Poli 10 (S12):
Intro to American Politics
Intro to American Politics
Discussion Section Course Website
Times and Locations* Main Lecture: M/W 10:00-10:50 a.m., Center Hall 101
* Section A02, Wednesday 1:00-1:50 p.m., HSS 2150
* Section A03, Wednesday 3:00-3:50 p.m., HSS 2150
* Office Hours: Tu 11-12:00 p.m., SSB 323
TextsS. Kernell, G. Jacobson and T. Kousser. The Logic of American Politics, 5th Edition (KJK)
Online companion to the textbook
Announcements and UpdatesWeek 8
I hope you had a fun time this weekend.
The paper is due this Wednesday. You need to upload it to turnitin.com by 10 a.m. (instructions on TED site) and be prepared to hand in a paper copy in section. I am available to answer questions before Tuesday. Remember that I will be out of commission on Tuesday and Tuesday evening, and I will not be replying to emails.
I will have office hours from 11-12 on Monday in SSB 323, and on Wednesday from 2-3 at the Mandeville coffee cart, Art of Espresso. I will NOT have my normal office hours on Tuesday.
This week in section we will be going over interest group lobbying. If you have a laptop or tablet you can easily bring to section, please do so.
On Call Assignment
The assignment is posted here. Let me know if you have any questions. Remember that you can do extra on call assignments if you are worried about your participation grade in section.
The next few weeks are somewhat complicated with my travel schedule and dissertation defense. So, here is my revised OH schedule for the next three weeks. I encourage you to plan ahead so that if you have questions about the paper, you get them answered early. If you have questions and can't make one of the scheduled office hours, email me and we can set up another time. I generally need at least 48 hours notice.
Tues, May 15th: CANCELLED
Wed., May 16th: 2-3 p.m. at Mandeville coffee cart (Art of Espresso). Email me ahead of time so I know you'll be coming
Thursday, May 17th: 11a.m. - 12 p.m. SSB 323
Monday, May 21st, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. SSB 323
Tues, May 22nd: CANCELLED
Wednesday, May 23rd: 2-3 p.m. at Mandeville coffee cart (Art of Espresso). Email me ahead of time so I know you'll be coming
Friday, May 25th: 10:30-11:15 a.m. SSB 323
Tues, May 29th: CANCELLED
Wed, May 30th: CANCELLED
My plan for this week in section is to go over party nominations and campaign finance reform. We're not just going to review the various laws and policies that have been passed in the last 30 years, as I think that Professor Galderisi typically goes over this pretty thoroughly in class and the textbook has a good review as well. Instead, I want you all to think more critically about the role of money in politics, and how campaign fundraising affects the quality of democratic outcomes. Be prepared to talk!
Exams will be passed back at the end of section.
On Call Assignment
This week, I am asking you to listen to a podcast from NPR called "Take the Money and Run." I think that this presents a unique view into the world of campaign finance and tackles the topic in an objective and non-partisan way. Information about the podcast and how to stream it for free can be found here:
Week 7 Podcast
I encourage you to listen to this entire podcast, but I recognize that is a lot of time and you only need to listen to one of the three acts. Listen to at least one of the acts, and answer the corresponding question below. Make sure and include enough detail in your answer from the podcast so that I know you listened to it!
Explain how the amount of time that congressmen spend on campaign fundraising is individually rational but is problematic for the collective functioning and performance of Congress.
In what ways are "super PACs" changing the dynamic of campaign politics? In what ways is this influence good? In what ways is it bad?
What do John McCain and Russ Feingold have to say about the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case?
The midterm is this Wednesday in class. Please bring at least one bluebook. I much prefer you to use pen instead of pencil. My office hours are Tuesday from 11-12. I will reply to emails as quickly as I can, but I make no promises after 9 p.m.
Reminders and tips for the midterm:
- Provide a clear answer that addresses the big picture of the T/F statement, but also contains sufficient detail and examples to show that you can apply the big picture to the specific nuance of the prompt.
- Attention to detail will be rewarded; extraneous information that is irrelevant to the prompt will not. In fact, writing long answers that are off topic signals to me that you do not truly understand which ideas are related to the prompt.
