New Law or Government Policy
In this paper, you will describe a recommendation for a new law or government policy. You can choose the topic of the law or policy so long as it is related to government or politics at the national level in the United States. The purpose of this assignment is two-fold:
Explore your own personal political preconceptions (take some time to reflect on where you fall along the ideological divide).
Your proposed law will help to fix a problem you see in America as well as reflect your own beliefs, interests, and values.
Paper Content and Grading
There are five graded parts to this paper. Please read through all the instructions before you begin selecting a paper topic.
1- Introduction and Topic Choice (10 Points)
In the first paper section:
Describe a political and/or policy problem that you are interested in resolving.
Use this problem to describe a recommendation for a new law or government policy.
This recommendation should be very limited and focused on a specific problem as well as your proposed solution.
This section should be 1-2 paragraphs and must include a thesis statement.
2 – Exploration (35 Points)
In the second paper section:
Discuss what you think about politics and explore the extent to which you are liberal, moderate, conservative, libertarian, or somewhere outside the traditional American spectrum.
Be sure to explain what each ideology means and where you fit in with those terms.
You may find your values are a mix of these ideologies, depending on the issue at hand.
Explore your own thoughts about politics broadly by picking three to four issues that interest you. For each, write about what you think about each issue, and analyze whether your opinions are more conservative, liberal, moderate, or something else.
You do not necessarily have to include your proposed law as one of the issues, although you may if you want to.
This section should be around 3-4 paragraphs.
3 – Analysis (40 Points)
In the third paper section:
Explain why your proposal is a good idea using information from the course and a minimum of five outside sources.
Peer-reviewed journals, scholarly books, and articles/reports from think tanks are all acceptable. Non-academic sources are also allowed, so long as you have at least 5 academic sources.
Using the outside sources, try to develop a deeper understanding of the problem and your proposal.
Do not summarize those sources in this paper! Instead, use them as evidence to explain why your proposal is a good one.
A good analysis will not only provide evidence in support of your proposal but it will also address potential counterarguments.
You should also address why you think the counterargument is wrong or weak rather than simply ignoring it or dismissing it without due attention.
This section should have 4-5 paragraphs.
4 – Synthesis and Reflection (10 Points)
Reflect for a few minutes and return to your thoughts about politics broadly to consider these questions:
Have they changed as a result of the research you did for this paper?
Have they stayed the same, or grown even stronger?
Have you become more or less conservative, moderate, or liberal?
In the fourth paper section:
Reflect on the research you have done for your proposed law and your beginning political preconceptions.
Discuss how this analysis has influenced your understanding of American government and policy, as well as your own political beliefs.
This section should be 1-2 paragraphs.
5 – Proper Citation and Grammar (5 Points)
In the fifth paper section:
Provide references and proper citations for all sources (including the textbook).
Any citation style is acceptable as long as you are consistent in using it throughout the paper.
Double check paper grammar, spelling, and formatting.
Special Note: Writing is one of the most important skills you can gain from a college education, and it is incredibly important that you work on improving your writing as frequently as possible. All of us (certainly including myself) benefit from repeatedly trying to improve writing and grammar skills.
Reminder: As always, you are required to turn in your own work. Also, this is not a summary paper.
Questions: Need Help?
If you have any questions regarding this paper after reading all the paper instructions (topic selection, content, sources or writing), please contact your instructor for assistance as soon as possible (don’t wait or hesitate).
The paper formatting should follow these guidelines:
Typed electronic document (such as Microsoft Word or Pages format)
Length: 5 – 7 pages
Font: Times New Roman, 12 point
Margins: 1 inch
Spacing: Double spaced
Paragraphs: should be reasonably long, taking up between one-half (1/2) to two-thirds (2/3) of a page typically
MEAL: handy way to think about writing paragraphs
How a given paragraph connects to the previous one and the Main argument, Evidence, Analysis of evidence, and Link to the next paragraph.
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