American Government

Course Details

Course Number: 1333  Section Number: 106

Fall 2012

Location: Prothro-Yeager Hall

Classroom Number: 200

Days & Times:

Political Science 1333 -American Government I

12:30 p.m. TR- Fall 2012


Professor:       Dr. Michael Preda

Office:             O’Donohoe Bldg., room 204

Telephone:     940-397-4341

Fax:                  940-397-4865




Description:    This is a study of the American national and Texas governmental systems.  The

                        course focuses on the American experiment in federalism and democracy;

                        origin and development of the U.S. Constitution; federal-state relations; the

                        individual as a citizen; political parties and electoral campaigns.



Objectives:     This course is intended to further student development in the following

departmental learning objectives.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles of American and

Texas governments.

  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills towards political inquiry.


Textbooks:      Neal Tannahill, THINK-American Government, 2012 ed.  Boston: Pearson, 2013.


Gary Keith & Stefan Haag, Texas Politics and Government, 4th ed.  Boston: Longman, 2012.


Both of the textbooks are sold as a package:


Exam policy:   Students are expected to take the exams on time.  If illness prohibits a student

                        from taking an exam on time, please contact Dr. Preda immediately.


Attendance:   Attendance is mandatory.  Each student is permitted 2 absences during the

                        semester.  Students exceeding 2 absences should expect to be dropped from




Policy:             Any student with a disability that may limit demonstrating fully his/her

                        abilities should contact Dr. Preda immediately at the beginning of the semester.







Cheating &

Plagiarism:      Cheating and plagiarism are very serious matters.  The University’s minimum

                        penalty for cheating or plagiarism is a failure of assignment.  Cheating or

                        plagiarism can lead to expulsion from the university.  If you have any questions

                        about original work, please see the Student Handbook, Code of Student

                        Conduct, section 10.



Requirements:           Exam 1………..100 points

                                    Exam 2………..100 points

                                    Exam 3………..100 points

                                                Total  300 points




Aug. 28- Sep. 25

THINK book:

Ch. 1    A Changing America

Ch. 2    Constitution

Ch. 3    Federal System

Ch. 9    Interest Groups

Exam 1- Thursday September 27


Oct. 2-30

THINK book:

Ch. 6    Public Opinion

Ch. 7    Political Participation

Ch. 10  Political Parties

Ch. 11  Campaigns & Elections

Exam 2- Thursday November 1


Nov. 6- Dec. 6

THINK book:

Ch. 8    News Media

Texas book:

Ch. 1    Ideas, People & Economics in Texas

Ch. 2    Texas Constitution

Ch. 3    Voting & Participating in Texas

Exam 3 (Final Exam) Thursday December 13 (10:30 a.m.)



Oct 22:  Last day for “W” 4:00 p.m.

Nov 21-25: Thanksgiving Break- no classes


Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Michael Preda   
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Final Exam12/13/2012  

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.