- Don’t leave any blank answers. If you get stuck, write down something related to the course. You may not get a lot of points but at least you’ll get some.
This week in section we will focus on one important question: Why does the United States have a two-party system? There are several other important ideas that we will not discuss; I've posted handouts on chapters 10-12 at the bottom of this page.
Simultaneously, we will review what makes for a strong essay in order to help you prepare for your take-home writing assignment. Through developing a thesis statement and an outline for the question above, we will discuss my expectations for your critical thinking and writing skills. We’ll also talk about my “writing pet peeves.” Consider yourself forewarned!
Because I want you all to spend as much time as you need to review for the midterm exam on Wednesday, the on call assignment can be turned in via email as late as Friday at 5:00 p.m. It can be found here.
This week we will be reviewing for the midterm. However, that does not mean that I will be generating the material we review. That will be up to you all!
The key to doing well on the midterm is understanding how the important, overarching concepts in the course are 1) related to each other, and 2) related to specific examples (documents, institutions, court cases, etc.) If you read through the questions on the midterm Study Guide posted on TED, you'll notice that many of the questions are related to each other. Thus, instead of trying to answer each question separately, I encourage you to think about how one set of concepts/ideas/terms/examples can be used to explain multiple questions.
Here's the plan for section:
1. Print out the Study Guide (from TED) and "Week 5 Activity" (below)
2. Bring all of your course materials--your notes, the handouts Dr. G has posted on TED, the handouts from this webpage, etc.
3. Our goal in section will be to brainstorm a list of ideas and examples that can be used to explain the important concepts in the class.
The "on call" assignment is here. If you are worried about your participation grade, you are welcome to complete extra on-call assignments to compensate.
Office Hours: I encourage you to come to office hours this week!
Let me know if you have any questions, and I will see you Wednesday.
It is really important for you to read the "Freedom of Religion" section in the textbook in Chapter 5. It is less than 10 pages, and it will be hard for you to participate if you haven't done the reading since we will not have covered this material in lecture.
I've added a handout that addresses some of the key ideas from Chapter 5. Note that this should not be considered a comprehensive review of the chapter.
Section will proceed as follows:
1. We'll start with a short writing exercise to help you get accustomed to the format of the midterm. This will not be graded, but it will be collected. You will be asked to respond to a statement and 1) identify if it is true or false and 2) offer an explanation to justify your answer. The prompt will be related to the material discussed in lecture today (Monday).
2. We will then briefly review the textbook reading from the "Freedom of Religion" section.
3. We'll then have a discussion of one or more case studies related to the freedom of religion.
4. At the end, I'll ask you to write down and hand in a list of some of the questions you have from the course material thus far so that I can structure a better review for the final next week.
The On Call assignment for the week can be found here.
We have a lot to cover this week. We'll focus most of our time talking about the logic of the nationalization of politics, as well as the merits of state versus federal power. I have posted two handouts that address the reading we will cover in the next two weeks (Chapters 3-5 and 9).
The on call assignment for the week can be found here. Check the schedules above to see if you are on call.
Professor Galderisi will be leading section this week to review the core concepts about the democratic elements of the Constitution.
I've posted two additional handouts for this week. These are for your benefit only and do not need to be turned in to me.
The "On Call" sign up sheet has been posted. Please make sure you know which days you are scheduled to be on call.
If you have not yet filled out the survey, please make sure and do so.
Welcome to Poli 10! Please fill out a survey found here so I can learn more about you and prepare for the quarter. The section syllabus can be found here.
In section this week, we'll review the logistics of the course in general, and my section in particular. We'll then review three of the key ideas in Chapter 1 of The Logic of American Politics -- the "Prisoner's Dilemma," the concept of freeriding, and the "Tragedy of the Commons." This week and every week, it is important that you bring your textbook with you to section. Do the week's readings before you come to section and bring your book and notes with you.
I have also posted a handout that should guide your reading of Chapter 1. This is for your benefit only and I will not collect it.
I'm looking forward to this quarter, and I hope that you are, too! If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to send me an email.
HandoutsChapter 1 Handout
Chapter 2 Handout
Chapters 3-5 Handout
Chapter 9 Handout
Chapter 5 Additional Handout
Chapter 10 Handout
Chapters 11-12 Handout