American Government Homework Overview

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There are two ways to do homework in this class. The recommended approach ("Method One") is to create or improve entries and earn points for them. An alternative approach ("Method Two") is to answer the following essay questions and post your answers (e.g., Homework One Student Answers), or hand them in during the next class. It is highly recommended that you use Method One.

Method One

Achieve a total score of a minimum of 25 points using the following point system. Stronger students should score more than that. The top-scoring students will become captains for picking teams in the upcoming contest.

  • Add new entries for the Category:United States Government or Category:United States Supreme Court Cases
    • This is done by inserting a new term in the "Find" box in the upper left of the screen, such as "Jones v. Brown" to describe a court decision by that name, or "United States Post Office" to describe that entity, then click "Go". If it does not exist, then click the link for "create this page" and enter your new description in your own words. If it does already exist, then you can click "edit" to improve it with your own words. An example of a court decision is Pierce v. Soc'y of Sisters.
    • Where do you find the terms? Example terms are found in the lectures or reading assignment in the textbook, court decisions or glossary terms referenced in the textbook, government agencies or departments found on the internet, clauses in the U.S. Constitution, special laws, concepts heard in discussions, or a growing list of American Government Terms.
    • Pick the terms in areas where you are weakest. If you feel weak in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, then pick terms relating to Congress. If you feel weak with the legal system, then pick court decisions.
  • Points awarded:
    • Quality new entry: 10 points
      • A "quality new entry" includes at least two full-length paragraphs, three relevant citations, several links to other entries, some in-depth content and designations of category. Partial credit is awarded.
    • Any new entry: 6 points
    • An additional bonus of 3 points is awarded for adding a new entry on the "most-wanted" list, Special:Wantedpages
  • Improvements of existing entries in the Category:United States Government
    • Quality edit of an existing entry: 4 points
      • A "quality edit" to an existing article includes at least two extra sentences, an additional reference, and the inclusion of an important or relevant fact.
    • Minor edit, such as a correction, of an existing entry: 2 points
  • An additional bonus of 1 point is awarded for adding a link to an entry on the Special:Deadendpages, and thereby removing that entry from that list

Method Two

Answer the essay questions provided each week.