DVC Political Science 121 - Introduction to United States Government

Course Syllabus and Outline

Basic Essay Structure

How to Analyze the Logic of an Article, Essay, or Chapter

Grading Rubric for Research Essays

Essay Grading Codes for APA Research Essays

Setting Up APA Formatting for PC / MAC / Google Docs

Owl Purdue APA Citation Style

Annotated Film Bibliography

Procedure for Challenging Your Final Grade

Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Lecture Outlines:

(January 23) Lecture / Discussion Page - Politics in a Changing Society

  • Liberal Individualism and the Crisis of Citizenship - Bellah
  • Why Does the Air Stink? - Clawson
  • This Land is Your Land - Hightower
  • What is the American Dream? - Hochschild
  • The Market As Prison - Lindblom
  • (January 30) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Founders and the Constitution

  • How Would You Change the Constitution? - Carroll
  • The Dark Side of the Constitution - Dolbeare
  • The Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the Decline of American Democracy - Lazar
  • Some Truths Are Not Self-Evident - Zinn
  • (February 6) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Federal System: Structure and Dynamics

  • States’ Rights: the Other Side of the Coin - Ochenski
  • American Exceptionalism and the Politics of Fragmentation - Cohen / Rogers
  • The Greatest Nation On Earth - Jensen
  • (February 13) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Congress: Institutions and Processes

  • Unequal Struggle - Berg
  • Democracy On Drugs - Common Cause
  • Congress: The Pocketing of Power - Parenti
  • How Corporations Run Congress: A Talk With Ryan Grim - Eskow
  • (February 20) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Executive Branch

  • Trump's Road to the White House - PBS Frontline
  • George Farah on Presidential Debates - Bill Moyers
  • The Limits of Presidential Power - Genovese
  • The Presidential Spectacle - Miroff
  • The President: Guardian of the System - Parenti
  • Our Imperial System: On How Not to Think About the American Presidency - Grover and Peschek
  • Presidential Dynasties - Phillips
  • (February 27) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Federal Judiciary

  • Justice for Sale - Bill Moyers
  • The Supremely Political Court - Parenti
  • Justice for Sale - Caplan
  • Supreme Court Inc. - Rosen
  • Corporations, the Law, and Democracy - Swidorski
  • (March 6) Lecture / Discussion Page - American Political Ideologies and Parties

  • Why Americans Still Don't Vote - Piven / Cloward
  • Fascism Anyone? - Britt
  • The Political Compass
  • (March 13) Lecture / Discussion Page - Public Opinion and the Mass Media

  • Democracy and a Free Press - Croteau and Hoynes
  • News Content and Illusion: Four Information Biases That Matter - Bennett
  • Power of Majority Opinion in America Over Thought - De Tocqueville
  • Media Power Sources: TV Sets the Agenda - Howard
  • Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda - DiMaggio
  • It's the Media, Stupid - McChesney / Nichols
  • (March 20) Lecture / Discussion Page - Governmental Bureaucracy

  • No Easy Answers: James Q. Wilson on Bureaucracy, Crime, and Community - Eggers and O'Leary
  • (April 10) Lecture / Discussion Page - Voting and Elections

  • After the Deluge: Electoral Reform in the Wake of the Election of 2000 - Guinier
  • Real Choices / New Voices - Amy
  • The Scandal of Voter Suppression in America - Cox
  • Finding the Lost Voters - Sifry
  • (April 17) Lecture / Discussion Page - Political Interest Groups

  • Why Unions Matter - Bernard
  • Black America and the Dilemma of Patriotism - Gilmore
  • Reclaiming the Commons - Klein
  • (April 24) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Public Policy Process

  • Public Policymaking - Anderson
  • How Economic and Social Rights Disappeared - Peppe
  • Closing the Democracy Gap - Nader
  • (May 1) Lecture / Discussion Page - U.S. Economic Policy

  • Doing It For Ourselves: Can Feminism Survive Class Polarization? - Ehrenreich
  • Interview with Pete Peterson on the Deficit - Charlie Rose
  • Class Inequality and Democracy - Krugman
  • (May 8) Lecture / Discussion Page - U.S. Foreign and Defense Policies

  • Wars of Terror - Chomsky
  • The Theology of American Empire - Chernus
  • The Logic of U.S. Intervention - Parenti
  • (May 15) Lecture / Discussion Page - Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

  • Neo-Patriarchy and the Anti-Homosexual Agenda - Snyder
  • Letter From a Birmingham Jail - King Jr.
  • Is Free Speech the Enemy of Democracy? - Sunstein
  • Research Projects and Examinations:

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Journal Response

    Homework Questionaire - The Political Compass Website - Due: March 6, 2018

    1st Journal Responses - Due: April 3, 2018

  • For Lectures One through Eight, please respond to one of the questions from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Question" section. Responses should be approximately one page in length (double-spaced)
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Politics and Society), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Constitution), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Federalism), Skip
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Legislative Branch), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Executive Branch), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Judicial Branch), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Federal Bureaucracy), Skip
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (American Political Parties), Choose One Question
  • The 2016 Presidential Election: Continuity or Change? - POLSC 121 Spring 2018 Research Project - Due: April 3, 2018

    Recent Books for the Spring Research Paper:

