One of the best ways to understand politics is to think critically about important topics. Unfortunately, most of the discourse surrounding American politics is dominated by talking heads and one-liners. These thought papers will give students a chance to critically think about topics that are important to our lives as American citizens.
Thought Paper #1 Writing Prompts
On page 66 in the textbook, Morone & Kersh ask, “Have We Achieved the Constitution’s Goals Today?” Think about the goals listed in the preamble. The goals are:
1. Form a strong union
2. Ensure domestic tranquility (that is, peace at home)
3. Provide for the common defense (today, we might say homeland security)
4. Promote the general welfare
5. Secure liberty for ourselves and posterity
6. Establish equal justice for all
For this essay, please pick just one of the goals listed above, give it a grade, A-F, and write a one-page explanation on why you chose that goal and why you assigned it the grade that you did. This exercise is designed to get us thinking about the role of the Constitution today.
MAKE SURE TO LIST YOUR PICKED GOAL UP FRONT IN YOUR ESSAY. STUDENTS WHO ARE UNCLEAR WILL LOSE POINTS.
Please note that one page is equal to 250 words. So no matter where you start on the page, you need at least 250 words. Thus, your essay will be penalized if it falls below the minimum 250 words. You are welcome to go over 250 words.
Once submitted, the essay will be automatically checked for plagiarism using the built-in anti-plagiarism software in Canvas. This software provides feedback as to whether or not the text in a document is a close match with other documents on the Internet, in journal databases, and essays submitted through Canvas.
Avoid using direct quotations from the book and online sources. Please paraphrase all material. Direct quotations and poorly paraphrased sentences are usually picked up as plagiarism. Please visit the VVC library’s Understanding Plagiarism (Links to an external site.) page for more guidance.

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