are in reverse chronological order--You should go through all announcements since your last visit, as simple common sense would suggest! NOTE: excuses such as "I did not know this was available via the class homepage," or "I did not have time to go to the class home page," and so on, will not be tolerated. In this class, intellectual laziness has its price: a poor grade.
[[]] Online Course Materials

[[]] Syllabus Packet

[[]] Office Hours

[[]] Winter Session Financial Aid/Fees

[[]] Newseum.org

[[]] UB Undergraduate Advising Services

CAS Undergraduate Advising Services

[[]]  Links to external web sites with information that may be of relevance to course material covered in this class.

[[]] Study Guides and Strategies (effective study habits, taking notes, overcoming test anxiety, writing research papers, test-taking tips, etc.)

[[]] Khan Academy (free video tutorials on math, science, economics, finance, etc.)

[[]] Race/racism in the News

[[]] Understanding Financial Aid (and avoiding lifelong debt)

[[]] Articles on Health

[[]] Choosing safe consumer products

[[]] Sleep and Sleeplessness

[[]] WolframAlpha (fact-based knowledge engine)

[[]] Food and Nutrition Information Center

[[]] Requesting Letters of Reference from me.

[[]] Test/Quiz scores, plus Attendance Record 

[[]]  Occupational Outlook Handbook (critically important information compiled by the U.S. government on almost any job career you can ever think of).


Procedural democracy-related links you must also explore:

[[]] How laws are made in the U.S. 

[[]] Path to the Supreme Court (Chart)

[[]] U.S. Supreme Court Procedures

[[]] U.S. Supreme Court: Web site

[[]] The U.S. Judicial Process: The Federal Court System.

[[]] Legislation of the U.S. Congress (The Library of Congress Thomas web site)

[[]] Justice Denied.org

[[]] Famous trials in history

Posted 4/18/2014

Folks: Please click here for announcements concerning the final exam and other related matters.

FYI: Advisor Meeting

Posted 4/18/2014 (UPDATED: 4/25/2014)

Guys: Please note this a five-part announcment:

UPDATES: (a) Reminder: Look at the test schedule in your syllabus to determine the venue for today's Test 4. (b) If you have a date/time conflict with another test then you can do my test on a different day during my office hours next week, PROVIDED you show me evidence of the conflict.

A) There will be a written pop-quiz before the semester is over in one of your recitation classes at the whim of your recitation instructor. The question you will answer is this: Identify and Discuss any AV material screened in class or assigned as homework that was very helpful to you in understanding a relevant theme or concept covered in this course. The quiz will be graded by your recitation instructor on the basis of a three-part grading scale: satisfactory, or partially satisfactiory, or unsatisfactory.

B) I drew your attention to some notes I have prepared for two of the three films you have to see for Test 4 coming up. These notes are available under FG-1 of Part A of Online Course Materials. (Why no notes for the third film? Because the background to that film's story is fairly familiar to most of you, unlike in the case of the other two films.) NOTE: to make sure that you see the correct films, look them up first in Part I of Online Course Materials.

C) Video Item C4 of Part E that you have to see for Test 4: Part E should read as Part D (there is only one video page in the Online Course Materials; yes?)

D) The term paper outline topics (plus due date) is now available as item D of item no. 3 of the syllabus packet.

E) Those of you who may be looking for a Gen Ed course for next semester may want to consider some of these really interesting courses described here: www.bit.ly/TNScourses

Posted 3/31/2014 (UPDATED 4/10/2014)

People: Please note, this is a three-part announcment:

UPDATE: link for the Take-home Term Paper Project Test is part of item 3 in the syllabus packet (link in the left margin). Test is due Wednesday next week in class (4/16) NOTE: you are allowed to get only 18 questions wrong on this particular test because its a skills-acquisition test.

A) If you have not already done so, read the next announcement (no. 5, posted below) about mid-term grades, extra-credit notebooks, etc.

B) As I had explained in class (and in the syllabus) you must keep up with ALL the assigned readings in the syllabus (textbook PLUS online course readings!). This is really, really important in this class. Otherwise, you won't know how much time to allocate for studying the material at test time and you will be overwhelmed (as happened to some of you on the test we just had). This is not a difficult class (especially with all the outrageous breaks I have been giving you); its just a matter of organizing yourself.

C) As I had explained in class very early in the semester, in place of a full 12-page term paper, there will be, instead, a Termpaper Instructions test comprising two parts:
  • (Part 1) An in-class multiple-choice test that will cover these materials from the syllabus packet (link is on the left): 7(f); 7(g); 11; 12; 15(a); 17(a); and 18. Part 1 will take place on the date scheduled in the syllabus.

  • (Part 2) A take-homemultiple choice test that will cover a couple of documents on how to write term papers I will be posting shortly, plus research materials accessible through the internet. This test will be posted on this page shortly and you will have a week in which to complete it AFTER it is posted. Note: because this part is a take-home you must get a B+ or above on this part, otherwise your score, for this part only though, becomes a zero. For this particular test, because its a skills acquisition test the one-third off rule does NOT apply.
A note about e-mails:

Do not send me e-mails that do not begin with a proper salutation (Dear...) and closure (Sincerely,...), otherwise, you may not get a response. See the syllabus on e-mails policy in this class.

Posted 3/27/2014

Folks: Some reminders:

(A) Do NOT ignore the online course readings assigned in the syllabus in addition to the chapters from the textbook. <-- Read this sentence again.

