Syllabus

Northern Illinois University

The Presidency

POLS 607 – Section 0001 – LEC 33567

Fall 2010

 

Instructor – Dr. Scot Schraufnagel

Class Time – 3:30–6:10 p. Thursday

Class LocationDuSable Hall 464

Office Hours – MWF 11:00 to 11:50 a. & TR 1:00 to 3:00 p.

Office LocationZulauf Hall 410

Office Phone Number – (815) 753-7054

E-mailsschrauf@niu.edu

 

Note: E-mail should NOT be used as a primary mode of communication for critical information.  There is no guarantee that I will receive the correspondence or receive it in a timely fashion.  You should plan to talk to me in person, before and after class, or in office hours regarding planned absences and other important matters.  Phone calls, especially during office hours, are a good way to communicate, as well. No Grades will be given out over the phone or by e-mail. 

 

Required Texts –  

Neustadt, Richard E. 1991. Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents.  New York: The

            New Press.

 

Barber, James David. 1992. The Presidential Character.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

            Education.

 

Bond, Jon R., and Richard Fleisher. 1990. The President in the Legislative Arena. Chicago,

            IL: The University of Chicago Press.

 

Greenstein, Fred I. 1994. The Hidden-Hand Presidency.  Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins

            University Press.

 

Kernell, Samuel. 1997. Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership.

            Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.

 

Mayer, Kenneth R. 2002. With the Stroke of a Pen: Executive Orders and Presidential

            Power. Princton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

 

Edwards, George C. 2003. On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit. New Haven, CT:

            Yale University Press.

 

Milkis, Sidney M., and Michael Nelson 2003. The American Presidency: Origins and

               Development,1776-2002. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.

 

Pfiffner, James P. 2008. Power Play: The Bush Presidency and the Constitution.

            Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

 

Seminar Outline/Objectives – The objective of the seminar is to expose students to important academic literature on the subject of the presidency and encourage students to critique the arguments made in these works.  A second objective is to promote an understanding of the way in which the modern executive branch is organized and conducts business.  Third, the seminar will focus on teaching students to teach.  Specifically, students will learn how to develop study guides, Power Point presentations, and essay exams for use in the classroom.  Last, the topic of comprehensive examinations will be covered.  Students will learn some of the “tricks-of-the-trade” for successful completion of comprehensive exams.  The only exception to the outline presented above is for Master Degree students enrolled in the class.  Instead, of the teaching component of the course, these students may opt to complete a research paper.  In the evaluation process, explained below, one will notice that there are four items on which students will be graded.  One of the items is the teaching component. Master degree students can forgo this exercise and opt for the literature review on a research topic related to the United States presidency.  Those Masters students taking this option will need to determine the relevant body of existing research on their research question, and write a review of the extant literature.  The objective of the literature review assignment will be for students to familiarize themselves with the process of initiating a legitimate research program. 

 

Withdrawal Policy – If you wish to withdraw from the course at any time you must do so yourself.  My policy is to NOT administratively withdraw students for any reason.  It is your responsibility to keep track of the withdraw deadline.

 

Evaluation Process – The course will be graded on a total points system and there will be a possible 400 points for the course.  There will be two take home essay exams, a unit on teaching, and a participation grade.  The essay exams will be worth 100 points each.  The teaching component has three parts, a teaching assignment worth 50 points, a study guide worth 25 points, and a set of essay questions and answers worth 25 points.  The participation grade has two parts.  The first part is five 4-5 page papers, worth 10 points each that summarize major points being made by the author(s) of the evening’s assigned reading.  The second part is for classroom participation, including attendance, and is also worth 50 points.  See more details on all requirements below. 

 

380-400 Points – A                 320-379 Points – B                 280-319 Points – C                

240-279 – D                            < 240 – F

 

Essay Exams:  The two take-home essay exams, one in the middle of the semester and another at the end of the semester; will be similar in style to a comprehensive exam.  A major difference, however, is that you will receive questions on a single topic (the presidency), instead of questions on the broad subject matter of your subfield.  Like a typical comprehensive exam, you will be given a battery of questions to choose from.  Specifically, you will be expected to answer five of eight questions provided.  Each question, on each exam, will be worth a total of 20 points.     

Teaching Component: There are three parts to the teaching component worth a combined 100 points.

1)      Classroom Presentation.  Students will be expected to lead class discussion for about an hour on the subject of the assigned reading.  The presentation itself would not need to last that long (but it could).  Students may choose to use some of the time to simply lead a class discussion, break colleagues into groups, or use any style of teaching they believe will cause the most learning.  A grading rubric is available at the end of the syllabus. (50 points)

2)      Study Guide.  Students will be expected to produce a study guide for the book, or portion of a book, they will be covering during their classroom presentation.  The study guide will need to be made available to colleagues the week prior to the night a student will lead class discussion. A grading rubric is available at the end of the syllabus. (25 points)

3)      Essay Questions and Answers. Students will be expected to write three take-home essay questions on the book, or part of the book, they cover in their classroom presentation.  The questions need to be turned into the professor with an outline that provides what you believe to be the correct answer to the questions. A grading rubric is available at the end of the syllabus. (25 points)   

 

Participation Component: There are two parts to the participation grade each worth 50 points. 

