This is a short writing assignment. It is a position paper, so there is no right or wrong answer, although the essay is evaluated for thoughtful consideration of the topics covered in this section of the course (The Presidency, Bureaucracy in a Democracy, Federal Courts, Political Participation & Voting, Campaigns & Elections, Groups & Interests). Students should choose one of the following questions to answer for their essay, first by asserting a position (5 pts.); and second, arguing why the position is the correct one (5 pts.). Nonetheless, the essay must incorporate at least two references from the respective chapter in the Morone and Kersh textbook that pertains to the question selected (2 x 10 pts. = 20 pts.). The purpose of this assignment is for students to reflect on one of the topics discussed in class during this period. Introducing evidence into the essay to back up the position is ideal, but not entirely necessary. In any case, some thoughtful reflection or perhaps some rhetorical reasoning is required in the essay to be persuasive. The following questions are broad, but this is on purpose. Students might want to consider bringing in specifics to narrow their discussion. Which branch of government do you believe should be most powerful? Should it be Congress, the Presidency, or the Judicial branch? Why? Why do you think most Americans have a negative view of the federal bureaucracy? Is it a result of things like long lines, poor service, or something else? Compared to the presidency and the Congress, do you think the U.S. Supreme Court has too little, too much, or the right amount of influence on American policy and law? Why? Do you think policies and the way government operates in general would be different if everyone who is eligible to vote actually did so? Why or why not? The redistricting process is controversial and is conducted differently in each state. Who should draw district lines? Should this process be left to state legislatures; nonpartisan state demographers (using only population data and maps); a bipartisan committee of elected officials and public interest groups; or an appointed, bipartisan panel of state judges? Or something else you can think of? Why? Are limits to interest group spending on political contributions and ads a good idea, or do such limits impose on free speech and liberty? Why? Also, when composing the document, use these guidelines: Students’ papers should be 500 to 600 words long, but no more than two pages, double-spaced(5 pt.). Use 12-point (1 pt.) Times New Roman font (1 pt.). Measure margins 1” from the left, right, top, and bottom of the page (1 pt.), and justified to the left (1pt.). Electronically submit the paper as a Word document (5 pts.) under the class’s course menu in the Assignments link in WebCampus by 11:59 pm on the day its due. The essay should be well written using appropriate paragraphing, complete sentences, proper grammar, punctuation and syntax, and contain no spelling errors. In other words, proofread the essay before submitting it (6 pts).
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