American Government


Teacher: Mrs. Karasawa


Office Hours: By Appointment


Course Text: MacGruder American Government

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change any portion of this syllabus.



By putting in your full effort (do all the readings, take notes, come to class prepared, etc.), this class will help you:

  1. Be able to determine
  2. Understand how this affects you directly and why you should care.

The success of this class will, ultimately, be determined over the years. If in the future you are able to build on this knowledge in your education, through employment, or even in your own political activity, I will consider this class a success.


Daily Assignments (96 pts).

Every day you’ll submit an assignment in class (yes, on paper) worth 3 points. The daily assignments are these:

 All assignments are to be printed and submitted in class.


In-class Assignments (variable points)

We’ll complete an in-class assignment every time we have class. This will a) give us an opportunity to apply what we learned a bit more practically and b) act as the attendance sheet.


Exams (360 pts)

You will have three exams throughout the semester. They will comprise definitions and short, comparative essay questions. Each exam is worth 120 pts. You will get a study guide 1 week prior to each exam.




Plagiarism is unacceptable. If you plagiarise, you will receive 0 points for the assignment and, if too egregious, will be reported to dean.  If you are not sure whether to cite something or not, cite it: err on the side of caution. Don’t just copy and paste the information: actually make it YOUR WORK.

Attendance and Extra Credit.

All students who have perfect attendance at the end of the semester (based on completed in-class assignments) will receive 2% added to their final point total. As this is extra credit, there are NO exceptions (not even school excused absences). As for absences, you will lose 1% of your final grade for every unexcused absence.

Deadlines and Assignment Submission

Unexcused late assignments are not accepted. In-class assignments cannot be completed in the event of an unexcused absence.


We will use laptops, tablets, smart phones in class most every day. However, if for any reason you are seen using an electronic in class when not invited, you will lose 2% of your final grade for each offense. You will get one verbal warning.

Participation and Civility

Use proper language. Stay on topic and make your comments relevant to the discussion No harassing comments that demean anyone (in the class or not) based on language, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. In the words of Elder Cook, “It is appropriate to disagree, but it is not appropriate to be disagreeable.” If you have a tendency to talk too much, learn to control it.