American Democracy

  1. Only one of the assigned topics may be used as the basis for the paper. No combining topics or making up your own.
  2. You must respond to all aspects of the topic that you pick.
  3. The essay should be typed, double-spaced and between 6 and 8 pages exclusive of the title page, footnotes, and references.
  4. Each page should have one inch margins.
  5. Spelling and grammar should accord with correct American usage.
  6. Writing Counts. If you cannot clearly convey your understanding, it may indicate that you do not actually understand the material. Do not use ambiguous language. Your audience for this paper is an educated individual who is not familiar with the material of the course.
  7. Font should be 12 point Times New Roman. No exceptions. (Microsoft Word now defaults to Cambria, change this.)
  8. The essay should include a title page with a title, your name, and topic selected. Do not put your name elsewhere on the paper (e.g., a heading). We want you to remain anonymous when we grade your paper.
  9. The paper should be stapled. No paperclips or glossy binders.
  10. Make sure you have a copy for your own records.
  11. You must use a proper method of citation. The Chicago Manual of Style is preferred, but MLA is acceptable.
  12. Proper documentation involves identifying instances when you copy from another work by enclosing the copied information in quotation marks, and by indicating the source of the copied information. When you paraphrase the work of another, or draw substantially on the ideas of another, you must also indicate that with a reference. Failure to provide proper citations in a way that represents the work of another as your own is plagiarism and will result in severe consequences.
  13. Late papers will be penalized significantly. It is your responsibility to turn the paper in on time.
  14. Because the paper topics are available several weeks in advance of when they are due, there is no valid excuse for being late.

Due Date:

Final Paper 10.21.22 (100% of Paper Grade)

Paper Topics (Pick One):

What are the recurring threats to American democracy/governing institutions? Are there major threats Mettler and Lieberman leave out of their account? What long-term factors led to January 6th? What short-term factors led to January 6th? How have each of the major political parties responded to January 6th and the 2020 election?

The United States Constitution provides for a Republican/representative form of democracy yet many states and localities allow for direct democracy through ballot initiatives, referendum, and recall. Develop a paper in which you identify and assess arguments in favor and against both representative and direct democracy. Drawing on your assessments of representative and direct democracy, develop an argument in which you advocate for one form of democracy over another. Do not equivocate. There is no right or wrong answer.

Why has economic inequality become a more prominent issue in the last ten to fifteen years? What role has government played in increasing inequality? Do lawmakers give preference to the concerns of certain groups over others? What impact does lobbying and money in politics have on lawmakers?

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