Constitution, American Federalism, civil engagement

An introductory paragraph containing a brief description of three subject areas studied this semester that you found most interesting and/or informative, and a statement about a contemporary political problem or issue related to the course that will be discussed in greater detail later in the paper.


Discussion of the three subject areas identified in your introduction. Citations and specific academic information gained from the course MUST be provided in both the body of the text and in the bibliography. The three subject areas you discuss MUST be from POLS 2301 and cannot be topics studied in POLS 2302 (i.e., congress, presidency, governorship, state legislature). Subject areas should focus on topics listed in the syllabus.


Identify, discuss and describe a specific contemporary political problem in one of the three subject areas you identified.


Construct and communicate a solution to the problem you identified (above). Make sure to develop and express your solution in the form of an argument that is supported by well-documented and properly cited facts and data. A good paper will have at least 3-5 scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook(s).

     Correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, complete sentences, and CITATION of your sources is required. Textbook readings with page numbers (or chapter headings and subheadings for digital textbooks without page numbers) and textbook citation; lectures (title and presenter); and outside scholarly research must be included in your assignment.
     Wikipedia/Encyclopedia/Dictionary/Spark Notes and other similar sources are NOT allowed and will result in an assignment score of zero.  Citations must be provided in both the body of your essay and in a “Works Cited” section at the conclusion of your essay. Also note that references to court cases must be italicized (Brown v. Board of Education) or underlined (Brown v. Board of Education).  If you are using internet citations, you MUST include the FULL URL, title, author (if available) and access date.
     Your written assignment should be typed and double spaced with 12-point font and one-inch margins top, bottom, and side.  Political Science as a field has adopted the APSA Manual of Style; however, you are free to use the citation style adopted by your major department or the style used in your English composition courses (MLA or other style).  Regardless of citation style, all sources must be properly, thoroughly, and consistently cited.  Careful attention to grammar, spelling, and the mechanics of presentation is expected.  Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information.  Any citation of Wikipedia, or other non-scholarly sources in a term paper or other assignment in this course will result in an automatic score of 0 (zero) on the assignment.  Scholarly resources would include journal articles, books, and news organization websites.  Government documents such as court decisions and agency reports are also acceptable sources.