The course term paper requires you to answer the following prompt: What should w
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The course term paper requires you to answer the following prompt:
What should we do to improve some problem area in American political society or government? The idea of the social contract is that free men and women have (essentially) agreed together to establish rules of civil society and a political community. In so doing, we have given up some freedoms in exchange for a government that protects our rights and seeks to provide for the common good. Since government is then “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” the people (you!) should be involved in ensuring that any problems with it are addressed. For this essay, you may wish to return to the problem in American politics or government that we have addressed in our discussions; or, you may want to turn to a problem that you have thought about as the course has progressed or that is important in current events. Consider: What should we be doing to improve upon this element of the American polity? You may emphasize either local or national solutions, and should focus on whichever is most appropriate for the problem you see. You should also consider that change has many different mechanisms, such as elections, protest, activism, and so forth. Are you arguing for a change to the Constitution, for societal pressure on those causing the problem, or something else entirely? Your problem is unique and will require a unique set of solutions Craft an argument in which you argue for one or more solutions to the problem you resolve to address. In doing this, you should be prepared to cite relevant course readings, to engage in research relevant to your problem and solutions, and to be creative about solving the problem you see. Strongly link the problem and solution, be detailed in their descriptions of solutions, and offer clear and compelling evidence that your solutions will improve upon the problem you address.
Topic submission — you will be asked to submit your topic ideas beforehand, so that I can make sure they will fit the paper. While this is ungraded, a topic that isn’t approved may be a poor fit for the assignment and could end up causing you difficulties. Please see Canvas for topic due dates.
Please note: this paper is NOT an excuse to rant about a current policy issue or political figure. Rather, you should write about what you see as a long term or systemic problem in American politics. In other words, don’t focus on a current or upcoming President’s policies, unless in the context of a long-standing issue of importance.
What should be in your paper?
Problem — before you can solve a problem you must demonstrate that it exists and why it is a problem, in your view
Solution — your task is to advocate for a specific solution(s) to the problem you describe
Thesis — to do the above, you’ll need a strong thesis that connects problem and solution and puts the issue in context
Evidence — you should support your argument with evidence that demonstrates both that the problem exists and is harmful and, also, how and why your solution will be effective in addressing the problem you described. You do not need the “silver bullet” solution that fixes everything; rather, one or more solutions that can make a positive impact is good enough.
— You’ll need to do some research in order to effectively detail the problem and solution
— Be sure to cite EVERY source that you use in your paper, both in text when you quote or paraphrase from them and also in a bibliography at the end of your paper.