You will choose
an issue or event (in either foreign or domestic politics) that is ongoing or very recent (last 5 years
or so) and use it to analyze how the three branches work together (or perhaps fail to work
together, as the case may be). Drawing on the course material, your goal will be to illustrate how
the US system of government is designed to be one of ‘separated institutions sharing power’. Of
course, a part of your paper will be spent describing the issue or event itself, but don’t make that
the primary focus. You will also evaluate how well the system works to deal with the issue or
problem and what should be done to make it work better. So, there is a normative element here in
terms of arguing for or against something. However, you are primarily illustrating how the system
works today vs. how it was designed to work by the Founders. The paper should be 4?5 single
spaced pages. I will post additional information about the paper on CU Learn.
Second post for the essay:
US Politics – Guidelines & tips for the second paper
In addition to the instructions in the course outline, here are some additional
things to keep in mind:
? Remember that your goal is two-fold: (1) research and describe an issue in the US
that illustrates how at least two of the branches of government interact with one
another (cooperate, conflict, or both). It is also possible to include intra-branch
conflicts, as long as there is an inter-branch element, too.
? The issue can be social, political or economic, or some combination of those
aspects. Perhaps you uncovered some issue in the research for your first paper, or
simply through paying attention to US politics on a daily basis; and (2) provide an
analysis of the functioning of US government by examining how the issue has
played out thus far.
? You are also expected to take a position on things (the normative element). Not so
much a position on the issue itself, but on how well the system works in this case
and what should be done in terms of general reform to improve the system.
? Don’t forget to spend a bit of time thinking about what your specific case says
about the system in general. What does the issue, and more specifically the way
the various parts of government interact within and over that issue, show us about
US politics? What does it show regarding the Founders’ intentions?
? In terms of sources, I expect YOU to do the analysis drawing on course material.
Sources are expected to be only for empirical information. You should not simply
find an analytical argument out there and just replicate or summarize it
in your paper. You do the thinking! That said, you can use others’ arguments on
the issue, for example as contrasts to your own. (Person X thinks this, but I’m more
of a mind that…)
? You’re welcome to use any chapters from the textbook you want, but the
expectation is that you will at the very least use the chapters that pertain to the
branches you are analyzing.
? You should include a works cited page at the end of your paper listing all sources
? Please use citations in the text of your paper in whatever citation style you prefer.
Direct quotes should be cited with a page number where possible. Paraphrased or
summarized material should also be cited as dictated by the style you use.
? Please upload your paper in Word, Open Office, or PDF formats. PLEASE DON’T
USE THE APPLE “PAGES” FORMAT.
? The paper should be no less than 4-5 single spaced pages (actual text, not
including titles, sources, etc.)
? Please use 12 point font with one-half inch margins (the “narrow” setting on Word)
? Try to keep paragraphs to a reasonable size. I am seeing a growing problem among
students these days of writing very long paragraphs (sometimes an entire page
long!). This severely reduces your paper’s readability and limits the points of
emphasis you can make.