Formal Assessment Guidelines – GOVT 2306 TX Policy Paper
20% of Final Grade (Proposal 5% + Paper 15%)-Must be completed in order to pass
Introduction: This activity is an opportunity for you to closely examine a contemporary policy issue between the state of Texas and the United States federal government. Over its history, the Texas government has had many conflicts with the national government as part of the dynamics under a federal system of governance (Federalism).
*Completing this activity is a mandatory component of this course. It serves as the standard course assessment for all GOVT 2306 students. Failure to submit and complete this project in its entirety will result in a failing grade for the course.
There are three steps to completing this project.
Step 1 – Identifying the Issue Identify an issue that involves federalism, then conduct research on how both the US federal government and Texas state government addressing it (this requires examining the history, application and effectiveness of laws at both levels).
Pick one of the following topics: · Public education policy and funding · Public education policy and Common Core · Environmental policy and air pollution · Environmental policy and hydraulic fracking · Affordable Care Act and Medicaid funding · Joint law enforcement efforts to combat drug trafficking · Joint law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking 12 · Joint law enforcement efforts to combat illegal immigration Or choose a topic that fits the criteria on your own, but must be approved by the professor.
Step 2 – Gathering Sources Conduct research to locate a minimum of 5 academic sources. This should include no less than three (3) peer-reviewed academic journal articles (aka: scholarly sources) that specifically address the policy issue that you selected and meet the following criteria: · The articles must be no more than ten (10) years old. · The article must have more than six (6) pages of actual content (without graphs, charts, footnotes, citations, etc.). · Carefully choose those sources that provide a variety of perspectives on your selected topic. · In addition to the minimum research requirements, you should offer “supplemental sources” for essential current events information relevant to your topic. These may include academic sources that are not peer-reviewed (position papers), newspaper articles, books, magazine articles, and other quality or reputable sources. · Textbooks, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), Almanacs, or an Atlas are reference materials and are not to be listed as sources on the collegiate level. · Provide the formal MLA citation for each source, both in the essay and on the works cited page.
Step 3 – The Proposal Submit a one-page proposal to Blackboard by the date specified in the course calendar. The proposal is to contain the following: 1.) Identify the topic in an introductory paragraph 2). Summarize the policy topic you will be addressing. 3). Describe the current status of the policy or topic. 4.) Describe why the policy is important. 5.) Include a bibliography listing the three primary sources.***)
The citations are to be formatted using MLA citation style
Revise and Resubmit Policy: The purpose of the proposal process is for your instructor to confirm that 1) you have selected three appropriate peer-reviewed journal articles and 2) that you have selected an appropriate topic. Additionally, it allows your instructor to give you feedback on your writing (grammar, sentence composition, punctuation, and spelling) as well as your use of proper MLA citation formatting. Should you submit a proposal that does not address a topic that meet the criteria, or does not have three peer-reviewed journal articles, you will be asked to “revise and resubmit” the assignment. In such cases, each revision will be deducted 10 points and after 4 attempts the assignment will earn a zero and will be considered incomplete. The instructor will inform you of the due date and conditions of resubmission. Failure to resubmit the revision before the provided due date, or failure to correct the identified issues in need of revision, will result in a zero for the proposal grade. Failure to complete the proposal or a requested revision will result in the entire assignment being incomplete.
Step 4 – The Policy Paper Your task will be to prepare a formal research paper regarding the selected policy. The assignment is to be around 7 pages with in-text citations for your research. The minimum writing requirement is a 1500 of your own words or around 5-6 pages of a word document (excluding the cited information).
The essay is to discuss each of the following prompts: (This will be the structure of your essay)
An introduction and brief overview of the policy relationship
What are the major issues facing each level of government?
What are the reasons for initiating changes to the policy?
What are the options to be considered (discuss several)?
What are the pros and cons of each potential reform (costs v. benefits)?
Which is the best option moving forward (pick one)?
A summary and conclusion
General Guidelines for all Coursework
All course assignments must comply with the following requirements to be considered a completed work (incomplete items will receive a zero). Please read these requirements carefully:
· Each “required” activity must be submitted to earn credit for the course. There are two categories of activities identified with an asterisks (*) in the syllabus (The Term Project).
· The Term Project are to have a cover page with the following information: Your name, course and section number, semester of enrollment, a word count and a title indicating the topic of your essay. The word count should reflect your own work (do not include citations, paraphrased information, quotes, the cover page, or the works cited page).
· Each student is expected to utilize 2-3 scholarly sources (peer-reviewed articles from academic journals) for the writing assignments. There is a tool built into the course to help you obtain quality sources for your writing assignment, it is labeled “research center” on the main menu of the course. For current events related information, use a newspaper, news magazine, news website, a court case or an actual law. The course textbook, Wikipedia, internet search engines, blogs and similar items are examples of unacceptable research sources on the collegiate level.
· All assignments are expected to meet college level writing requirements; all answers are to be in essay format and the expectation is for each student to engage the topics using critical analysis. Please do not attempt to provide simplified or elementary answers if you wish to earn credit for your work. Take the time to fully explain your ideas and demonstrate the depth of your understanding to earn the grade you want.
· Failure to identify sources is plagiarism. Provide the full MLA or APA citation for all outside sources. All references are to be documented within the body of the assignment and on a works cited page.
· The formatting requirements for all assignments are : typed / word processed, double-spaced, size 12 font, Arial or Times New Roman script, 1 inch margins (default setting), and a limited number of grammatical errors.
· All assignments are to be submitted as one electronic file to the appropriately titled online dropbox. Again, all pages of an assignment (cover page, body text, and works cited) are to be submitted together. Assignments will not be accepted via any other delivery method, unless prior approval was obtained.
· Assignments submitted online must be in one of the following file formats: doc, rtf or txt. Other document formats are unacceptable and will be rejected by the dropbox.
· There is no credit for partial work. The minimum writing expectation for each assignment or activity must be satisfied to earn a grade. Incomplete assignments will receive a zero.