(B) The notebook extra credit facility is worth two grade levels provided it meets ALL the requirements specified in the syllabus. How will I grade  them? I will briefly look through your entire notebooks and then I will select three random dates that will be the basis of a really close scrutiny of all notebooks on those dates. By the way, if I had screened AV material on one or more of those dates I will also be looking for notes on WHY that material was screened (meaning what points were being made in relation to course topics).

(C) Is it too late to improve your performance in this course? Of course not: Look at the syllabus. (So, for example, the term paper project and the final exam, which are still to come, are together worth 50%.)

(D) When you get your mid-term grade it will be either an S or a U. If you receive a U you still have the opportunity to turn your fortunes around in this course (see preceding point) provided you put in
EXTRA effort. If  you just dont have the time to do this then call it a day and drop this course. Question: But why did you register for this course in the first place? Because you thought it would be a BS course? Possibly like some other Gen Ed course you have done? Right? (Reminder: Leaving aside my own ethical  proclivities and professionalism, the taxpayers of this state pay my salary; in other words, they expect me to do my job as a teacher responsibly.)

Posted 3/12/2014

Guys: A few things:

(1) Instead of having class today: I am assigning you the task of viewing item C2 of Part D of Online Course Materials. So, no class today. Also, no office hours today; instead, I will have office hours on Friday from 3:00 to 5:00 pm; if you cant make it to them that's O.K. (Those of you who still have to do the Test 2 scantrons can do them after Spring Break if they cant come on Friday.)

(2) My answers to a couple of questions of relevance to you all that one of the recitations instructors has raised in an e-mail to me.

(3) The link to the website that provides information on the 6 credit-hour summer trip to Africa mentioned by our guest speaker on Monday, Professor Shaun Irlam, is here.

(4) Those of you who may be thinking of doing either a double major OR a joint major OR a minor with/in something else (I highly recommend such an approach for your careers) then you may want to look into these programs offered by one of our departments.

Posted 3/4/2014 (Updated 3/5/2014)

Folks: Please note with diligence:

(1) You can NOT bring the preview test itself to Test 2 on Friday.
(2) You can bring the textbook plus handwritten notes only to the test.
(3) The questions from the preview test will reappear on Test 2.
(4) If there is no improvement in your previous test 1 scores on this test I may withdraw the privilege of allowing you access to notes and the textbook.
(5) The preview test has two parts to it.
(6) UPDATE: The second part is here
The first part is available here. There is a third part comprising questions from the music assignment but  it will be available on Test 2 itself, and not before. (Note: as indicated in the syllabus, the link to the music assignment is at the top of  Part F on Online Course Materials.)
(7) Some of you still do not know how much the different elements of the course requirements are worth. What's up with that? Look at the syllabus! For example: Do you know how much the final exam is worth?
(8) If you would like to explore the possibility of doing a double major or a joint major or a minor click here.

Posted 2/10/2014 (UPDATED  2/16/2014)


(1) Our first test for this class will be on Friday, February 21 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in NSC Room 201 <--Read this sentence again. Questions on this test will also include some or all questions from this quiz. (Please do this quiz by Wednesday this week as a "practice test" so that you can have an idea of what to expect on my tests/quizes in this course.)

(2) As mentioned in class: make sure you see these two documentaries by the first test: C1 and C3 of Part D of Online Course Materials (for C1: if the first link does not work try the second or third link). You bet your boots there will be a lot of questions on the test from these documentaries (as well as other AV materials assigned/screened).

  • All questions about this course must be first addressed to your recitations instructors. If they don't have an answer they will consult among themselves, and failing that they will contact me.

  • The syllabus has been updated to include tests/readings schedule  for the rest of the semester. Please go through it carefully, in case you have any questions. It is really, really important in this class to keep up with the assignments (readings/AV materials, etc.) instead of waiting until the last minute the night before a test. This way you will atleast have some idea of how much time you will need when preparing for a test.

  • Test 1 coming up will cover (see note 1 above) material specified in the syllabus PLUS these items from the syllabus packet: 2(a), 14, and 15. You can print item 2(a) and bring it with you to the test (but not the other items).

  • Please go through the instructions for tests in this course, specified in Appendix 1 of the syllabus (see the syllabus packet--link is in the left margin).

  • Yes, you can bring HANDWRITTEN notes to the test; PLUS (per class discussion) your textbook. Please note that this privilege may be withdrawn if (a) you start complaining about time and/or (b) your resistance to meeting all course requirements, including failure to maintain proper classroom etiquette. <-- Read this sentence again.

  • Here are the quiz answers as promised.

  • Do not forget to bring your own pencil to the test.

Posted 1/26/2014


Welcome to the class home page for UGC112 which you are required to visit on a regular basis. Your failure to follow instructions posted via announcements on this page will NOT be looked on kindly. You have been warned!  This page will be redesigned and updated soon but in the mean time please download and read ALL the documents below which will give you information on basic course requirements, the first reading assignments, the first test date, and other such goodies.


A note about e-mails

Do not send me e-mails that do not begin with a proper salutation (Dear...) and closure (Sincerely,...), otherwise you may not get a response.

Important Links

Miscellaneous Info (may or may not be relevant)

One of my favorite web sites (not recommended except for those with a lot of common sense): darwinawards.com Guys: If anybody knows the answer to the following question posed by the Dilbert Cartoonist, Scott Adams, let me know: "If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?"