1)      Homework Assignments. There will are eleven homework assignments, however, students are required to complete only five of them.  Students may complete more than five if they wish, but only scores on the five best assignments will count toward the final grade in the class.  Students, however, will not receive any credit for a homework assignment completed for the night they are scheduled to lead class discussion.  Assignments should be submitted as a hard copy and all assignments are due at the beginning of class.  Late assignments will not be accepted. Assignments must be typed, double-spaced, with font Times New Roman-12. Margins should be 1¼ inches left and right and 1-inch top and bottom.  Students should include a cover page that identifies themselves and the Assignment #.  The paper should focus on the major points made by the author(s) in the assigned reading.  See the Grading Criteria sheet at the end of the syllabus for more details.

2)      Classroom Discussion and Attendance.  Students are expected to attend class every evening and participate in classroom discussions in a meaningful way.  Also, there will be point deductions for tardiness and early exits. A grading rubric is available at the end of the syllabus. (50 points)        

 

Literature Review: This paper should be submitted as a hard copy at the beginning of class on the date specified in the class schedule.  There is no predetermined length for the literature review.  Likewise, there is no predetermined number of references.  At minimum, you will want to cite all the major works in your field of study from the top journals in political science and major university presses.  Assignments must be typed, double-spaced, with font Times New Roman-12. Margins should be 1¼ inches left and right and 1-inch top and bottom.  Students should include a cover page that identifies themselves.

 

Attendance Policy:  Attendance IS required and there will be point deductions for unexcused absences and for arriving to class late.  Students missing four or more class periods will receive a failing grade in the class. 

 

CLASS SCHEDUALE

 

Date

Classroom Time and Assignments Due

Reading Assignment

08/26/10

Course Introductions

 

Master students decide if they want to do literature review or teaching component. 

 

Students sign up for classroom presentations. 

 

Grading rubrics explained.

 

Professor circulates Neustadt study guide and provides introduction.

None

09/02/10

Professor presents and leads discussion of Neustadt. 

 

Professor provides examples of essay questions and answers for Neustadt reading.

 

Students responsible for Barber book (Chs. 1-7) circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Neustadt

09/09/10

Students present and lead discussion of Barber (Chs.1-7). 

 

Students responsible for Barber (Chs. 1-7) turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

Students responsible for Barber book (Chs. 8-15) circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Barber (chs. 1-7)

09/16/10

Students present and lead discussion of Barber (Chs. 8-15).

 

Students responsible for Barber (Chs. 8-15) turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

Students responsible for Bond and Fleisher’s book circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Barber (chs. 8-15)

09/23/10

Students present and lead discussion of Bond and Fleisher.

 

Students responsible for Bond and Fleisher turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

 Students responsible for Greenstein’s book circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Bond and Fleisher

09/30/10

Students present and lead discussion of Greenstein.

 

Students responsible for Greenstein turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

First essay exam handed out.

Greenstein

10/07/10

Turn in first essay exam.

 

Professor discusses teaching profession.

 

Students responsible for Kernell’s book circulate study guide and provide introduction.

None

10/14/10

Students present and lead discussion of Kernell.

 

Students responsible for Kernell turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

Students responsible for Mayer’s book circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Kernell

10/21/10

Students present and lead discussion of Mayer.

 

Students responsible for Mayer turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

Students responsible for Edwards’s book circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Mayer

10/28/10

Students present and lead discussion of Edwards.

 

Students responsible for Edwards turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

Students responsible for Milkis and Nelson (chs. 1-8) circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Edwards

11/04/10

Students present and lead discussion of Milkis and Nelson (chs. 1-8).

 

Students responsible for Milkis and Nelson (chs. 1-8) turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

Students responsible for Milkis and Nelson (chs. 9-16) circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Milkis and Nelson (chs. 1-8)

11/11/10

Students present and lead discussion of Milkis and Nelson (chs. 9-16).

 

Students responsible for Milkis and Nelson (chs. 9-16) turn in essay questions and answers.  

 

Students responsible for Pfiffner’s book circulate study guide and provide introduction.

Milkis and Nelson (chs. 9-16)

11/18/10

Students present and lead discussion of Pfiffner.

 

Students responsible for Pfiffner turn in essay questions and answers. 

Pfiffner

11/25/10

No Class – Thanksgiving

None

12/02/10

Masters students who opted for the literature review turn in their papers.

 

Professor provides a review of course.

 

Second essay exam handed out.

None

12/07/10-Tuesday

Turn in second essay exam.

 

Make-up Classroom Presentations

None

 

Disclaimer – Due dates, class schedules and reading assignments are all subject to change.  Regular attendance in class will assure that students will have all the needed information to successfully complete the course.        

