Senior Government Research Portfolio 4

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Senior Government Research Portfolio 2.4

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  • Preamble to the Constitution


This portfolio is to help in the understanding of our Nation’s Constitution and to put meaning to the Constitution and amendments where before you have only seen words.


A two-page essay will be written about 12 of the 20 topics. You may choose 12 of the 20 Topics given. Each student must also complete assignment 21 along with the 12 topics for a total of 13 essays. Each of the essays will consist of the following:

  1. Take a position on the topic. (You must choose a side you are planning to prove.)

  2. Explain which part or parts of the Constitution and/or Amendments this topic relates to.

  3. Discuss both sides of the argument if applicable.

  4. Any opinions used must be backed up by specific facts from a reputable source.

  5. You must add specific court cases (preferably a Supreme Court case) that back up your argument.

  6. Must have an introduction and a conclusion.

Title Page

Your portfolio must have a front cover. This cover should include the title of your portfolio, your name, and an image of what the constitution means to you. You can use a picture, a collage, a drawing or anything else that illustrates what our constitution means to you.
Table of contents

The second page must be your table of contents. On this page you need to list the assignment and page number for each essay. You may title your entries what you like as long as it has something to do with what the topic is about.


At the end of your portfolio should be a bibliography. This should be in Chicago Style format and consist of all the sources that you used in creating this portfolio. They need to be in alphabetic order and in proper format. There should also be footnotes in the paper itself. There should be a footnote for anything that was taken from one of your sources.

Requirements for essays

  1. Each essay must be 2 pages long and no longer than 4 pages.

  2. Each essay must be typed (as well as the cover page, table of contents, and the Bibliography)

  1. Double spaced

  2. 12 point font

  3. Times New Roman

  4. Must be in your own words (plagiarism is an automatic 0 for the project)

Final Project

Doneness is important and this portfolio will not be taken otherwise, however, you will also be graded on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and accuracy of information. The final project must be professionally bound (Our library can do that for you for a small fee). The project must also be turned in on time. For each day late, 50 points will be deducted from the project grade.

This portfolio will be worth a total of 700 points. Each essay will be worth 50 points and 50 points for the cover, table of contents, and bibliography. An essay will be due every other week on Friday for the first two essays. After that you may bring any of the essays to me to review if you would like to. The rough drafts do not need to be typed but it is helpful.


  1. New Hampshire representative Samuel Livermore said “Congress shall make no laws touching religion or the rights of conscience.” Does the First Amendment allow the right to gay marriage or does it allow states to decide? Explain both sides.

  2. Should homosexual couples be legally allowed to adopt?

  3. How does specific media bias affect how news is interpreted and delivered?

  4. Does Capital punishment constitute” Cruel and Unusual Punishment” or does the 8th Amendment allow Capital Punishment.

  5. Should the Electoral College be discarded in favor of a simple popular vote in presidential elections?

  6. Is standardized state or national testing helping or hurting American schools?

  7. With the recent votes in Colorado and Washington, is the legalization of Marijuana the right move for America? Argue for or against the legalization of Marijuana.

  8. For many years members of congress have attempted to create an Amendment that bans flag burning. Does the 1st Amendment protect flag burning as free speech?

  9. Should Roe v Wade be overturned?

  10. Should children who commit certain crimes be treated as adults? If so, is there a lower age limit to this policy?

  11. Explain the Dream Act. Is the Dream Act an appropriate action in today’s society?

  12. If being tried in our court system, should the citizens of other countries have the same rights as citizens of the United States?

  13. Explain what changes The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) made to our health care system?  Is this the right move for America?

  14. With the leaking of governmental information by Edward Snowden, many people have different ways of looking at this man.  Do you believe that Edward Snowden is a traitor and should be arrested and tried as such or should he be looked at as a Patriot who is protecting our Civil Liberties? 

  15. With the recent NSA revelations by Edward Snowden, has the NSA gone too far or are they doing what is necessary to protect us from our enemies?

  16. Bullying has become the new big issue in the news media.  Should the state or federal government put laws into place to prevent bullying or is it not as big of an issue as it is being made to be?

  17. American Education has dropped to 26th in math, 21st at science, and 17th in reading in the world.  What has happened to drop the U.S. to these low numbers and what can be done to bring us back up to the top?

  18. Due to recent shootings over the last two years, should Gun Control be increased or are the current laws enough? How do these laws compare to other countries?

  19. Due to the overwhelming majority of scientists that believe in global climate change, should the government be involved in alternative fuel research or should this be left to private companies?

  20. Should separation of church and state apply to school prayer or Does school prayer infringe on non-Christian religions or beliefs?

  21. What do you believe is the most significant thing that you have learned about our rights in this country?

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