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Policy Paper Project (*Mandatory)
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 grade of F for the course.
There are four steps to completing this project:
Step 1 – Identifying the Issue
The purpose of the paper is to identify and address a federal issue between the US government and Texas state government. This requires examining the history, application and effectiveness of laws at both levels. Choose one of the following topics:
• Infrastructure development and funding• Disaster management and funding• Federal oversight of special education in Texas• Environmental policy and air pollution control permitting• Environmental policy and deep-water drilling• Unaccompanied migrant children in state shelters• Effects of redistricting on minority voter turnout in Texas• Death penalty and intellectual disabilities• Security of state elections from foreign interference
Step 2 – Gathering Sources
Conduct research to locate three academic journal articles (aka: peer-reviewed or scholarly sources) that specifically address issues within the foreign policy relationship you selected and meet the following criteria:
• The articles must be no more than ten (10) years old.• The article must have more than five (5) pages of actual content (without graphs, charts, footnotes, citations, etc.).• Books, dissertations, and theses will not count toward this minimum research requirement.
Carefully choose sources that provide a variety of perspectives on your selected topic. In addition to the minimum research requirements, you should use high quality sources for essential current events information relevant to your topic. These include academic sources that are not peer-reviewed (position papers), newspaper articles, magazine articles, and other quality or reputable sources.
The course textbook, encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), and almanacs, are reference materials and are not to be listed as sources at the college level.
Step 3 – The Proposal
Submit a one to two page proposal to the appropriate dropbox by the date specified in the course calendar. The proposal must:
• Identify the topic in one or two paragraphs:o Summarize the central issues of the policy topic you will be addressingo Describe the current status of the policy or topico Describe the current status of the policy or topic as it relates to the differing roles and/or positions of the federal and state governmentso Cite each of your academic journal articles at least once in the paragraph using correct MLA in-text citations.o Include the Works Cited or Reference section with the three (at a minimum) peer-reviewed academic journal articles that will form the basis of your policy paper.• These three references must be cited in the final policy paper.• Additional sources can be added (and should if a good grade is desired), but they cannot beremoved without permission after the proposal is approved.• In-text citations and the Works Cited or Reference section must be formatted using MLA citation style. Other MLA formatting elements (e.g. header, page number format, etc.) are not used in this assignment.• Do not use block quotations (or any quotation that exceeds three lines of text) or first person in the proposal or final policy paper!
References provided in the proposal cannot be changed at a later date without approval (see Step 4 below).
A fundamental expectation of college writing is that all key arguments, facts, assertions and claims are supported with research (i.e. parenthetical citations). When a source has been cited, you are expected to acknowledge the source in the body of your text and on a Works Cited page using formal MLA citation format. The paper must be completed using the formatting guidelines provided in the syllabus as
I do not allow students to recycle or use essays from other courses. You must receive consent from me in order to do so and you will need to provide a solid justification. Please do not simply submit an assignment that you have used in another course as it will not be accepted unless approved.
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