The commentaries are intended to help develop your understanding of the reading and to
provide a basis for informed class discussion and exam responses. Your commentaries
should meet two goals:
1) Give a summary of the key point(s) made in the selected reading according to your
understanding. Provide evidence,
including direct quotations
from the text, to support
2) Devote at least one full (substantial) paragraph to your own analysis of the reading.
This response aspect of your commentary can be critical of the argument in the reading,
or link the reading to another reading in the course, or raise questions prompted by the
reading. It should not involve an anecdotal reflection based on your own experiences.
Each commentary must be typed and a
of one full page in length, roughly 300
words (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margins). Do not limit yourself to one page if an
adequate summary and response requires more details. To effectively summarize the
reading, you should
relevant pages in parentheses within your text. You are
required to include page citations
for paraphrased summaries, not just for direct quotes.
One goal of this assignment is simply to have you write regularly in response
to political science material. Half of the points on each commentary (10 out of 20) will
therefore be awarded for completion of the basic requirements outlined above. The other
half of the grade (between 1 and 10 points awarded) will be based on the quality of your
analysis and the clarity of your presentation. All together, these commentaries are worth 10% of your grade (100 points total, 20 maximum per commentary).
Part 1: reading: Hacker & Pierson, “Winner-Take-All Politics”
second part. pg. 153-168
Part 2: reading: Hacker & Pierson, “Winner-Take-All Politics”
second part. pg. 168-197