Identify an issue that involves federalism, then conduct research on how both the US federal government and Texas state government addressing it (this requires examining the history, application and effectiveness of laws at both levels).
Pick one of the following topics:
Women’s rights and funding for family planning
Infrastructure development and funding
Public education policy and the Common Core
State opposition to Federal environmental policy
Affordable Care Act and Medicaid funding
Joint law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking
Texas Voter ID Law and the Voting Rights Act (1965)
Step 2 – Gathering Sources
Conduct research to locate three peer-reviewed, academic journal articles (aka: scholarly sources) that specifically address issues within the foreign policy relationship you selected and meet the following criteria:
The articles must be no more than ten (10) years old.
The article must have more than five (5) pages of actual content (without graphs, charts, footnotes, citations, etc.).
Books will not count toward the minimum research requirements.
Carefully choose those sources that provide a variety of perspectives on your selected topic.
In addition to the minimum research requirements, you should offer “supplemental sources” for essential current events information relevant to your topic. These may include academic sources that are not peer-reviewed (position papers), newspaper articles, magazine articles, and other quality or reputable sources.
Textbooks, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), Almanacs, or an Atlas are reference materials and are not to be listed as sources on the collegiate level.
Provide the formal MLA citation for each source, both in the body of the essay and on the works cited page.
Step 3 – The Proposal
Submit a one to two page proposal to the appropriate dropbox by the date specified in the course calendar. The proposal should:
Identify the topic in one or two paragraphs.
Summarize the policy topic you will be addressing
Describe the current status of the policy or topic as it relates to the differing roles of the state and federal governments
Describe why this policy is important to Texas and the United States
Cite each of your academic journal articles (not supplemental sources) at least once in the paragraph using correct MLA in-text citations.
Include the Works Cited or Reference section with the three (at a minimum) peer-reviewed academic journal articles that will form the basis of your policy paper.
These three references must be cited in the final policy paper.
Additional sources can be added (and should if a good grade is desired), but they cannot be changed without permission after the proposal is approved.
The Works Cited or Reference section must be formatted using MLA citation style.
Do not use block quotations or first person in the proposal or final policy paper!
References provided in the proposal cannot be changed at a later date without approval (see Step 4 below).
An example of a good policy proposal is provided in eCampus.
A fundamental expectation of college writing is that all key arguments, facts, assertions and claims are supported with research (i.e. parenthetical citations). When a source has been cited, you are expected to acknowledge the source in the body of your text and on a Works Cited page using formal MLA citation format. The paper must be completed using the formatting guidelines provided in the syllabus as “Guidelines for all Coursework.”
I do not allow students to recycle or use essays from other courses. You must receive consent from me in order to do so and you will need to provide a solid justification. Please do not simply submit an assignment that you’ve used in another course as it will not be accepted unless approved.
Revise and Resubmit Policy
The purpose of the proposal process is for your instructor to confirm that 1) you have selected three appropriate scholarly, peer-reviewed sources and 2) that you have selected an appropriate topic. Additionally, it allows your instructor to give you feedback on your writing (grammar, sentence composition, punctuation, and spelling) as well as your use of proper MLA citation formatting.
Should you submit a proposal that 1) does not address an appropriate topic, 2) does not reference three scholarly sources, or 3) does not use proper MLA in-text citations, you will be asked to “revise and resubmit” the assignment. In such cases, the revision will be worth up to half credit. The instructor will inform you of the due date and conditions of resubmission.
The Revise and Resubmit applies only to policy proposals that are submitted by the due date. Only one “Revise and Resubmit” will be allowed. Failure to resubmit the revision before the provided due date, or failure to correct the identified issues in need of revision, will result in a zero for the proposal grade. More seriously, students that do not successfully complete the proposal assignment will be in a position to failing the course if their policy paper topic and sources do not meet minimum requirements.
Failure to complete the proposal or a requested revision will result in the entire assignment being incomplete.
Step 4 – The Policy Paper
Prepare a formal research paper regarding the selected policy. The assignment is to be 5-8 pages excluding any direct quotes, paraphrased information, cover page and works cited page(s).
The essay is to discuss each of the following prompts:
An introduction and brief overview of the policy relationship.
What are the major issues facing each country involved?
What are the reasons for initiating changes to the policy?
What are the options to be considered (discuss several)?
What are the pros and cons of each potential reform (costs v. benefits)?
Which is the best option moving forward (pick one)?
A summary and conclusion
The standards used to assess the quality of your work for this project are detailed in a grading rubric, which has been provided in the term project area.
It is strongly suggested that every student read ahead and use the library database during the first days of the course to begin researching a topic. This project requires carefully planning throughout the semester.
Refer to the course calendar for the specific due dates. The proposal and the final essay are to be submitted as a single file via the SafeAssign online submission system. There is a dropbox in unit 1 for the proposal and a dropbox in unit 2 for the final paper