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Bryan · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Fall 2020
  • Sections 51G CRN-19140, 51H CRN-19142
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/19/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 10/19/2020

Meeting Times

In Class

  • Weekly - 51G
  • Tuesday, 1:25 PM to 2:40 PM, A 106

This is the meeting time for these students. This is done via Zoom.

In Class

  • Weekly - 51H
  • Thursday, 1:25 PM to 2:40 PM, A 106

This is the meeting time for these students. This is done via Zoom.

Contact Information

Andrew Anderson

Virtually 10-11:30 am Tuesday/Thursday

Request via email for weekends



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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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 : Chapter Exams

There will be 4 exams after every couple of chapters with a 45-50 questions. You will get 60 mins to complete the exams. The Final Exam is 100+ questions and you have 2 hours.

Writing: The Papers

There will be a writing portion to this course. There will be 2 paper due before the end of the course, 1 5-page paper, double spacing and 1 2-3 page paper 1.5 spacing. All papers are expected to be in Time New Roman, 14pt font. Also, all require a cover page, no headings allowed. The first one is a 2-3 page paper on a local official in government. (This will be a writing assignment. 14pt font, Times New Roman, 1.5 spacing) You will pick these randomly on the first day of the course. Your paper will be written as if it’s the speech you would have given. Guidelines listed online along with rubric. The 5-page paper will be on a topic randomly drawn from the professor. You will research it, explain it and give an overview on its impact in the modern day. Work cited and Proper Citation needed.  The page limit is strictly enforced; changes to this format require prior approval from the professor in writing. There is a rubric, which are provided as well. Cover page and Work cited do not count towards overall total. Further instructions on opening day powerpoint.

Writing: Project

A project is required during this course. It is a solo project. You will be assigned into a new “Think Tank” for governmental policy making. You are to come up with ideas to improve your areas of policy, and present to a House sub-committee to have them funded. At the end of the course, your group will give a presentation on over your suggestions.. A rubric will cover everything needed for this project.

Online: Activities

I will be posting an activity for every chapter that students are required to complete and turn in to the dropbox called “Activities.” Each one will be worth 10 points each based upon quality. Just doing a minimum job will get you a minimum grade, but not always full credit. Each one is due by the day after the chapter. You can complete them as early as you wish and I will grade them as I get to them.

Online: Discussions

Since we won’t be meeting as a class this term, I have set up discussion threads for students to complete and interact with one another. Every chapters have discussions. Each one will close at the end of the following day. You will be given a prompt to answer and expand upon. Start a new post and answer the prompt with you thoughts and questions for classmates. Everyone is expected to interact with at least 3 other student’s posts during the week. The more the better. Your main post must be at least 4-6 sentences in length and your interactions must be at least 2-3 sentences each. Like the activities, just doing a minimum job will get you a minimum grade, but not always full credit. I will grade them as I get to them. You can start as soon as you wish.  Each week will be graded on a 10 point scale.



Graded Items                                                 Grading Scale

Exams (1-4)                             25%                 89-100      A                                                   

Papers (3)                                30%                 79-88        B   

Activities and Discussions      20%                 69-78        C   

Final Exam                              25%                 59-68        D

                                                                       Below 59   F

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.

Grading and Evaluation

Attendance is required. However, students who miss several classes generally fall behind in their course work and subsequently do poorly in the course. After all, debate is what makes the political world go around (It makes the class much more interesting). Grading will be done weekly for all assignments that week.

Absences & Extra Credit Absences

Attendance is taken to gauge your interaction with the class. As long as you post each day, you receive credit. You can get credit by emailing, uploading, doing an activity, being part of the discussion, completing an exam or turning in work. As long as you work every day, you will receive 2 pts on your final average. An extra credit is be discussed in opening powerpoint.

Make-up Policy

All makeup tests are given on the week before final exams unless you make other arrangements with the professor. It should be understood that the make-up exams are much more difficult than the original exam. All papers will lose 10 points per day late. After 1 week, the paper will be a Zero (0).

Plagiarism and Cheating

Neither plagiarism nor cheating (claiming that words and ideas of others are your own) will be tolerated in this class. A grade of zero “0” will be given for any such assignment. This will be strictly enforced! If in doubt, make it a point to come see me or cite your source. I will run them through online searches if it does not look right or sound like yourself. Especially on exams.

Class Conduct

I extend civil behavior to students in my classroom, and in return, I expect the same. The topics covered can push people buttons at times, but I except you to be honest and civil in all discussions, assignments and interactions with myself and other students.


Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Week 1 - 10/19-23

Introduction, Overview and Drawing

Ch. 1, 2 

Week 2 - 10/26-30

Ch. 3,4

Exam 1 - (Ch. 1-4)

Week 3 - 11/2-6

Ch. 5,6

Government Official paper Due - 11/6 - Via Dropbox

Week 4 - 11/9-13

Ch. 7,8

Exam 2 - Ch. 5-8

Week 5 - 11/16-20

Ch. 9,10

5 page Paper Due - 11/20 Via Dropbox

Week 6 - 11/23-29

Ch. 11,12

Exam 3 - Ch. 9-11

Thanksgiving Holidays - 11/25-27

Week 7 - 11/30-12/4

Q drop date - Nov 30

Ch. 13,14

Exam 4 - Ch. 12-14


Week 8 - 12/7-11

Make-ups and Finals week

Think Tank Project Due - 12/9 Via Dropbox

Final Exam - 9 am -9 pm by 12/11