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Distance Education · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Fall 2020
  • Section N81 CRN-16862
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/24/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 08/23/2020

Meeting Times


  • Online

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Christine Crudo Blackburn

Office Hours

  • Fridays
  • Friday, 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM


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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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


Attendance is mandatory. Your attendance will be recorded based on completion of discussion posts. You attendance grade will not be penalized for up to two absences, but after two absences you all absences will count against your attendance grade.

Discussion Posts

You are required to respond to discussion questions every week. You must make an original post in response to the question and respond to one classmates post. Discussion posts are worth 20 points - 10 points for the original post and 10 points for the response. 


There will be a total of two (2) quizzes in this course. Quiz questions will be based on both the assigned readings and the class lectures. Each quiz contains 10 questions and is worth 100 pts.


There will be two (2) exams throughout this course. The final exam is cumulative. Exams consist of multiple choice and true/false questions. Each exam is worth 250 pts.



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