 

 Academic Honor Code: Academic dishonesty:  In preparing for your work and meeting the requirements of this course, you are expected to adhere to all the rules, regulations, and standards set forth by the Department of Political Science, Northern Illinois University, and the scholarly community.  This statement encompasses intentional and unintentional plagiarism; cheating on examinations; using, purchasing, or stealing others’ work; misusing library materials; and so forth.  The NIU Undergraduate Catalog states:

Good academic work must be based on honesty. The attempt of any student to present as his or her own work that which he or she has not produced is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense. Students are considered to have cheated if they copy the work of another during an examination or turn in a paper or an assignment written, in whole or in part, by someone else. Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging those sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university. (Undergraduate Catalog)

If you are not sure what constitutes plagiarism, ask.  Ignorance will not be tolerated as an excuse.  If you are unaware of how to cite properly, visit http://polisci.niu.edu/polisci/audience/plagiarism.shtml.  

 

Students with Disabilities: Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CARR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building.  CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors.  It is important that CARR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Component:

 

Grading Rubric for Study Guides (limit 1 page f&b)

Fall 2010

 

Student circulates guide on the night scheduled (0 - - - - - - -10)                   ________

 

The guide is comprehensive and hits on important points (0 - - - - - -5)        ________

 

The guide is well-written and free from grammar problems (0 - - - - -5)       ________

 

Student(s) provide a useful introduction to the reading (0 - - - - -5)              ________

 

Total Score                                                                                                      ________

 

 

 

Grading Rubric for Classroom Presentation

Fall 2010

 

Student presents on night scheduled (0 - - - - - - - - - - - -20)                         ________

 

The time spent on the presentation is appropriate (0 - - - - - - -10)                 ________

(point deduction for < 45 min. or > 65 min.)

 

Presentation is comprehensive (covers all of reading) (0 - - - - - -10)            ________

 

Student is well-organized in the way they present material (0 - - - -10)        ________

 

Total Score                                                                                                      ________

 

 

Grading Rubric for Essay Questions

Fall 2010

 

Assignment is submitted on time (0 - - - - - - - - - - - -10)                              ________

 

Questions address the relevant subject matter (0 - - - - - -5)                          ________

 

Answer outlines, address the questions completely (0 - - - - - -5)                 ________

 

Questions are useful to the professor (0 - - - - - - - 5)                                    ________

 

 

Total Score                                                                                                     ________

 

Participation Component:

            

 Grading Rubric for Homework Assignments

POLS 607 – fall 2010

 

Homework assignments should be 1000 to 1250 words in length.  Any paper in excess of 2000 words will be returned without a grade (student will be expected to reformulate his/her responses to make them more concise). 

 

All students start with a score of “9”:

 

A – +1 for properly citing outside literature once

B – +1 for two additional citations to outside literature

 

Students must follow American Political Science Association (APSA) guidelines for parenthetical notations and references.  Acceptable “outside literature” is limited to peer- reviewed journal articles and books published by university presses.

 

C – minus 1 for an incomplete summary

D – minus 1 for erroneous information provided

E – minus 1 for each failure to follow guidelines spelled out in the syllabus

F – minus 1 for each set of three grammar errors

G – minus 1 for no staple, crooked staple, or in any way stapled inappropriately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grading Rubric for Classroom Participation

Fall 2010

 

Student has no unexcused absences and is punctual (0 - - - - - - -20)            ________

(Minus 4 for each instance of being late or leaving early)

 

Student participates every evening in some fashion (0 - - - - - - -20)            ________

 

The quality of the student input throughout the semester (0 - - - - - - -10)    ________

(Were comments insightful?)

 

Total Score                                                                                                      ________

 

 

 

 

Literature Review:

 

 

Grading Rubric for Literature Reviews

Fall 2010

 

Assignment is submitted on time (0 - - - - - - - - - - - -20 pts.)                         ________

 

Topic is approved by professor and student adjusts topic

as prescribed by the professor (0 - - - - - - - - - - - -20 pts.)                              ________

 

Literature review is comprehensive (0 - - - - - - - - - - - -40 pts.)                     ________

 

Introduction states the importance of the research question (0 - - -10 pts.)     ________

 

Grammar is good (minus 1 for each set of 3 errors) (0 - - - - - -10 pts.)          ________

 

Extra-credit (possible additional points for going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of the comprehensiveness of the review)                                              

  ________

 

 

Total Score                                                                                                        ________

 

 

 

 

Essay Exams:

 

Students will answer five questions on each of the two take-home essay exams.  Each question is worth a possible 20 points.  There will be three primary points that I will be looking for in the answers to each of the questions.  Failing to address one of the three designated points will result in a five point deduction.  An incomplete discussion of any of the three points will result in a smaller deduction.  There will also be point deductions for providing unnecessary information in your answers (information off topic) and for unorganized presentation of information, and for proofreading problems.  Essay answers must be typed, double-spaced, with font Times New Roman-12. Margins should be 1¼ inches left and right and 1-inch top and bottom.  Students should include a cover page that identifies themselves and the exam name (midterm or final exam).  There will be point deductions for not following these guidelines.