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POLS 2301 – FINAL RESEARCH PAPER

ASSIGNMENT PURPOSE

The main purpose of the Final Research paper is to assess whether you understand how our democracy works (see below course outline) and be able to apply the knowledge in a real-world situation.

Review of the Course Outline:

Part 1 – Fundamental Principles of American Democracy (chapters 1-5)

A.    Introduction

B.     The Constitution

C.     Federalism

D.    Civil Liberties

E.     Civil Rights

Part 2 – Participation in the Political System (chapters 6-11)

A.    Political Socialization & Public Opinions

B.     Interest Groups

C.     Political Parties

D.    Election/Campaign/Voting

E.     The Media

Part 3 – The Branches of Government and Their Functions (chapters 12-15)

A.    Congress

B.     President

C.     Bureaucracy

D.    Judiciary

Direction:

 

The fundamental principle of American democracy, government by the people for the people, is that the government not only represents its people, but it also listens and addresses the concerns of the people.

 

For the Final Research Paper, research a current problem/concern/issue. Research how our democratic government has worked to listen and address/solve that concern.

 

REQUIREMENTS

1. Cover page

2. 5 – 6 pages of content – double spaced, Times New Roman, font 12

3. Reference page with

a. at least 5 credible references

i. any websites ending in .edu or .org are acceptable

ii. any articles retrieved from http://www3.dbu.edu/library/online_databases.asp

b. use MLA citation style – http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/mla#mla or

SAMPLE PAPER OUTLINE:

Introduction

· Introduction of your topic

· Thesis statement-

1. EX: More and more elderly population is being neglected. If the government doesn’t intervene, they fail in their duty to provide this population with a general welfare and the right to live.

Body

· Background/historical information of your topic or description of the problem/issue

· Government (national or state) involvement in dealing with the problem/issue

1. Attempts, Bills, Laws, lawsuit

2. Executive, Legislative, or Judicial Branch involvement

3. Analysis – Your evaluation of government action

· Other non-government organization involvement (media, lobby groups, non-profits)

1. How have they tried to solve the issue?

2. How have they “influenced” the government?

3. Analysis

Conclusion

· You stand – why or why not

· Christian standpoint

 

PLANNING

1. Pick a topic.

a. Complete a quick research and submit your topic and rough thesis statement for approval.

2. Research.

a. Topic background?

b. What is the main problem?

c. How did the topic come to the attention of the public/government? Media? A tragic even?

d. Who are the major contributors to the topic? How are they involved? Why? Who are on the opposition side? Why? Politicians? A victim?

e. Are there any data to include? Polls?

f. What actions have been taken by the interest groups, government, political parties?

g. What solutions have be proposed or made? Legislative action? Laws? Supreme Court action?

h. http://www3.dbu.edu/library/online_databases.asp

3. Write your rough draft.

The Final Research Paper is NOT a report about the topic. Only the background information is a report of the topic. Your paper needs to provide information as to how the democratic process worked/is working to resolve this issue.

· For example, if your topic is on abortion, it can’t be just about abortion. You’ll need to write abortion in the political context. Describe how the government is involved in the issue and is working to resolve it, including people, media, and interest groups.

· Be sure to incorporate your knowledge learned from your textbook/lecture.

· This is an objective researcher paper. Your personal position on the issue should not appear until the concluding paragraph.

· Political Analysis – connect political ideas and concepts learned in the course:

· Identify & describe the issue/problem in the political context.

· Discuss the cause(s) of issue/problem.

· How did it become a public agenda?

· How did the government react to it? (State or Federal government)

i. Bill? Laws? Court cases? Executive orders?

· Was there non-government sector (interest groups, media, etc) involved? How?

· Any resolutions? Potential resolution? Attempted resolution?

 

· Was it the work of federalism?

· Did the media dictate government policy?

· Is our government truly run by the people?

· Who took the lead: executive, legislative, or judicial branch? Was it appropriate?

· Was the resolution legitimate? Or, why wasn’t there a resolution?

· Why is it a political issue?

 

4. Have someone proofread your paper.

5. Write your final copy.

6. Submit your paper.

 

RESOURCEFUL INFORMATION

· DBU library – http://www3.dbu.edu/library/online_databases.asp

· You’ll find: Peer reviews/academic journals

· DBU Writing Center: http://www3.dbu.edu/uwc/default.asp

· Government websites:

· www.house.gov

· www.senate.gov

· http://www.loc.gov/rr/ Library of Congress Research

· https://www.congress.gov/

· https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/executive-branch

· http://www.supremecourt.gov/

· Other helpful sites:

· www.gallup.com, 

· http://pewresearch.org/ 

· http://www.people-press.org/topics/

· http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/

· Interest group websites

· http://www.findpolicy.org/

· think-tank websites (think-tanks are research institutions) ( http://www.hks.harvard.edu/library/research/guides/think-tanks-directory.htm )

 

Unacceptable sources are:

· Wikipedia – You can use this site to get ideas but cannot use it as a reference.

· Random websites ending in “.com” – You can always email be to check on the appropriateness of a .com website.

 

SAMPLE TOPICS:

 

 

 

Economic:

· Stimulus law

· Unemployment rate & Minimum wages

· National debt

· Income tax laws

 

Social Welfare:

· Medicare

· Social Security

· TANF (Temporary Assistant for Needy Families)

· Health care

· Education

· Elderly concern

· Children’s Right

· Disabled Population

· Homeless

 

Civil Rights

· Affirmative Action

· “Comparable Worth” – equal wages

· Rights of Disabled

· Gender equality

· Diversity issues

· Aged Population

 

Personal Liberty

· Issues related to the Bill of Rights

· Ex: religious freedom

· Abortion

· Partial Birth

· Morning After Pill

· Intelligent Design

· Gay Marriages

· Gun Control

· Death Penalty

· Right to Die

· Rights of Criminals

 

MISC.

· Illegal Immigration

· Military

· Animal Rights & Welfare

· Stem-cell research

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