Requirements



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Essay #1

Due 2/8
Did the framers of the Constitution build upon the principles of classical liberalism, or did they sacrifice those principles for the expediency of imposing order?



Explanation


This assignment asks you to consider the basic principles of classical liberalism and those of the Constitution, to compare them, and to come to a conclusion about whether they’re compatible. There is no right answer to this question, but it is incumbent upon you, the writer, to persuade the reader that your answer is plausible. You do that by focusing on several reasons why your answer is correct, and backing up those assertions with evidence that you’ve gleaned from the course materials. You may argue that the Constitution made classical liberalism workable. You might argue the Constitution imposed a big government on the states, contrary to the ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence. You might have your own spin on it. Regardless, you must convince the reader that your view is tenable.

Requirements


Excellent essays will…

 contain a thesis statement early on, which clearly answers the question posed.

make a logical, coherent argument in support of the thesis, with assertions supported by evidence from the readings.

 demonstrate mastery of course materials, including the Squire et al text AND the Declaration, Constitution, and Federalist Papers.

 properly cite the readings used (see below for more information);

 be written in proper English, with minimal spelling & grammar errors (see http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/grammar.html for common errors to avoid).

 For more information on grading, visit http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/grading.html.

Formatting instructions


  • The essay may not exceed three pages in length, printed in Times New Roman, 11 point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins all around. Essays that do not meet these formatting requirements will be returned to the student as soon as possible, at which point the paper will be considered late, and penalties will begin to apply.

  • Essays must be double-spaced, except when including a long quote (i.e., more than 4 lines), which is single-spaced and indented 5 spaces on both the right and left-hand sides. Essays must be stapled once in the upper left-hand corner. Do not put essays in a folder, binder, or cover of any kind.

  • Do not include a cover page. Your name and course number (including section number) should be typed, single-spaced and right-justified in the header of every page. Please include page numbers at the bottom center or bottom right of each page.



Citations


Instructions for citation are found at http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/cite.html. As mentioned above in the grading criteria, failure to follow proper citation procedures will result in grade reduction. Serious problems with citation and plagiarism may result in additional disciplinary action, including failure for the course and recommendation of university-level disciplinary action. If you have any questions about how or when to cite, you should ask.

Paper assignment #2


Due 3/10
Agree or disagree with the following statement: “The Democratic and Republican parties are too ideologically similar to effectively represent the interests of the American public.”
Explanation
Many critics of the American political system claim that the two major parties are simply “Tweedledee and Tweedledum,” so alike that they provide few real ideological or policy choices for voters. This assignment asks you to consider the role of political parties in representing the citizenry’s views and assess the performance of our party system today. You may wish to consider a variety of issues, including the state of partisanship in the public as well, how ideological the parties are, reasons we tend to have a two-party system, among other things.


Requirements


Excellent essays will…

 answer the question posed by making a make a logical, coherent argument in support of a clear thesis;

 clearly communicate an understanding of the role and purpose of political parties in democratic systems;

 analyze the nature of the American party system and the state of the parties and/or partisanship today;

 demonstrate mastery of course materials, including the Squire et al. text AND relevant supplemental readings.

 properly cite the readings used (see below for more information);

 be written in proper English, with minimal spelling & grammar errors (see http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/grammar.html for common errors to avoid).

 For more information on grading, visit http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/grading.html.




Formatting instructions


  • The essay may not exceed three pages in length, printed in Times New Roman, 11 point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins all around. Essays that do not meet these formatting requirements will be returned to the student as soon as possible, at which point the paper will be considered late, and penalties will begin to apply.

  • Essays must be double-spaced, except when including a long quote (i.e., more than 4 lines), which is single-spaced and indented 5 spaces on both the right and left-hand sides. Essays must be stapled once in the upper left-hand corner. Do not put essays in a folder, binder, or cover of any kind.

  • Do not include a cover page. Your name and course number (including section number) should be typed, single-spaced and right-justified in the header of every page. Please include page numbers at the bottom center or bottom right of each page.



Citations


Instructions for citation are found at http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/cite.html. As mentioned above in the grading criteria, failure to follow proper citation procedures will result in grade reduction. Serious problems with citation and plagiarism may result in additional disciplinary action, including failure for the course and recommendation of university-level disciplinary action. If you have any questions about how or when to cite, you should ask.


Paper assignment #3


Due 4/21/05
Agree or disagree with the following statement: “Policy change in the United States will always come slowly and incrementally.”
Good essays MUST have a clear thesis statement that answers the question above and specifies the nature of change in the U.S. system. Note that if you claim that change is virtually impossible, your essay must be specific about why. If you claim that wholesale or significant changes are possible, you must specify the conditions under which such policies may be enacted (e.g., only if Congress does X, only if Congress and the administration cooperate, etc.). You may want to briefly summarize some of the checks and balances and explain why the Founders included them in the Constitution, but please note that constitutional arrangements alone are NOT the focus of this essay—you must discuss the internal workings and processes of the various institutions of government and their effect on policymaking. Some things to consider: the nature of the legislative process and the committee system, the relationship between the President and Congress and what the implications of that might be on the legislative process, presidential leadership and its limitations, the role and power of the bureaucracy, who controls the bureaucracy, the role of the judiciary (including judicial review—if you want to include this, you’ll have to read ahead). You certainly don’t have to include all of these things in order to get a good grade; those things that you choose to include, however, should be discussed in good detail with specific, illustrative examples where appropriate.

Grading criteria


Excellent essays will:

 answer the question posed by making a make a logical, coherent argument in support of a clear thesis;

 clearly communicate an understanding of the structure and processes of at least TWO of the following four institutions: Congress, presidency, bureaucracy, courts;

 clearly communicate an understanding of how those structures and processes influence the policymaking roles of those institutions, using evidence and examples from our reading, including supplemental readings (you can’t rely solely on the Squire et al text);

 properly cite the readings used (see below for more information);

 be written in proper English, with minimal spelling & grammar errors (see http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/grammar.html for common errors to avoid).



 For more information on grading, visit http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/grading.html.

Formatting instructions


  • The essay may not exceed three pages in length, printed in Times New Roman, 11 point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins all around. Essays that do not meet these formatting requirements will be returned to the student as soon as possible, at which point the paper will be considered late, and penalties will begin to apply.

  • Essays must be double-spaced, except when including a long quote (i.e., more than 4 lines), which is single-spaced and indented 5 spaces on both the right and left-hand sides. Essays must be stapled once in the upper left-hand corner. Do not put essays in a folder, binder, or cover of any kind.

  • Do not include a cover page. Your name and course number (including section number) should be typed, single-spaced and right-justified in the header of every page. Please include page numbers at the bottom center or bottom right of each page.



Citations


Instructions for citation are found at http://www.uni.edu/~petersc/cite.html. As mentioned above in the grading criteria, failure to follow proper citation procedures will result in grade reduction. Serious problems with citation and plagiarism may result in additional disciplinary action, including failure for the course and recommendation of university-level disciplinary action. If you have any questions about how or when to cite, you should ask.
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