Federal GovernmentGOVT 2305-CW01

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DISCUSSION PAPER TOPIC CHOICES

1.) Examination of a Federal Election- This report will examine an election of a chief
executive (President) at the federal level. If a federal election is chosen, you MUST use the
Federal Elections Commission’s website at www.fec.gov as a source. If you are unsure
about your topic, please have it approved/reviewed beforehand. Finally, be sure to touch
on the following points:
• Historical Significance- What are the most significant facts about the election. What
major event(s) did it cause or have an effect on? Was there a power shift?
• Candidates- Who were the major candidates? What did they do before? What did they
do after (especially the loser)?
• Interesting Facts about Process- What led to the respective candidates running for
office (primaries, runoffs, etc.)? What were the finances involved? What roles did the
parties play? What about the media and interest groups? How was public opinion a
factor? What were the campaign strategies? Where did the candidates spend most of
their time? What were the respective platforms of the candidates? What were some
important campaign strategies used?
• Outcome- Who won? What were the final vote counts (include Electoral College results
for federal elections)? Any interesting trends among gender, regions, races, etc.?
• Political Impacts/Conclusion- What were the effects of the election? How did it
compare to what took place in 2016 or a previous election year? What was the
historical impact of the election? Did the exit polls hold up? Cite some examples of
some class topics and how they pertain to this election. Be sure to then conclude your
thoughts in a logical and concise manner.

2.) Examination of a Federal Law or Supreme Court Decision – In this report, you
will be expected to pick out a piece of legislation (that became law) or a court decision that
was of major importance. Discuss the history of the case/law. Why it was important? Who
were the major players and what side(s) of the issue were they on? What was the historical
significance of the case/law? What has occurred since it was passed or the decision was
made? What role did the media/public opinion/interest groups play? Use different facts,
statistics, and other supporting evidence to tell the story of the case/law and conclude with a
summary of its overall impacts and effectiveness. If you are unsure about your topic,
please have it approved/reviewed beforehand.

SOURCES

1.) Required Number of Sources
You may use any sources necessary (internet, books, journal/magazine articles, newspaper
articles) with a minimum of five (5) sources. Wikipedia and other online sources that allow
for arbitrary changes to be made are NOT acceptable resources to be used. You should also
not use your textbook as a source unless you absolutely cannot find an alternate source for
that information. If you have a question about a potential source, please ask ahead of time.

2.) Citations/Plagiarism
As mentioned, plagiarism will not be tolerated. To put it plainly, plagiarism is the use of
another’s work without due regard to that person’s credit. The proper citation method is to
put in quotations a direct quote sentence and follow the end of the sentence (before the
period) with the author’s name and page number. For example, quoting Anderson’s article on
page 20 would look like this: (Anderson 20). You should use this method at the end of a
sentence/paragraph that is also a paraphrase; that is to say, a section that may be in your own
words but takes an idea directly from another source. The source should, of course, also be
in your bibliography.
3.) Bibliography/Works Cited Page Logistics
The first line should have as a centered heading: Bibliography/Works Cited. Your entries (in
proper MLA or APA format) should be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name. If
you have any questions on this, please feel free to contact me

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