg


November 16 - November 22

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)

Ginsberg Chapter 12

Ginsberg Chapter 13


Congress Quiz / Discussion 5 / The Presidency and Bureaucracy in a Democracy Quiz


November 23 - November 29

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)



Ginsberg Chapter 14

Ginsberg Chapter 15



The Federal Courts Quiz / Discussion 6




November 23 - November 29

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)



Study for Exam# 3


Exam# 3:

Chapters 12, 13, 14, & 15 of Ginsberg




November 30 - December 6

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Ginsberg Chapter 16


Government and the Economy Quiz




November 30 - December 6

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Ginsberg Chapter 17


 Social Policy Quiz / Discussion 7


November 30 - December 6

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)


Ginsberg Chapter 18


Foreign Policy and Democracy Quiz / Discussion 8


December 7 - December 10

(Weekly Meeting Hours: 3)

(Course Meeting Hours: 48)


Study for Exam# 4


Cumulative Final Exam:


Chapters 1-18 of Ginsberg


Final Exam Due:

 (Thursday, December 10th by 5:00PM!)