POL 499, Senior Seminar in Political Science
Murray State University
Fall 2017
Dr. Winfield H. Rose, Instructor
 
Instructor's office location:  FH 5A-10
                  Phone numbers:  (270)809-2662 (o); 753-0126 (h); 809-2688 (fax)
                  E-mail:  wrose@murraystate.edu
                  Homepage:  http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/wrose/main.htm.  This syllabus is online and is accessible via my homepage.
                  Office hours:    10:00 - 11:00 a.m. & 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. TTh.  1:00 - 4:00 p.m. W & other times by appointment.

Classroom location and meeting time:  FH 107, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., August 15 - November 30, 2017.

Senior Seminar in Political Science (3). Capstone course for all majors in political science and international studies. It is a writing intensive course in which a discipline-based research paper is refined and orally defended. Students also develop job and graduate education search skills as well as complete program assessment instruments. Prerequisites: senior standing and completion of POL 360, or permission of the instructor.

Purpose and objective of the course:  The purpose and objective of Senior Seminar in Political Science is to refine and assess students' competence in their major field just prior to graduation.   Graduation should signify the possession of the "Characteristics of the Murray State University Graduate," and characteristic # 8 is "Demonstrate mastery of their chosen field of study in preparation for a successful, productive life."   Senior Seminar, then, is a comprehensive, capstone exit rite of passage, so to speak, from pre- to post-graduation.  To understand what we are attempting to accomplish and what you are responsible for demonstrating, please refer to the "Characteristics" statement adopted by the Board of Regents some years ago and published in all official bulletins since then.  It also is available on the internet; click here to access.

Course motto:  If not now, when?    

Course requirements (no exceptions):
(1)  Attendance.  Roll will be taken every day.  Unexcused absences in excess of two will result in a failing grade.  Excused absences will be determined according to the University's class attendance policy          published in the University Bulletin.
(2)  The submission, presentation and defense of a scholarly research paper.  More specific instructions are given later in this syllabus.
(3)  The preparation and submission of an up-to-date copy of your professional resume.   See instructions here.
(4)  Taking and making a minimum score of 65% on a multiple-choice, objective comprehensive POL 499 final examination.  Your score will be ranked with those of your classmates.
(5)  Taking the Educational Testing Service major field test in political science (click here) assessment test at the officially designated final examination time.  The department will pay the fee, so there will be no cost to you.  The purpose of this test is to tell us where you stand (and where we stand) when compared to students and political science majors all over the country.

Teaching method:  Though there may be exceptions, our weekly schedule will be as follows.  On Tuesdays you will take a practice test on a subfield in political science and you will be expected to submit a brief progress report on your research project and presentation.  On Thursdays your practice test from Tuesday will be returned and discussed.  Your scores will not be officially recorded and will not count toward your final grade but they will give you an idea of where you stand with regard to the fundamental knowledge of the discipline and what you need to do to prepare for the final examination; you should regard them seriously.
Practice tests will cover the following subfields:
(1)  American government and politics (general): 4
(2)  political theory/philosophy: 1
(3)  comparative government: 1
(4)  international relations: 1
(5)  public administration: 1
(6)  research methods: 1
(7)  public law: 1
(8)  state & local government: 1
 
Homework:  The Educational Testing Service provides on-line access to various practice tests for such examinations as the GRE and GMAT.  The Law School Admissions Council offers an LSAT question of the day and a complete, downloadable free practice LSAT.  Other publishers have practice quizzes on line; see, for example, http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/jillson7/students.asp.
           
Research Paper:
The purpose of this requirement is to affirm that you can write, present and defend a scholarly research paper in political science by demonstrating that you have done so.  It should be of high quality and represent your very best effort.  It would be preferable that  you submit a revision of a paper you have written in a previous semester (in this case, submit the original or a xerox copy of the original along with your revision) but you may submit one you are writing this semester if necessary.  If you decide to submit a revision, please allow me to see and approve the original as soon as possible.  If you use a paper you are writing this semester, let me know what you have decided to do and also allow me to approve your topic as soon as possible. In either case,  go to the "Characteristics" statement and use this paper to demonstrate your mastery of its eight parts as much as you can.   You will be expected to present your papers on November 30 in the presence of  departmental faculty and fellow students.   Your written version will also be due November 30.
Please note: (1) a book review is not a research paper; (2) a research paper is not a book review; and (3) a scholarly book is not a novel.
Your paper should be 20-25 pages in length.  It should be correctly referenced, with a bibliography of at least 15 sources, not all of which come from the internet (and be careful about those), and written in compliance with the American Political Science Association style manual which may be accessed via the internet (click here).  You should also adhere to my "Tips on Good Writing" as well as "Citation Guide for Internet Resources," "Evaluating Web Resources," and "Plagiarism" which can be downloaded from my homepage.  Any paper which does not meet these minimal criteria will not be accepted.  Please remember, this paper should represent your best work.  It will be placed in your permanent departmental file.



