Course Syllabus

CLASS TIME/ROOM: MWF 9-9:50am (201.01), 11-11:50 (201.02), Petrocelli 113

OFFICE: Petrocelli 324, 603-899-4289

OFFICE HOURS: MWF 10-10:45, 12-12:45

Email: or Canvas Mail

"MOBILE" OFFICE HOURS anytime up to 8 PM, 7 days a week, text or call 978 660 5968.

Final Exam Study Guide (NEW!)

America's Founding Documents*

Flipgrid introductions, 9 am and 11 am sections of US Gov

PO201 Inquiry Projects (NEW!)

Flipgrid on voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections (NEW!)

Facebook: Franklin Pierce University Political Science Inquiry & Research




CALENDAR (Scroll to bottom or click "Jump to Today" in upper-right corner.)

BE ENGAGED; BE ONLINE. I accept NO (!) EXCUSES for not being fully informed on everything going on in class, as Canvas keeps you informed of all events, work, due dates, instructor feedback/comments by way of text message, email, Course Summary (the calendar below), and "To Do" (in Dashboard and Syllabus sidebar).

Set your email/text-message "notification preferences" using these instructions: How do I set my notification preferences as a student?  My recommendation is to click "Notify me right away" or "Daily summary" for, at a minimum, "due date," "course content," and "submission comment."

EXPECT TO WORK REGULARLY. From day one, expect to be assigned work EVERY DAY of the work week. When we are not doing project-based work, you are gauged constantly for your grasp of reading, audio/visual, and classroom (lecture/discussion) material. 

Note: During add/drop week, assignments will not be due until the day after the end of the add/drop period. After that, they will only be open from 2-3 full days.

CLASS NOTES. You are required to submit them for every class on Canvas in the specified location. See #2 below.

A PORTABLE, PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICE is essential to doing work in- and outside the classroom.

CANVAS is where all work is assigned and submitted. It is where all feedback and grades are provided. 

Canvas automatically saves your work and, therefore, before the due date you may open and work on the assignment as many times as you wish. Just don't click "Submit" until you are finished. 

The answer key to daily questions is always shown to students after the due date.

OFFICE365. All students have Office365 accounts, meaning all of you have online and downloadable versions of Microsoft Office. Any files submitted must be in MS Office formats.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY (Plagiarism, Cheating). My policy is that which is stated in the Franklin Pierce University Academic Catalog (p.18). For "instructor's discretion," a student receives a zero for the assignment, in addition to the penalties described in the catalog.

SPECIAL ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS must be sought at the Center for Academic Excellence.

THE GOAL OF THIS COURSE is for students to understand the foundations constitutional government in the United States; how the Constitution, namely federalism and the separation of powers, drives political and foreign/domestic-policy-making processes; and the social impact of policies, laws, and actions that arise from those processes. To reach this goal, we will inquire deeply into the social, cultural, legal and institutional features of the American political system at the federal, state and local level.  GLE Learning Outcomes: Social Science, Inquiry and Analysis, Information Literacy.

READING MATERIAL mostly comes from the Franklin Pierce DiPietro Library's ProQuest collection of newspapers and journals; the university subscription to The Economist; and your library-sponsored subscription to the New York Times. Please activate your subscription to the NEW YORK TIMES. 

COURSEWORK consists of the following:

(1) DAILY QUESTIONS (5 days/week for the first 10 weeks of the semester) can always be found in Course Summary (the calendar below) and "To Do" (in Dashboard and Syllabus sidebar). The daily questions address the following:

  • assigned reading
  • assigned audio/visual materials;
  • classroom lecture/discussion;

For questions on classroom lecture/discussion, use your own notes or, especially if you are absent, borrow notes from a classmate. Being absent gives you no special free pass from material covered in class. Like those present in the classroom, you are accountable for that material. Class review assignments are open for a minimum of 3 days, plenty of time for absentees to obtain notes from classmates.

Canvas automatically saves your work and, therefore, before the due date you may open up the assignment as many times as you wish. Just don't click "Submit" until you are finished.

(2) SUBMISSION OF CLASS NOTES: Students receive a 1/1 (100%) every time they submit notes (by 10pm, same day of class), 0/1 if they don't. Just click on "Submit notes" in "To Do" or "Jump to Today."

Take notes or copy/paste (from another document) in the text box provided; upload an MS Word document; or, for those who prefer handwritten notes, upload a focused photo of clearly-written notes. Notes must reasonably reflect the content of lecture, discussion, and Q & A.

If you are tardy or have your cell phone out, then I will not accept your notes. 

(3) SCHOLARLY INQUIRY (for the remaining 4 weeks of the semester) into concepts and political issues assigned by the professor. We will use scholarly inquiry to develop our skills in the following areas:

  1. information literacy
  2. written and oral communication;
  3. analysis;
  4. digital literacy.

(4) FINAL EXAM is comprehensive , consisting of 40 objective questions (e.g., multiple choice, matching, true/false, etc.): Fall 2018 Final Exam Schedule

*Leaving it here as we will be constantly and regularly referencing these documents.

Course Summary:

Date Details