Balance of national and state powers.

Students will select from one of the options listed below and complete a research-based essay. The essay is to be no less than 1,500 words and no greater than 2,500 words in length, submitted in 12-point Times New Roman font, and is to be doubled-spaced with 1” margins. You must cite at least ten sources. These sources may include academic articles, monographs, and primary sources. You may not utilize any website without checking its credentials and/or those of the author of said online material. A credential is the qualifications of expertise on the subject: you must be able to account for the reputable authorship of the source. Most credentials and qualifications are academic (such as a medical degree for someone practicing medicine).If you have any questions about what constitutes an appropriate source and/or academic credentials, please contact Dr. Morgan. All source material must be properly cited in Chicago-style citation (footnotes).  Failure to cite your sources will result in receiving an automatic zero on the assignment.  Failing to mark direct quotes appropriately will be treated as plagiarism. Direct quotes must be in quotation marks and be cited to their original source. Paraphrases or the use of facts beyond common knowledge must be cited to the source of the information which you used. If you are uncertain about what must be cited, please contact Dr. Morgan.

Your essay must also adhere to the guidelines for formal academic writing which are included below.  Failure to follow these rules will result in a deduction of points proportionate to the discrepancies from said rules.  If you have any questions about these rules, please contact Dr. Morgan. Note: text with a quote from a primary source is exempted from these rules

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Rules for Academic Writing

  1. Use correct standard American English spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation
  2. Do not use vulgar, colloquial, or slang expressions
  3. Do not use first or second person pronouns
  4. Do not refer to historical persons or the author of a source solely by his/her first name or nickname
  5. Do not use exclamation points
  6. Do not ask rhetorical questions
  7. Do not use contractions
  8. Do not shift verb tense
  9. Do not end a sentence with a preposition
  10. Do not begin or end a sentence with a conjunction

Your essay should include an introduction and a conclusion.  In the introduction, you must state your thesis, which should be a clear and concise statement of your argument.  At no point in your essay should you ever state “this essay/paper will…” as this neither constitutes a thesis nor is it in fact an introduction (but rather is an abstract, generally belonging on scientific papers). Your conclusion should provide a summation of your points, as well as a restatement not a reiteration of your thesis as the culmination of your essay.  Please avoid trite and jejune sweeping statements in your introduction and your conclusion (examples: ‘this is why America is the best country in the world’ which is both trite and jejune and is subject to far too much bias to be accepted as a fact or another favorite: ‘throughout time…’ which is impossible to support)

Possible Topics (Not an Exhaustive List – Alternatives must be approved by Dr. Morgan)

  • Analysis of a key Supreme Court decision (must choose one from below)
    • Marbury v. Madison
    • McCulloch v. Maryland
    • Brown v. Board of Education
    • Roe v. Wade
    • Gideon v. Wainwright
    • Tinker v. Des Moines
    • Schenck v. United States
    • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
    • New York Times Co. v. United States (1971)
    • Shaw v. Reno
  • The balance of national and state powers (federalism)
    • The powers reserved to the states
    • Increasing emphasis on the federal government
  • Gerrymandering/ “One Man, One Vote”
  • The political spectrum: “Liberal” to “Conservative”
  • The Electoral College: Change, Abolish, or Keep
  • Checks and balances between the three “original” branches
  • Third parties in American government
  • The importance of the Fourteenth Amendment
    • “Equal protection of the laws”
    • Birthright citizenship
  • The “modern presidency”
  • Originalism: What did the “Founding Fathers” design and intend?
  • The essential protections of due process
  • The progress of the First Amendment
    • Freedom of expression
    • Freedom of assembly
    • Freedom of religion
    • Right to petition the government

The term paper is due on December 4, 2020 by the end of eighth period. No late assignments will be accepted. Any paper not submitted by 3:45 pm on Friday, December 4 will receive a zero.Top of Form

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