Class policies. There are nine complete and total prohibitions: (1) talking to one another when it is time for class to begin or after it has begun; (2) the use of profane, vulgar or otherwise inappropriate language in class; (3) the use of iPhones, Smart Phones, or similar electronic devices; (4) coming to class with nothing to write on or write with; (5) eating in class; (6) habitual tardiness; (7) reading or studying other material or doing homework for another class; (8) leaving or preparing to leave before class is dismissed; and (9) talking, texting or internet surfing, cell phones which sound in class, etc.  Please turn off and put away all cell phones, iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc.  when class begins.  Sie sind verboten.  Thanks.  If you wish to record any or all classes, please consult with me beforehand.  One should not record anything without the foreknowledge and consent of all those being recorded.  

Academic Honesty.  Murray State University takes seriously its moral and educational obligation to maintain high standards of academic honesty and ethical behavior. Instructors are expected to evaluate students’ academic achievements accurately, as well as ascertain that work submitted by students is authentic and the result of their own efforts, and consistent with established academic standards. Students are obligated to respect and abide by the basic standards of personal and professional integrity.
Violations of Academic Honesty include:
Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized information such as books, notes, study aids, or other electronic, online, or digital devices in any academic exercise; as well as unauthorized communication of information by any means to or from others during any academic exercise.
Fabrication and Falsification - Intentional alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification involves changing information whereas fabrication involves inventing or counterfeiting information.

Multiple Submission - The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work, including oral reports, for credit more than once without authorization from the instructor.
Plagiarism - Intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, creative work, or data of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise, without due and proper acknowledgement.
Instructors should outline their expectations that may go beyond the scope of this policy at the beginning of each course and identify such expectations and restrictions in the course syllabus. When an instructor receives evidence, either directly or indirectly, of academic dishonesty, he or she should investigate the instance. The faculty member should then take appropriate disciplinary action.
Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to the following:
1) Requiring the student(s) to repeat the exercise or do additional related exercise(s).
2) Lowering the grade or failing the student(s) on the particular exercise(s) involved.
3) Lowering the grade or failing the student(s) in the course.

If the disciplinary action results in the awarding of a grade of E in the course, the student(s) may not drop the course. Faculty reserve the right to invalidate any exercise or other evaluative measures if substantial evidence exists that the integrity of the exercise has been compromised. Faculty also reserve the right to document in the course syllabi further academic honesty policy elements related to the individual disciplines.
A student may appeal the decision of the faculty member with the department chair in writing within five working days. Note: If, at any point in this process, the student alleges that actions have taken place that may be in violation of the Murray State University Non-Discrimination Statement, this process must be suspended and the matter be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity. Any appeal will be forwarded to the appropriate university committee as determined by the Provost.

Students with Disabilities: The Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS) is designed to coordinate and administer services and accommodations for students with documented disabilities. In doing so, OSDS will review disability documentation, meet with students to determine appropriate reasonable accommodations, and work with other areas on campus to implement services. Their goal is to provide individuals with disabilities access to programs, services, and activities at Murray State University. Contact information: Velvet Wilson, Director, 423 Wells Hall, Murray State University, Murray, KY 42071, (270) 809-5737, vwilson@murraystate.edu

Equal Opportunity. Murray State University endorses the intent of all federal and state laws created to prohibit discrimination. Murray State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, veteran status, or disability in employment, admissions, or the provision of services and provides, upon request, reasonable accommodation including auxiliary aids and services necessary to afford individuals with disabilities equal access to participate in all programs and activities. For more information, contact the Office of Diversity, Equity and Access, 103 Wells Hall, (270) 809-3155 (voice), (270) 809-3361 (TDD) or email eduffy@murraystate.edu.


Major Dates:

Thanksgiving break:  November 22 -24

ETS Major Field Test in political science:  November 28, 11:00 a.m.

Research Presentations:  November 30 (in class)

POL 499 Final Exam:  Monday, December 4, 10:30 a.m., FH 107