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Bryan · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Fall 2020
  • Sections 55C CRN-19026, 55D CRN-19029
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/19/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 10/18/2020

Meeting Times

Mon - Wed 12:00 to 1:15 - Room A106 and Remote Via Zoom Mtg

Contact Information

Cheri Hobbs       [email protected]     979-209-7462

virtual office hours: 10 - 12:00 Tues and Thurs or after class at Rudder.

All office hours are virtual please contact by phone or email to set a time up.  I will plan on being available outside of class times between 9am and 4 pm Mon thru Thurs and Fridays by appointment.  I will however be available to answer questions evenings and weekend as my schedule permits. The office number will ring to my cell phone so please be considerate of the time you call.  

** All phone messages much contain your name and class of attendance and a detailed message with a call back number.  The number that shows on my phone is my office.

** All emails must contain a salutation and closing.  I consider this formal communication and will not answer those that do not contain my name, your name and a way to contact you.


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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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 THREE unit exams opportunities offered consisting of objective multiple choice, matching and some short answer questions.  As well as, a cumulative Final Exam given at the end of the course.  All Exams will be online through HonorLock.  Please familiarize yourself with that with that program prior to testing. 

Supreme Court Briefing: Each student will choose a Supreme Court case from a provided list and complete a brief.  There are 2 parts to this assignment: Part 1 a full written brief with the Supreme Court Decision citation on the date scheduled and Part 2 a presentation (not reading) of a synopsis of your full case orally to the class on the date scheduled.  You may prepare an overhead presentation or other written notes of the case for the presentation if desired.  This will count the same as an Exam

Make-Up Exams: Well be given with instructor permission only and must be scheduled in advance or within one class period of the original date.  Make-Up exams will not be the same as the original, they will be in essay form

Quizzes/Homework:  Quizzes will be given to ensure that students complete the assigned readings.  There will be an online quiz prior to the class day in which the chapter is discussed.  It will be only open for 24 hours prior to that class date for student to take the quiz.  Quizzes will not be reopened for any reason due to the fact that they only count for participation and extra credit.  Homework will be occasionally assigned and due the next class period.  If you are not present for class in either capacity (in person or via Zoom) you will not be eligible the assignment.  This too will count as participation and extra credit.  Each assignment and quiz will be eligible for 1 point of participation and a grade that will help to accumulate extra credit points for you.

Participation:  One goal of this course is to encourage participation in our political system.  This is a discussion based class, content will be given and questions will be asked in class or online. Therefore, you are expected to respond.   Your knowledge will be furthered in this course depending on how much you add to the topic being covered, current events discussed and other pertinent content.  At all times your participation should be constructive and respectful, both to the instructor and other student.   

Since this is a course in government, you are expected to keep up with current political events and other events that may effect our political system.  Please take the time to review current event either online, in a print source of through television/radio.  If you are uncertain how to find sources please see the instructor.  Some good sources are: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, etc. no blogs or other strictly opinion pieces.

Presentation: Each student will be expected to work in a group to complete a presentation on a public policy topics to be chosen by the class. See assignment sheet for details.

Literature Review: Each student will choose one of the assigned Federalist Papers and review it in writing.   These will be submitted through a Dropbox and Turnitin.  This is not to be a research paper but rather your own academic reviews of a work. See assignment sheet for details.

Extra Credit: There is one opportunity  for extra credit through the quizzes and homework. 

   1) Your quiz and homework scores will be added and average with a final possible extra credit of 5 points added to your final grade.  Do not ask for any other opportunities.


Your grade will be determined by how well you complete each of the following: 

Assignment Detail Points Percent of Final Average
Exam 1 Unit 1 The Founding 100 10%
Exam 2 Unit 2 the Institutions 100 10%
Exam 3 Unit 3 the Election Cycle 100 10%
Final Exam Cumulative 100 10%
Supreme Court Brief Written preparation 60% and Oral class presentation 40% 100 10%
Presentation Group public policy policy 60 20%
Literature Review Review meaning and interpretation of a Federalist Paper 50 20%
Participation Class discussions, quizzes and homework `50 10%


 Letter Grade   Final Average in Percent
  A   90-100
  B   80-89
  C   70-79
  D   60-59
  F   59 or below

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

Please read: Fall 2020 General Course Policies.

Attendance:  You are strongly encouraged to attend every class session either by coming to class or Via Zoom.  You will not be penalized for merely being absent, but you will miss various quizzes, homework assignments, and extra credit opportunities that cannot be made up.  Additionally, if you miss the college maximum of 2 week you could be dropped from the course, which in this 8 week class mean Two days.  You are responsible for obtaining notes that you miss from other students

Classroom Conduct: Students are expected to treat each other and the professor with respect and courtesy.  Side conversations during lectures and discussions should not be held, it they are, instruction will stop until it concludes.

Students should be attentive and engaged at all times.  Cell phones and other electronics or distracting items should not be visible or audible (keep them in your bags and on silent).  Indiscriminate use of them during class is disrespectful toward the instructor and your fellow students.  If the instructor sees students using cell phones in class instruction will stop until they are again put away.

Studies have shown that  you do not learn more by using a computer or Tablet to take notes, therefore, unless you have accommodations to do so please do not ask to use them.  Tablets and laptops can be used for note taking with instructor permission only.

