Political Science 314
Policies, Procedures, and Assignments
Class attendance is completely voluntary. However, the course schedule is demanding, the readings are complex, and class time will be devoted to an analysis of each piece that has been assigned for that period. In my estimation, it will be very difficult to get a passing grade in the course without coming to class. Take heed: if you have difficulty with class attendance, then this is probably not the course for you.
I do understand, of course, that occasionally there are simply unavoidable circumstances in which you are obliged to be elsewhere. Wherever possible, you should notify me, preferably by email. If this is not possible, then you should contact the teaching assistant or me as soon as you can, to schedule an appointment in our office hours. Persistent unexplained absence or deviation from these procedures will be grounds for a mandatory withdrawal from the course.
But let us not be put of by these draconian sounding measures. It is my aim to make each class period interesting, engaging, and fun. It is part of my contractual obligation to make it intellectually rich and stimulating. There are challenges, to be sure, in the complexity of the reading material, but the rewards will be many.
This course will entail a detailed examination of each piece of reading material that I have assigned in the schedule. Many of the readings will be located in on my web page, accessible through this course site; others are available to the WSU community in full-text form through services such as Proquest. I will explain how these may be accessed from Holland library. Reference librarians will also be happy to assist you with these procedures.
For each reading, starting in week two of the semester, students will be required to bring a completed form to class, on which they have recorded their observations and questions concerning the particular reading for that day. These must be handed in at the end of class; this is part of the grading for the course (see below). The forms will be handed back at the beginning of the next class period, in order that students can have them for further reference. They will not be assigned individual grades. Any absence is not a sufficient excuse to fail to turn the form in; if you know that you are going to be away, you should hand the form to me in advance. If you have a sudden emergency, you should make every effort to get it to me via a third party. At the end of the semester, we will ask you to hand in all your completed reading forms with your final examination.
There will be four graded elements for this course. Please make sure that you understand each of them and that you are in compliance with all the policies associated with them.
· Reading forms (25%)
· Midterm examination (25%) – Due February 28th
· Take-home final examination (25%)
· Poster project (25%) – April 25th
My over-riding concern is with the consistency and fairness of the grading policies. If you have any concern, you should schedule an appointment to discuss it with me.
The WSU disability accomodation policies are laid out at the WSU Disability Resource Center. Please see me if you have any special needs that are not covered by this policy.