    Click Here To See Titles

    Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Conservative / Republican)
  • The Political Compass
  • The Rise and Fall of American Political Parties: 1790 - 2000 - Silbey
  • Free Speech Requires Campaign Money - Smith
  • The Republican Party Home Page
  • Conservatives Against Trump - National Review Symposium
  • The View From 1787 - Cost
  • The Continuing Woes of the "Establishment" - Larison
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Liberal / Democrat)
  • The Political Compass
  • How the Little Guy Gets Crunched - Barlett and Steele
  • Dollars and Votes - Clawson
  • The Presidential Spectacle - Miroff
  • The Democratic Party Home Page
  • Can Hillary Clinton Convince Voters They're Not Settling? - Brownstein
  • Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination - Editorial Board - The New York Times
  • Another Neocon Endorses Clinton, Calling Her '2016's Real Conservative' and 'the Candidate of the Status Quo' - Norton
  • Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Scold Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders - Rappeport
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Critical / Radical / Third Party)
  • The Political Compass
  • The Democrats Can’t Save Us - Pemberton
  • Now is Not the Time to Come to the Aid of the Party - Levine
  • “Moderates” Making Inevitable Pivot to Trump as the Money Rolls In at the Top - Floyd
  • The Time is Now: To Defeat Both Trump and Clintonian Neoliberalism - Taylor
  • Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Candidate - Jill 2016
  • Spoiling for a Fight: Third Party Politics in America - Sifry
  • The Limits of Presidential Power - Genovese
  • Democracy for the Few - Parenti
  • Is That A Politician In Your Pocket? Washington on $2 Million a Day - Sifry and Watzman
  • Dynasties: How Their Wealth and Power Threaten Democracy - Phillips
  • Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism - Moser
  • A Debasing Spectacle: Behind and Beyond the Latest Quadrennial Carnival - Street
  • The (un)Democratic Primary: Why We Need a New Party of the 99% - Sawant
  • The Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents - The Real News Network
  • Revolution Is In the Air - Hedges
  • How Sanders Could Lay the Foundation for a Third US Political Party - Gilbert
  • Is Bernie’s ‘Political Revolution’ the Real Thing or a Pathetic Joke? - Lindorff
  • Protesting Trump and Hillary Too - Kimberly
  • Robert Reich Sees the Future: Why America's Two-Party System May Collapse - Reich
  • The Rise of American Authoritarianism - Taub
  • Bernie Sanders' Phantom Movement - Hedges
  • Special Places in Hell: For Madeline, Hillary....and Bernie - Street
  • Overwhelming Majority of Americans Believe that Both Parties Are Too Corrupt to Change Anything - Washington's Blog
  • Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade - Webb
  • The Clintons’ $93 Million Romance with Wall Street: A Catastrophe for Working Families, African-Americans, and Latinos - Behan
  • VIDEO: Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein: The United States' Multi-Organ Failure - Abby Martin with Telesur
  • Why Did the Former Republican Gov. of New Mexico Join the Libertarian Party to Run for President? - Democracy Now!
  • Ordinary Americans Fought Big Money and Won in 2015 - Mason
  • When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein - Street
  • Socialist Alternative
  • The Green Party
  • 2nd Journal Responses - Due: May 22, 2018

  • For Lectures Nine through Fifteen, please respond to one of the questions from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Questions" section. Responses should be approximately one page in length (double-spaced)
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Public Opinion / Mass Media), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Voting and Elections), Skip
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Interest Groups), Skip
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Public Policy Process), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (US / Global Economic Policy), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (US Foreign / Defense Policy), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Civil Liberties / Civil Rights), Choose One Question
  • Final Exam - Study Guide - May 22, 2018 (Bring 882E Scantron)

    Readings, Documentaries, and Websites of Interest for Political Science 121 Students!

    UNCOUNTED: The True Story of the California Primary - Wake Up California!

    Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens - Gilens and Page

    The Crisis of Democracy - The Trilateral Commission (1973)

    The Powell Memo (also known as the Powell Manifesto) - Reclaim Democracy!

    A Century of War - RT Documentary

    Corruption is Legal in America - Represent.Us

    The Lie We Live [Smart Kid - A Nice Wake-Up Call] - Spencer Cathcart

    Understanding Marxism and Socialism with Richard Wolff

    War Is A Racket - Major General Smedley Butler

    Four Horsemen - Documentary (Great Stuff! Check This Out!)

    Empire Files: Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on Abolishing Capitalism

    Tipping Point: The End of Oil - Documentary

    Wondering About the Origins of ISIS? (You'd Better Buckle Your Seatbelts for This One)

    Capitalism Never Solves Its Crises; It Moves Them Around Geographically - RSAnimate

    Two American Families - Frontline Documentary

    Global Wealth Inequality: What You Never Knew You Never Knew - therules.org

    Wealth Inequality in America - therules.org

    Park Ave: Wealth, Poverty, and the American Dream - Documentary

    Shadows of Liberty - Documentary (Mass Media)

    Plutocracy in America - Brenner

    The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats - Stauber

    Consent Without Consent: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Democracy - Chomsky

    Obamacare: A Deception - Roberts

    The Purchase of Our Republic - Falkson

    The Crisis of Civilization - Documentary

    Let Your Life Be A Friction That Stops The Machine - Class War Films

    Political Fraud - Class War Films

    Financial Crime - Class War Films

    Military Cancer - Class War Films

    Imperial Decay - Class War Films

    Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis - Documentary

    What Democracy? The Case for Abolishing the United States Senate - Rosenfeld

    Making Every Vote Count: The Case for Proportional Representation - Amy

    Ignoble Liars: Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the Philosophy of Mass Deception - Shorris

    Barack Hoover Obama: The Best and the Brightest Blow It Again - Baker

    The Great American Bubble Machine - Taibbi

    Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? - Taibbi

    Empire Under Obama: Counterinsurgency, Death Squads, and the Population as the Target - Marshall

    Smash the Control Machine - Otep Rocks!

    Rise Rebel Resist - Otep Rocks!

    The World is Coming to an End - Prince Ea

    The Final Word from My Two Favorite Comedians of All Time on "The Big Question"