Executive branch paper Assignment
How has the media changed the presidency and campaign process?
● Has it unofficially changed the “qualifications” for office?
● Would Barack Obama have been elected without the modern media? ● Would Donald Trump have been elected without the modern media?
○ Did the modern media strengthen or weaken his candidacy?
The purpose of this paper is to work towards writing a comprehensive policy memo. As such, your goal is to address both sides of the controversy in an issue while advocating for your argument. As the primary goal of this unit was to think through how the Constitution and our political culture helps structure current policy debates, you should use sources from throughout the unit (particularly the Constitution) to make your argument. You must use at least four sources (at least one from course readings and at least two from your research) to make an argument about current constitutional controversies. Pick from the choices below, choosing your own political position on the debate being addressed. You may use class notes, which you should cite, but these notes do not count towards the four source requirement for writing this policy paper. Choose one of the topics below and address the topic narrowly—mixing quotes from experts and facts you research about the case to support your own position. This “mini research paper” mirrors the kind of papers you will be asked to write in college. Please use your research days wisely; I am an additional resource and feel free to ask me questions and use your classmates as resources if we can be helpful in structuring your paper.
In addition to learning how to structure a collegiate level research paper, one of my goals is to help you learn what note taking strategies work best for you. In addition to handing in a paper on the first meeting of next week, you will be asked to hand in evidence of your note taking strategies. In addition to finding quotations from experts and relevant facts to support your case, I will be looking for evidence that you have taken down relevant footnote information. I do not care what form your notes take; however, I want to see evidence that you had a systematic plan to take notes in building to your final paper. These notes will be worth 20 points in addition to the 100-point grade of your final paper.
Suggested Paper Structure
· Although students are free to diverge from the below structure with teacher’s approval, the basic structure of the policy papers (note: these are sections, rather than paragraphs:
o Introduction should provide context and outline the central arguments/positions on the debate being addressed. The introduction should culminate in a thesis statement in which the student advances his or her position on the debate.
o One section should outline the major arguments, supported by relevant quotations and facts, for the thesis.
o One section should outline the major arguments marshaled by the opponents.
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