Dr. Kirsten Foot

Office: Com #333
Office Hours: Mondays 3:30-4:30, some Wednesdays 3:30-4:30, and by appointment

Winter 2008

M 1:30-3:20, Com #104
W 1:30-3:20 Com #302

Assignments & Grading

Grades will be determined by the number of points earned (up to 200 points possible) through the following:

  • Participation in class discussions, including ungraded exercises, and generating questions for discussion. Expect to be called on to discuss assigned readings at any time during class. Your level of preparation and ability to respond coherently and constructively will be reflected in your participation grade. (30 pts)
  • Three brief (3-4 page, double-spaced, 12pt. font, 1-inch margin) assignments (instructions will be provided; all assignments should be turned in via Collect It):
    • Analysis of a candidate's Web strategy (25 pts)
    • Analysis of online issue advocacy/protest (25 pts)
    • Participant observation in e-rulemaking process (10 pts)
  • Two brief (3-4 page double-spaced, 12pt. font, 1-inch margin) take-home essay quizzes based on readings. Hard copies of essays should be turned in during class (25 pts each)
  • A final research project in which you will work in groups of 2-3 to produce a research paper, a political Web site, or an online collection and analysis project; due Friday, March 14 (50 pts). Each group will make an oral presentation of their project to the class on March 10 or 12 (10 pts).

Guidelines for the three different kinds of final projects are here, and this is the grading key I will use.

Revision and re-submission of the written assignments & quizzes will not be permitted. Requests for re-grading of an assignment must be presented in writing, with a clear rationale, within one week after receipt of grade. The grade for late assignments will be lowered by 10% of possible points per day of delay. In addition to the loss of points, delayed submission of final projects will result in an incomplete final grade. All assignments must be completed in order to pass the course.

I will not mark for grammar but if it impedes my ability to understand your arguments your grade will suffer, so it is a good idea to have at least one other person proofread your writing. Use William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White, The Elements of Style (New York: Macmillan, 1979) for writing style questions. The University of Washington has a number of resources to help with writing style, and they are described online. Howard Becker’s Writing for Social Sciences also has advice on developing good writing habits. Citations should be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style. Please refer to the University of Washington’s “Principles on Academic Honesty” for the definitions and consequences of plagiarism.

Sample Grade Distribution


% of total pts

# of total pts



196 or more



186 or more



176 or more



166 or more



156 or more



146 or more



136 or more



126 or less