Find any current and specific issue, story, or event that is occurring or has recently
occurred since the start of the year and is focused on the U.S. federal government. You
could write about a proposal or legislation in Congress, a presidential initiative or action,
an administrative decision or action, a follow-up event related to the 2020 elections, a recent
federal court ruling, a foreign policy story or other interesting national government story
that has very recently been in the news.
· YOU’RE STRONGLY ADVISED NOT TO CHOOSE COVID-19 as a topic. Papers that
cover the history and spread of the pandemic will not earn credit. Remember, this is a
government class, so your paper has to have a government topic. If you decide to take on
COVID-19, then you must write ONLY about the government angle, such as very recent
actions of the Congress, the president, the Federal Reserve Board or a federal
government agency, like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If you have any questions or
concerns about whether your topic will work for this assignment, email me BEFORE you write
– Presidential executive orders or actions, such as immigration, military, trade, travel or
foreign policy decisions
– Election news, such as a 2021 story that resulted from last year’s federal elections.
– Administrative news from a department of the federal government, such as a new drug
or medical device recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
– Current legislation that has moved or is moving through Congress in 2021.
– International news and U.S. Government involvement in it.
· DO NOT cover a state- or local-level issue or a non-government topic area, unless it has a
strong national government angle and you can show a specific and direct connection to the
national government. DO NOT write about a broad topic, such as COVID-19, global warming,
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stem-cell research, immigration, gun control or gasoline prices. You must find a story that is
narrowly focused, specific, current and governmental or political in nature.
· Use the Internet, electronic databases, search engines, journals, newspapers, magazines,
etc. to research the topic. Be sure to obtain your information from legitimate, objective and
scholarly sources, and provide research from at least three sources in your essay. You may
find that news sites (such as National Public Radio) provide you with the best start. Avoid
obtaining information from biased sources, such as interest group websites, and do not use
biased or opinionated information as fact.
· Provide a detailed summary of your topic and be sure to UPDATE it as much as possible
by using the most current research available. You must have up-to-date, 2021 research.
Make it interesting for your reader!
· Explain the significance of your topic in the context of your overall study of American
Government. You must tie in/connect your topic to information learned in class and from our
reading materials. Where possible, you should incorporate specific information from our class
readings and Blackboard Lessons when explaining the topic. Your grade will be largely
based on your ability to connect the topic to what you have learned in this class.
· Provide your personal opinion about and analysis of the topic. What do you think about
it? Why did you choose this particular topic to write about? What is so interesting about it?
· Any information obtained from a source must be parenthetically cited in your essay, and
you must include a Works Cited or References page at the end of the paper. Avoid even the
appearance of plagiarism.
· Do your own, original work. Do not submit the same paper to two or more instructors or
submit a paper previously prepared for another course without first discussing the matter with
all instructors involved. Since you may have to verify your paper’s authenticity and/or
authorship, you should save all of your notes, rough drafts, materials used in preparation of
the paper, copies of sources, etc. until the paper is graded.
· Your paper must be at least 1000 WORDS, typed via computer, double-spaced, and in a
standard size (10 – 12 point) type. It should be free of grammatical and style errors. Be sure
to save your file as a Word document (ending with a .doc or .docx extension) or in Rich Text
format (ending with an .rtf extension) before uploading it.
· Turn in your essay electronically no later than the designated deadline at 11:55 p.m. by
uploading your document to the assignment area of the course site. No submittals are
accepted after this deadline, regardless of the reason, and no essays are accepted via email,
hard copy, fax or any other method.
· This assignment is worth a maximum of 30 extra-credit points toward your overall total for
A paper that lacks any of these items, does not follow the proper format or is not
submitted correctly will not earn credit. Papers are not accepted late or by email.
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