POLITICAL SCIENCE 461
SENIOR SEMINAR
Spring, 2008

1 credit

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Instructor: Dr. Harbour                                       Office: Ruffner 228
Office telephone: 395-2219                                         Office hours:
mailto:harbourwr@longwood.edu                                      MWF 10:00 - 11:00
                                                                                    TR 9:30 - 10:30


Table of Contents
 Course Description                Texts                               Course Objectives
 Course Outline                      Course Requirements       Grading
 Attendance Policy                  Honor Code                    Class Discussion
 Research Papers                    Bibliography                    MFAT Review Sites


Course Description: Capstone course in political science. Research, writing, and assessment of student outcomes. Required of majors in political science.

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Texts:
Kate T. Turabian. A Manual For Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Sixth Edition.
    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
Gregory M. Scott & Stephen M. Garrison. The Political Science Student Writer's Manual.
    Third Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc, 2000.

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Course Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a capacity for critical and analytical thought about issues central to the study of politics.

2. Demonstrate an ability to communicate their knowledge and beliefs about important political issues both orally and in writing.

3. Discuss the concepts that are essential to the serious study of politics.

4. Identify the methods by which a person can find information regarding politics that is necessary and useful for responsible citizenship.

5. Discuss important philosophical and ethical issues associated with the study of politics and participation in political life.

6. Describe the methods used by political scientists as they try to understand the political dimension of the human experience.

7. Discuss how the study of politics has been shaped by the dynamic social and technological forces found in contemporary society.

8. Produce a major research paper; present to the seminar and defend the thesis of that paper.

9.  Score well on the MFAT after review of course material studied in political science curriculum.

10. Complete all the assessment activities relating to what the student has learned and achieved while
      majoring in the political science program.  Finish all assessment tests and surveys; complete a
      professional resume and web-based portfolio documenting what the student has learned and
      achieved as a major in the program
.
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Course Outline: The class meets once a week

Week 1                             Selecting a topic for investigation
Jan. 14-18                          Read: Turabian and Scott
                                           Discuss general reference sources (Discuss assessment)
                                           Discuss MFAT


Week 2                             Developing the research topic
Jan. 21-25                          Read: Turabian and Scott (Review professional resumes)
                                           Come to class with a tentative research topic
                                           The class will discuss doing research on those topics
                                           Begin review of literature and data on topic
                                           Begin MFAT review

Week 3                             Developing a thesis statement
Jan. 28-Feb. 3                   Read: Turabian and Scott
                                          Come to class with a tentative thesis statement
                                          The class will critique those statements
                                          (Begin work on resume and portfolio)
                                          MFAT review

Week 4                             Continue search for information on topic
Feb. 4-8                             Read: Turbian and Scott
                                           Bring updated bibliography that also includes web sources
                                           MFAT review

Weeks 5 - 7                     Continue Research and MFAT Review
Feb. 11-15                        Begin rough drafts based on Turabian style
Feb. 18-22                        Discussion of issues being raised by your research
Feb. 25-29                        Complete bibliographies
                                          Continue MFAT Review

Week 8                             Complete rough drafts with proper bibliography
March  3-7                         These must be handed in at the beginning of class on March 5.
                                           You will provide a copy to your instructor and copies to 2 other
                                           students. This exchange must take place in class.  You will lose 10 points from your paper grade for being
                                           late on this assignment or not turning in a relatively complete rough draft with proper bibliography done in the 
                                           the Turabian format.

Spring Break  March 8-16

Week 9                             Rough drafts will be returned to students with full critiques
March 17-21                      Papers will be exchanged at the beginning of class on March 19.
                                          You will lose 10 points from your paper grade for being late on
                                           this assignment or failing to do a complete critique of other papers.
                                           MFAT will be given on March 19 and 20 and count for 50% of your
                                           semester grade. 


Weeks 10 -14                   Oral presentation and defense of research conclusions
March 24-28                     This will be worth 10% of your semester grade.
March 31-April 4               Students are expected to ask good questions about the claims of
April 7-11                          the presenter. Class participation for the semester is worth 10%
April 14-18                        of your semester grade.
April 21-25                        The class will also complete all assessment activities during this
                                          time.  Papers will be due on Wednesday, April 23 in class.  Late papers
                                          will lose points. Papers will count for 30% of your semester grade.


April 25                               Last day of classes  
April 26                               Reading Day

Final Exam Period           April 28 - May 2
Commencement               May 12

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Course Requirements:
Major research paper
Oral presentation and defense of project
Contribution to class discussion
Critiques of rough drafts of two other papers
Review of material studied in political science curriculum
Participation in all assessment activities:  (1) Major field achievement test, (2) Assessment surveys,
(3) Development of a professional resume, (4) Development on disc of a web-based portfolio in which students document their achievements by listing of major areas of study, concentrations, minors, academic awards, accomplishments, research skills, technological competencies, employment experiences, internships, knowledge of languages other than English, cross-cultural experiences such as study abroad, leadership positions, organizational memberships, and service learning experiences.  The professional resume and disc with the web-based portfolio must be acceptable to the instructor, but students do not have to put their material on the web for public viewing unless they wish to do so.  

