You will be required to write one (1) short paper. The paper will be 1,000 words in length,
typed, and double-spaced. For this paper, you must be able to respond to the writing
prompt that addresses GE Area D2 SLO 1 (as shown in the “Student Learning Outcomes”
section of the course syllabus). You must cite and discuss the course readings in your
paper.
In order to write this paper, you must also be following politics in the news. I have posted a
number of links to approved news outlets on Canvas. If you choose to use a news outlet
not listed on Canvas, please check with me about its validity beforehand. Failure to
do so will result in a lower grade.
This paper is designed to help you see the relationship between course material and
current political events, to review the readings and lectures, and to help you develop your
writing skills. Each paper will be assessed on the following criteria: reference to and
evidence of understanding the course material; your ability to draw on examples from
current political events; and writing skills. Poor grammar, bad spelling, incoherence, and
summary without analysis will result in lower paper grades. The rubric I will use is
posted on Canvas so you know exactly where points can be earned and lost.
Due Date
Papers are to be uploaded to Canvas as Microsoft Word documents and are due no later
than 11:59pm Pacific on Friday, July 1, 2022. Late submissions will only be accepted due
to extenuating circumstances. Contact me via email (evieira@csufresno.edu) if you have
any questions. (Directions for emailing professional colleagues are posted on Canvas.)
Prompt
Select your favorite branch of government (i.e., legislative, executive, or judicial) and
explain why it is the best. Compare and contrast its strengths and weaknesses with the
other two branches of government in order to convince your reader why you are correct.
Be sure to include both state (i.e., California) and national governments in your analysis.
Length
Remember your paper should be 1,000 words, typed, and double-spaced. While some folks
may struggle to write 1,000 words, the hard part (in my opinion) is to not exceed that
threshold. Brevity and succinctness are valuable writing skills to develop for your academic
and professional careers. Note: your bibliography page will not count toward your final
word count
Font and Margins
You can use whichever font you like, but the font size should be 12-point and double-
Font and Margins
You can use whichever font you like, but the font size should be 12-point and double.
spaced, and the margins should be 1″ all around.
Citations and Citation Style
You may use any citation style you desire as long as it is consistent. Remember to cite
where needed (e.g., when referencing specific and not generally-known facts). General
paraphrasing is fine, but page numbers are needed when you use direct quotes. A good
rule of thumb: when in doubt, cite! The applicable course readings should be cited in
addition to your independent research, but remember to use your own voice – nobody
wants to read a string of direct quotes for 3+ pages.
Title and Page Numbers
Along with your name, your papers should also include a descriptive title. (“Congress” or
“The Presidency” are not descriptive titles.) Page numbers are also required, but should not
appear on the first page. In addition, please do not include a title page for this assignment.
Road Map
This refers to an outlined argument in your introduction. You need to make an argument
and lay out how you propose to explain and defend that argument (i.e., previewing). Tell
your reader what you are going to tell them in your introduction (e.g., “In this paper, I
argue..”) In the body of your paper, tell your reader by way of your presentation of
supporting evidence to bolster your argument. This includes counter-arguments,
qualifications, and limitations of your argument. And finally, tell your reader what you told
them in your conclusion. A good rule of thumb: your reader should know what your paper
is about by only reading the introduction and conclusion. The body of the paper is merely
the meat for the bones of the introduction and conclusion.
Summary v Analysis
Your paper should be an analysis of the readings rather than a summary of events. While it
is true that you may need to describe some parts of a reading in order to demonstrate your
knowledge of the course material, you do not need to write an entire paper on the
definition of democracy (as one example). Make references to examples from the readings
in order to describe how they relate to your chosen research topic, but do not summarize
the readings. I have read the assigned readings and assume you have done them, too. I do
not need or want to re-read them. Again, your paper should be arguing a point; it should
not be a regurgitation of articles and books.
Know Your Audience
Assume the person reading your paper knows nothing about your topic. Also, do not expect
facts to speak for themselves. Be explicit in your arguments at all times.
Sentence Errors
This is a catchall for a variety of issues. Spelling is a problem for some folks, which is why
you should always use the Spelling & Grammar check in Microsoft Word (or whatever
other word processor you employ). Do not use contractions in academic papers. And
remember – the easer it IS for me to read your papers (l.e., well-written and free of errors,
the better the grade you will earn.
The Learning Center
The Learning Center provides quality services and programs including tutoring,
Supplemental Instruction (SI), workshops, and consultation to the students, faculty, and
staff of the California State University, Fresno community. They promote student self-
responsibility, academic success, and life-long learning. In addition, they offer a variety of
writing resources. And best of all, it is FREE to all Fresno State students! Please visit the
Lower (Basement) Level of the Henry Madden Library, call 559.278.3052, or visit
https://sites.google.com/mail.fresnostate.edu/fresno-state-tutor-prep/writing for more information

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