Ap Government Interest Groups Assignments


Special interest groups are often blamed publicly for trying to exert too much control on the federal government. The reality, as always, is a little more complex. We will take a look at what interest groups are and how they function in our society. We will also analyze the factors that lead to interest group success and question whether or not they have too much influence.

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Homework Assignments

Assignment 1: Introduction to Interest Groups

  • MindTap: What Do You Know about Interest Groups?
  • What If?, page 233
  • Chapter Introduction, page 234
  • Interest Groups: A Natural Phenomenon, pages 234-237​
  • Study guide questions 1-7
  • Key terms 1-3
  • MindTap: The Formation and Maintenance of Interest Groups

Assignment 2: Interest Group Membership

  • Why Do Americans Join Interest Groups?, pages 237-239
  • Study guide questions 8-9
  • Key terms 4-8

Assignment 3: Economic Interest Groups

  • Economic Interest Groups, pages 239-245
  • Study guide question #10
  • Key terms 9-10

​Assignment 4: Other Interest Groups

  • Environmental Groups, pages 245-246
  • Public Interest Groups, pages 246-247
  • Other Interest Groups, pages 247-248
  • Foreign Governments, page 248
  • Study guide question #11
  • Key term 11
  • MindTap: Types of Interest Groups

Assignment 5: Interest Group Success

  • What Makes an Interest Group Powerful?, pages 248-252
  • Study guide questions 13-20
  • Key terms 12-15
  • MindTap: The Effectiveness of Interest Groups

Assignment 6: Interest Groups and Public Policy

  • Interest Groups and Representative Democracy, pages 259-260
  • What Would You Do?, pages 260-261
  • Study guide questions 21-23
  • MindTap: Grassroots Lobbying
  • MindTap: Regulating Interest Groups

Assignment 7: Prepare for the Test

  • Review your reading and class notes
  • MindTap: Chapter 7 Quiz
  • Review Quizlet
Interest Groups Explained

Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics

Summer Reading Assignment for the 2017-2018 year:

Summer Assignment for 2017 in Word

Summer Assignment for 2017 as PDF

Summer Reading Assignment for the 2016 -2017 year: The Surge: 2014's Big GOP Win and What it Means for the Next Presidential Election

The textbook is American Government, 13th edition by James Q. Wilson and John DiIulio - 13th Edition

The readings book for this class is Lanahan Readings in the American Polity- 6th edition

You may want to order the Lanahan Readings book from Amazon and save money. Be sure to order the 6th Edition which just came out in the Spring of 2016.

Every student will also need a pocket copy of the Constitution. It doesn't matter which one you use. Here is the one that we recommend.


Political Culture, Public Opinion, and Political Participation

Study Guide and Assignments for Unit One

"The Big Sort" by Bill Bishop

Quiz: Do you live in a bubble? Some of these questions are geared toward adults. You might want to ask your parents how they would answer those questions or you can just guess. You might also ask your parents to take the quiz themselves.

Why Polls Don't Work

Larry Sabato and Glenn Simpson: "Dirty Little Secrets"

Turnout in the 2012 Presidential Election

Primary Turnout in 2016

"73 Rules for Running for President as a Republican"

Michael Barone: "Polls are part of the air that Politicians Breathe"


Political Parties

Study Guide for Unit Two: Chapter 9 - Political Parties

"How a little-known task force helped create Red State/Blue State America"

"How American Politics Went Insane"

Earl and Merle Black: "The Rise of Southern Republicans"

No Longer a 'Solid South' of all-red or all-blue

"No, America's Not Divided"

"America Vs. Third Parties"

"Two's Company"

Ideology Survey

Fiorina article: "The Decline of Collective Responsibility in American Politics

Elections and Campaigns

Study Guide for Unit Three: Chapters 8 Elections and Campaigns

My Vote Means Nothing: How Presidential Primaries Backfired" by David Greenberg

Wikipedia entry on Citizens United v. FEC

Wall Street Journal editorial on the Citizens United ruling.

New York Times editorial on the Citizens United ruling.

Scotusblog on Citizens United - Scroll down for responses in the media and blogosphere

Go to the Links Page for more links on the case.


"Why Obama is Better at Getting Out the Vote" by Sasha Issenberg

The Creepiness Factor: How Obama and Romney Are Getting to Know You

Campaign Ads

Living Room Candidate 2016 -Follow the links at the bottom to view ads


The Media

Study Guide for Unit Four: Chapter 10 The Media

Top Ten Campaign Gaffes

Top Ten Political Gaffes

Top 10 Worst Debate Gaffes

Journeys with George - Part 1, Part 4 (watch 7:46), Part 5 (watch 6:54), Part 6

Interest Groups

Study Guide for Interest Groups

Interest Groups Assignment

"More than Money"

"Interest Groups in American Politics"

"Lobbying is Democracy in Action"

"Washington's Once and Future Lobby"

"5 Myths about Lobbyists"

