research paper american goverment

Research Paper Assignment

Choose one topic and complete at minimum 800 word paper that includes appropriate citations and format.

Instructions for the Critical Thinking Research Paper

Select a topic that interests you concerning a US political issue. Narrow your topic to a reasonable portion of an issue: Instead of taking on Immigration, consider a specific topic regarding immigration such as in-state college tuition for undocumented residents. Below are examples of topics but you may choose any topic that is a national issue and of interest to y ou.

According to Governing Today (, the top 10 legislative issues for 2016 are:

  • Worker pay
  • Preemption battles
  • School choice
  • Pay for success
  • State prison reform
  • Police accountability
  • Opioid addiction
  • Medicaid expansion
  • Environmental regulation
  • Road money
  • Shared economy

You can visit the Governing Today site for more information about each of these issues. Additional issues that are also trending: mental health funding, centralizing cybersecurity, marijuana, labor law and religious freedome. Information used from Governing Today is just a starting point. Conduct additional research to support your thesis.

Once you select your topic and begin your research, you must draft your final document with the following directions as your guide:

  1. Your paper must be at least 800 words. You must use at least five scholarly sources beyond Governing Today and beyond your textbook to support your thesis.
  2. Type your name and date in the upper-left-hand corner on the first page of the paper. You do not need a title page and abstract.
  3. Double-spaced with no smaller than a 12pt font.
  4. The rewording of someone else’s work and submitting it as your work without giving credit to the author is plagiarism. Such work will not be graded. It will be returned for rewrite. If this occurs, you will be given one week to submit the rewrite. Any thoughts, passages, ideas, and words of another should be documented appropriately in parenthetical citations and a reference page. You must use the MLA or APA style for citing in paper and for the reference page. Refer to The Little, Brown Handbook for examples of the APA style. You can access MLA and APA citation style handouts online through the SPC library online Web site. To access a page of links and information on the APA citation style, go to the SPC library online Web site at You can also access the library from the home page of MyCourses.
  5. You must have at least five different sources cited in the paper. You must have parenthetical citations and at least five publications cited on the reference page. Papers without citations in the body and a reference page will not be graded. The paper will be returned for rewrite.
  6. Use five sources. Encyclopedias (World Book, Encyclopedia Britannica, and on-line encyclopedias) and Wikipedia are NOT acceptable as research sources. There are some reference books in the college library and in the eBook collection that have the word encyclopedia in the title you can use. You cannot cite material from commercial Web sites. Three of the five sources you cite must come from databases SPC subscribes to through the SPC library online. If you submit a paper without references from databases, the paper will not be graded. To get to the databases, go to the SPC library online Web site at and start with Social Sciences.
  7. You cannot cite the American government textbook as one of your five sources; however, you should cite the textbook if you use it. It just should not be one of your five sources.
  8. If you have extensive citations from one source, you will have to rewrite the paper. Remember, at least five sources used throughout the paper.
  9. Personal interviews, statements on television, radio, and in videos or movies are not acceptable.
  10. If the paper is turned in short of the word requirement, you will write another paper on a different topic. You will need to make arrangements with your instructor in order for the re-write to be accepted for full or partial credit.

YOU MUST PROOF READ and SPELLCHECK your paper before you turn it in. Check the rubric to make sure you have met all of the criteria for this paper.

If you run into problems with the assignment, please contact your instructor IMMEDIATELY via email before the posted due date.

You must submit the paper in word (doc or docx), rtf or pdf document format into the Political Analysis Report Drop Box.

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