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Distance Education · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Fall 2020
  • Section N83 CRN-20788
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/24/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 08/23/2020

Meeting Times


  • Online

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Christine Blackburn

Office Hours

  • Fridays at 11:30am
  • Meeting ID: 994 9727 3526 Passcode: 370775


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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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

Discussion Posts

Each week you will have a discussion post that you must answer by Friday at 11:59pm. You are required to write your response to the post and to respond to one of your classmates post. Each discussion post is worth 20 pts - 10 points for the original post and 10 points for the response.


You will have two quizzes throughout the semester. Each quiz is worth 100 pts.


You will have a midterm and a final exam. The final exam is cumulative. Each exam is worth 250 points.


Attendance is required and measured by completion of the discussion posts every week. You can miss up to two classes and it will not affect your grade. 



Your final grade is based on the following:

Attendance: 10%

Discussion Posts: 25%

Quizzes: 20%

Exams: 45%

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 calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes

Week 1 (August 24 -28): American Political Culture

Week 2 (August 31 - Sept. 4): The Founding and the Constitution

Week 3 (Sept. 7 - 11): Federalism

Week 4 (Sept. 14 -18): Civil Liberties
              Quiz 1 - Sept. 18

Week 5 (Sept. 21 -25): Civil Rights

Week 6 (Sept. 28 - Oct. 2):  Interest Groups

Week 7 (Oct 5 - 9): Public Opinion 
              Exam 1 - Oct. 9

Week 8 (Oct. 12 - 16): Campaigns and Elections

Week 9 (Oct. 19 -23): Political Participation and Voting

Week 10 (Oct. 26 - 30): The Media

Week 11 (Nov. 2 -6): Congress

Week 12 (Nov. 9 -13): Executive Branch

Week 13 (Nov. 16 -20): The Judiciary 
                Quiz 2 - Nov. 20

Week 14 (Nov. 30 - Dec. 4): Social Policy

Week 15: Final Exam - TBD