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Grading: 50 % of your grade will be based upon your score on the MFAT (Major Field Achievement Test). 30% of your semester grade will be based on the final research paper required for the course. 10% will be based your contribution to class discussion and 10% on the oral presentation and defense of your thesis. Failure to hand material in on time will result in points lost on your final grade. As part of the effort of the college and department to assess our program in political science, students taking this course will be required to take any assessment tests and surveys the department believes to be necessary. Students failing to participate in the assessment efforts will not receive a passing grade for this course. Meeting the assessment requirements for this course also requires development of a professional resume and web-based portfolio.

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Attendance Policy: The attendance policy for this class is the same as the University policy found in the Student Handbook.
The attendance policy for this course is the University policy found in the University Catalog and Student Handbook:
 Students are expected to attend all classes. Failure to attend class regularly impairs academic performance. Absences are disruptive to the educational process for others. This is especially true when absences cause interruptions for clarification of material previously covered, failure to assume assigned responsibilities for class presentations, or failure to adjust to changes in assigned material or due dates.  It is the responsibility of each instructor to give students a copy of his or her attendance policy in the course syllabus. Instructors may assign a grade of “0” or “F” on work missed because of unexcused absences. Instructors have the right to lower a student's course grade, but no more than one letter grade, if the student misses 10 percent of the scheduled class meeting times for unexcused absences.  Instructors have the right to assign a course grade of “F” when the student has missed a total (excused and unexcused) of 25 percent of the scheduled class meeting times. Students must assume full responsibility for any loss incurred because of absence, whether excused or unexcused. Instructors should permit students to make up work when the absence is excused. Excused absences are those resulting from the student's participation in a University-sponsored activity, from recognizable emergencies, or from serious illness. Faculty may require documentation for excused absences in their attendance policy. Student Health Services can provide documentation only for students hospitalized locally or absent at the direction of Student Health Services personnel.

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Honor Code: Students are expected to live by the Longwood University Honor Code. All work done for the class must be pledged. Your instructor will not tolerate any form of cheating.

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Class Discussion: Students are expected to make contributions to class discussion.

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Research Papers: Your research topic will be based upon a subject you are interested in and will center around a thesis you will advance and defend.

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Bibliography:

Kate T. Turabian. A Manual For Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Sixth Edition.
    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.
Gregory M. Scott & Stephen M. Garrison. The Political Science Student Writer's Manual.
    Third Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc, 2000.
 

Suggested Reading or Reference:
Howard S. Becker. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or
    Article. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Diane Hacker. A Pocket Style Manual. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
Diane E. Schmidt. Expository Writing in Political Science: A Practical Guide. New York: Harper
    Collins College Publishers, 1993.

Academic Journals:
The American Political Science Review
The Presidential Studies Quarterly
Foreign Affairs
Current History
Journal of the History of Ideas
Political Theory
And many others found in library reference room

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MFAT REVIEW SITES
Political science majors can go to the site below for online quizzes on basic American government and politics information:
When you get to the site select a chapter and then look under review where you will find several types of quizzes.  It is strongly recommended that you take all the multiple choice and true false quizzes for every chapter.  The website will give you the right answer and take you to a page in the book where you can review the information.
James MacGregor Burns, J.W. Peltason, Thomas E. Cronin,David B. Magleby. Government By
 the People. Third Edition. Brief Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.
The following webstie contains a text study guide and the online quizzes for each chapter:
http://cw.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/burns4/

History majors can go the the following sites for onlline quizzes to prepare for the MFAT.
Go to the Prentice Hall sites below, select a chapter, and then do the multiple choice and true false test.  The sites grade the tests for you and gives you text material where you can read about the item.
For first half of American history go to:  http://cw.prenhall.com/bookbind/public_html/pubbooks/faragher3/
(The multiple choice questions are under fact/finder)
For the second half of American history go to: http://cw.prenhall.com/bookbind/public_html/pubbooks/faragher4/
For a text based quiz for all of Western Civilization to to: http://cw.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/kagan/
(Do multiple choice and true false)
History majors may review world history with quizzes from the following sties:
Take as many quizzes as possible.  The sites give the answers and text material.
Up to 1500 at:  http://cw.prenhall.com/bookbind/public_html/pubbooks/spodek2/
(You may find multiple choice questions under fact/finder)
After 1500 at:  http://cw.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/esler2/
 

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