There will be opportunities for use of electronics but they are not for everyday use.

Cheating: The easiest way to fail this class is to cheat.  Do not copy any work for another student, and do not plagiarize (defined: using someone else's work without proper documentation).  I will recommend that you receive a zero grade for this course and include you name on the database for Plagiarism.   Plagiarism is any use of work that is not your own, which includes use of another's language or research without proper citation (see student handbook for more information on plagiarism).  Anytime you quote something or refer to a non-obvious fact then you need a citation.  If in doubt, cite the source or do not use it.




Week One  

Meeting Details  

Federalist Papers 



Unit 1

Monday, October 19, 2020 

Introduction to class 

Complete Introduction Unit on ecampus 

Chapter 1 Political Culture




Tuesday, October 20, 2020 

Read Chapter 1complete Quiz and study guide submit into Dropbox



Wednesday, October 21, 2020 

Federalist Paper, Supreme Court and Policy Project assignments given 



Thursday, October 22, 2020 

Choose a Federalist Paper and a Supreme Court Case, let the teacher know by email which one you want. Begin work on Paper/Brief assignment.



Friday, October 23, 2020 

Read Chapter 2 and complete quiz and study guide submit to Dropbox.  Discussion Question response 



Week Two  





Monday, October 26, 2020 

The Founding and Constitution, Chapter 2 - the philosophy of it all, quiz for Chapter 2 to Be completed prior to class

#s 47, 48, 49, 59, 51 



Tuesday, October 27, 2020 

Continue work on Major assignments though out the semester;

Read Chapter 3 Federalism, study guide, quiz



Wednesday, October 28, 2020 

Federalism Chapter 3  



Thursday, October 29, 2020 

Complete the Federalism Scenarios turn in to Unit 1 Dropbox, 

#s 37, 38, 39, 40, 46 


Friday, October 30, 2020 

Organize with your Presentation group 

Federalism video online and Discussion question. 

Exam 1 online, Due by Oct 31, Due by 9 pm

Start on Unit 2 this weekend - Chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15



Week Three 





Unit 2

Monday,   November 2, 2020 

Chapter 12 - The Legislature, study guide, quiz,  

Watch Legislature Video - Discussion question

#'s 52, 53, 54. 56, 62, 63



Tuesday,   November 3, 2020 

Read Chapter 13,quiz and study guide submit in Dropbox 



Wednesday,  November 4, 2020 

The Presidential Character 


Thursday, November 5, 2020 

Read Bureaucracy Chapter 14, quiz, study guide, submit into Dropbox



Friday,      November 6, 2020 

Complete the Budget and FollowUp, submit in Unit 2 Dropbox. Due by 10 pm Nov 7



Week Four 





Monday,   November 9, 2020 

Government and the Economy - Budget discussion




Tuesday  , November 10, 2020 

 Read The Federal Courts, Chapter 15, quiz, study guide, submit in Unit 3 Dropbox



Wednesday, November 11, 2020 

The Federal Courts, Chapter 15 



Thursday, November 12, 2020 

Unit 2 Exam - Open Nov 12 10am to Nov 13 10 pm



Friday,      November 13, 2020 

Unit 3 Exam 

Complete Preparation of Policy Presentations

Start of reading for Unit 3 Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 



Week Five  





Monday,   November 16, 2020 

Policy Presentations

#s 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83 



Tuesday, November 17, 2020 

Read Chapter 6, Public Opinion, complete quiz and study guide, submit to Unit 3 Dropbox



Wednesday, November 18, 2020 

Read Chapter 7, The Media, complete quiz and study guide, submit to Unit 3 Dropbox



Thursday, November 19, 2020 

Do Media Analysis, submit to Unit 3 Dropbox - be ready to discuss in class Monday - Must be in Dropbox before class 



Friday, November 20, 2020 

Read Chapter 8 Political Participation,  complete quiz and study guide, submit to Unit 3 Dropbox 



Week Six  





Monday, November 23, 2020 

Media Analysis

Read Chapter 9 Political Party, study guide and quiz, submit to Unit 3 Dropbox

#s 14, 42, 49, 58, 63 



Tuesday, November 24, 2020 

Campaigns and Elections, Chapter 10, study guide and quiz



Wednesday, November 25, 2020 


Create Party and Advertisement 

#s 52, 54, 68 


Thursday, November 26, 2020


Create Party and Advertisement 



Friday, November 27, 2020


Create Party and Advertisement 



Week Seven  





Monday, November 30, 2020 

Present your Party and Advertisement

Groups and Interests, Chapter 11, study guide and quiz, Respond to Discussion

Last Date to Drop

# 9 



Tuesday, December 1, 2020 

Unit 3 Exam

Exam will be open for 10 am Dec 1 to 10pm Dec 2



Wednesday, December 2, 2020 

Civil Rights and Liberties 



Thursday, December 3, 2020 

Read Chapters 4 and 4, Civil Liberties and Rights, complete quiz and study guide, submit in Dropbox   


Friday, December 4, 2020 

Prepare for Final Exam



Week Eight 





Monday, December 7, 8, 9 2020 

Final Exam Online Dec 7, 9am to Dec 9 10pm





Total Contact Hours