Political Science at Huntingdon College
Huntingdon College | Political Science | Courses | Club | Club News | What's PSC? | Wise Words | What's New?
APSA style | Booklist | CalendarOffice Hours | Research Paper Help  | Special Needs

Political Science Courses:  Common Requirements

revised 5/22/19 with links to Calendar and report form by Jeremy Lewis.

On this page:
200 & 300 level courses | General requirements | 400 Level courses | Course-by-Conference
Moved to a separate page, on papers, presentations and tests:
Project | Presentations | Form of Project Comments| Advice on tests
On other pages:
Pre-formatted term paper template | APSA style | Grading Criteria Tables for Papers and Presentations

Please check the following, using your Hawks identity only:

In summer, 3 semester weeks are compressed into each summer week, and each week of readings begins on Wednesday with a test each Tuesday following; each textbook chapter (though not GoogOlympics event) should be noted in 4-5 paragraphs, and each short reading in one paragraph, submitted in the Google form for reports on readings.

200 & 300 Level PSC Course Grade Formulae

Grade formula for PSC 200 level courses including 209 Honors section

Grade formula for 300 level PSC courses for Dr. Lewis.

General Requirements


You are expected to comply with the HC Honor Code and all college policies. Check your course syllabus on Canvas for the latest HC policies.

My Attendance Policy
While school sanctioned excuses will not count against you, absences reduce your potential contribution to class, and unexcused absences will reduce your class participation score.

My specific policy on late completion of in-class work
Late completion of tests or other graded exercises in class will only be permitted in cases with documented, prior notification and documented excuses from a coach, medical doctor or similar authority. Late completions will occur upon the student's return to campus.

My Class Participation Policy
Class participation scores (see percentage weight in formula above) are awarded at the sole discretion of the instructor.  In addition to recognizing attendance, this assesses frequency and quality of presentations and comments in (and out) of class.  Poor attendance with unexcused absences will result in deductions for class participation.  Formal excuses for absences, on college business such as sports teams or conferences, as notified by the Academic Dean, will be respected.
Classroom decorum is expected; sleeping, slumping, chattering, pulling faces, using rude language, taking bathroom breaks in the first hour, or wearing a hat over the eyes, for examples, are not proper.  You will be penalized for failing to show up regularly and punctually for class, especially when you have a presentation due.  Excessive tardiness or sleepiness may be counted as absence. Notebook computers in PSC classes are to be used for academic purposes only.  (It is rude to play games or use Facebook when some one is presenting; doing something like this may result in Failing on class participation -- or even Failing the entire course.)
As a courtesy to others who are concentrating, please do not take a bathroom break during the first hour of a class session or an exam.  Do not wear caps, especially not pulled down to shade the eyes and obscure the face when indoors.  Do not pull faces or chat with your neighbors during lectures or discussion.  Be respectful of the views of others, even while disagreeing.
Discourse ethics: infractions that may result in a lower grade for class participation, also include (for examples) frequent use of illicit or totally unreasonable arguments in discussion; misquoting or misrepresenting the instructor's arguments; attacks on the character of the instructor or other students; or rudely rejecting reasonable responses to an argument.
When giving an oral report of reading - or when unavoidably absent from a presentation -- please provide in advance via e-mail or sharing via Google Docs a one page outline for the class web page.  The outline should indicate at the top which course, book and reading it refers to.  Since books change over time, the author and title should be followed on a separate line by the student's name and year of writing: "By Fred Bloggs, Fall 2005."  This will help me ensure that I give you credit for the outlines.
Paper writing decorum: Use standard pages (see above).  Quotes over 2 lines should be single spaced.  Long quotes should be avoided.  Hardcopy academic and official sources are essential, not merely short journalistic and encyclopedia articles. Tables and graphs are welcome, on separate pages at the end of the paper.  They are not included in the page count, but may add to the quality rating of the paper.
Academic dishonesty such as cheating and plagiarism may result in receiving a zero score for the assignment and an "F" grade for the entire course.  This includes (but is not limited to) looking at books or notes on a test or exam, turning in a paper or essay which is not your own work, or failing to cite sources properly.  A paper without citations or with references typed on different paper or in different style, or written in a style unlike your other work, for examples, may be suspect as plagiarized.  as a general rule, almost every paragraph of a paper (except the conclusions) should have at least one citation.
Exam decorum. You are requested during examinations to keep your books and bags closed, to store them at a distance from yourself, and to try not to leave the room until you have completed writing.  To do otherwise may set up a suspicion of cheating. The instructor may refuse to re-admit a student who leaves the exam room early.  Consequently, it is wise not to over-indulge in caffeinated drinks before an exam.
You are responsible for all chapters and readings indicated on the syllabus before a test date, even if that material is not discussed in class specifically. Essay questions will emphasize themes, key arguments, concepts and theories; major Acts or case law; and major political events and trends. The questions will usually indicate which chapters, readings or lectures they refer to.

Top of page

HC policy: a course-by-conference is the term for a standard course taken without being able to participation in scheduled class time.  An individual study is a rare opportunity to pursue customized research.

This is only a last resort for exigencies, available only for good cause and with the permission of the political science faculty and academic dean; depending on the current structure of the faculty, it may require approval also of the school /division dean.  Good cause may include a competitive Capitol internship; a traveling internship; a substantial job in politics or law; or where a student is otherwise unable to take a needed political science class before graduation.

A political science course-by-conference normally requires the same tests, papers and examinations as the regular course, except that any class session that is missed, shall be replaced with an essay of one typed page, single-spaced  on the session's reading or topic -- or, at the discretion of the instructor, by a tutorial session.

Note that to apply for a course-by-conference the Provost will expect the college form plus a specific syllabus for the course, converted to C-by-C and even to the five-week format of summer term if needed.

Top of page

PSC 499, Senior Capstone Research Seminar
Approximate grade formula: Your capstone presentation of research findings is expected to be a fuller presentation of up to 20 minutes before a class of students and faculty.  It should use audiovisual aids appropriate to the material.  These may include a web page and PowerPoint file, data tables and graphs or images. You will be expected to answer questions about your research methods, sources, theories and findings.  You should rehearse this presentation with trusted friends beforehand.

For either an individual study or a capstone research ePaper, you will be expected to begin with a research prospectus consisting of:

At 400 level, this must be accepted as a competent and feasible proposal in order to proceed with the paper.

Other 400 level PSC Courses

For individual study at any level and for any 400 level course except the senior capstone, there may be no simple formula; research, writing and oral participation are heavily weighted.  400 level courses may include internships, individual study, topical seminars, honours and senior capstone projects.  Consult the current syllabus for each.

At this level, your original commentary and insights are expected to range beyond simply summarizing the readings, and you will be expected to be active in pursuing scholarly inquiry in the form chosen for the course.

An internship paper of analysis and reaction is about 5 standard pages, accompanied by a weekly journal and any written reports completed as part of the internship duties.

When taking a 400 level course, remember that this is seen as the bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study -- be prepared to take the initiative yourself and pursue research with vigor.

Top of page