Open Secrets Scavenger Hunt


The Study of American Government and The Constitution

Study Guide on The Constitution

Excerpts from John Locke

Excerpts from Federalist 10 and 51

Richard Hofstadter Article

Questions on Federalist 10 and 51 plus Worksheet Federalist vs Antifederalist

Ratification Debate Activity

Constitution Scavenger Hunt

Self-Checking Quizzes on the Amendments to the Constitution


Study Guide - Federalism

Link to find information on Supreme Court Cases

Selections from Randy Barnett's Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Constitutional Convention Assignment


Midterm Review

Midterm Review Study Guide

Midterm Review Questions



Study Guide - CongressAdjusted for Snow

Edmund Burke's Speech to the Electors of Bristol

Gerrymandering 101

Redistricting Game:

Hit “Play the Game.” Then choose Partisan Gerrymander - Basic Level. (If you get the message about Java, click on “This link.") Play the game for a bit. It’s not necessary that you complete the mission. Just try to figure out what you would need to do in order to complete the mission. If you have time, try some of the other missions. I’m more interested in your figuring out how to achieve each mission than in your actually completing the mission. (Use this link if the other link doesn't work: Redistricting Game.)

The Top Five Ugliest Districts

Quiz: Gerrymandered US Congressional District or Rorschacch Inkblot?

The Senate Syndrome by Steven Smith

David Price's Daily Schedule

Article: "The 60 Vote Senate" by Barbara Sinclair

Why Woodrow Wilson Hated the Filibuster by Joyce Appleby

The Senate Loses Its Tradition of Consensus by Fred Bauer

"Why Can't Congress Get More Done?"

"Pork is Still King of the Hill"

McCain Tweets

Powers, Separated on Purpose by Charles C. W. Cooke

The Shutdown is the Constitution's Fault by Dylan Matthews

Scalia Testimony

The Basics of the Budget Process


The Presidency and The Bureaucracy

Study Guide for Unit Eight - The Presidency and the Bureaucracy

Restraining the Imperial Presidency

Kenneth Mayer "With the Stroke of a Pen"

Links for Arguments on the Electoral College

How to Pick a Veep by Carl M. Cannon

Articles: “A Question of Power: The Robust Presidency” and “A Question of Power: The Imperial Presidency.”

Article on Bureaucracy by James Q. Wilson

The Rise of the Fourth Branch of Government by Jonathan Turley

"A Government of Strangers" by Hugh Heclo

From Administrative State to Constitutional Government by Joseph Postell

Presidents and Presidential Elections

Gallup: Presidential Approval

Rasmussen Reports: Presidential Approval Index (scroll down for the table)

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Study Guide for Unit Ten - Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Handout on Incorporation

Ex-Day Handout on Hate Speech and Speech Codes

Handout on Privacy

List of Supreme Court Cases

Supreme Court Writing Assignment

Links for exploring cases

Exploring Constitutional Law (Scroll down to find links to cases based on topic)

First Amendment Center (Click on the links to the parts of the First Amendment that interest you. Use the links right below the title.)

Exemplary Supreme Court paper

Government Printing Office Style Manual on capitalization rules


The Judiciary

Study Guide - The Judiciary

Federalist 78 - Excerpts

Antifederalist Essay Excerpts from Brutus XI, XII, and XV

The Warren through the Rehnquist Courts

Judicial Nominations

Wikipedia information on judicial nominations

Antonin Scalia

Anthony Kennedy

Clarence Thomas

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Stephen Breyer

John Roberts

Samuel Alito

Sonia Sotomayor

Elena Kagan

Neil Gorsuch

PBS video on the President and the Judiciary

Senate Nomination Hearing

Senate votes on John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch

How the Supreme Court Arrives at Decisions by William Brennan

The Supreme Court by William Rehnquist

Scalia's Speech in NC

Justice Souter's Harvard Commencement Address

Links on Neil Gorsuch

Video Discussion between Justices Scalia and Breyer (start at 2:00 and end at 37:28) Here's another link for the video if the first one doesn't work for you.

Video Questions on Scalia-Breyer Discussion

Laurence H. Tribe on "The Myth of Strict Constructionism"

Select Smart Quiz on which Supreme Court justices you are closest to



Policy Making

Study Guide: Policy Making

50 Dead-Simple Ways for the US to Cut Its Budget - slideshow

Handout on Economic Policy and the Budget Process

Balance the Budget yourself

Federal Budget Challenge

Stabilize the US Debt

Budget Simulation

iCivics People's Pie (You can play this without having to register)

Budget Puzzle from the New York Times

Handout on Welfare and Education Policy

Video: The Fed Today

Video Questions: The Fed Today

Review for the AP Exam

Review Questions and Schedule

AP Score Calculator

Massive Review Study Guide

Final Project

Planning a Budget

Excel Worksheet that you can use for your budget assignment - thank you to Sam Rust

Moot Court Project

Scotusblog links for Lee v. Tam

Oral Argument for Lee v. Tam (Click on the Oral Argument link and you can scroll down for the transcript)

Scotusblog links for Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer

Oral Argument for Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer(Click on the Oral Argument link and you can scroll down for the transcript)












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