This activity is an opportunity for you to closely examine a contemporary policy issue between the state of Texas and the United States federal government. Over its history, the Texas government has had many conflicts with the national government as part of the dynamics under a federal system of governance (federalism). There are two parts to this assignment:
Part 1: The Proposal
There are three steps to completing this part.
Step 1 – Identifying the Issue
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
Women’s rights and access to abortion services
Public education policy and funding
Public education policy and Common Core
Environmental policy and air pollution
Environmental policy and hydraulic fracking
Affordable Care Act and Medicaid funding
Joint law enforcement efforts to combat drug trafficking
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 the policy issue that you selected and meet the following criteria:
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 These may include academic sources that are not peer-reviewed (position papers), newspaper articles, magazine articles, and other quality or reputable sources.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 considered peer-reviewed.
Provide the formal MLA citation for each source, both in the essay and on the works cited page.
Step 3 – The Proposal
Submit a one-page proposal to the appropriate dropbox by the date specified in the course calendar. The proposal is to contain the following:
Identify the topic in a single paragraph by:
Include a bibliography listing the three primary sources. The citations are to be formatted using MLA citation style.
Summarize the policy topic you will be addressing.
Describe the current status of the policy or topic.
Describe why the policy is important.
A model proposal has been provided in eCampus.
Revise and Resubmit Policy: The purpose of the proposal process is for your instructor to confirm that 1) you have selected three appropriate peer-reviewed journal articles 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 does not address a topic that meet the criteria, or does not have three peer-reviewed journal articles, you will be asked to “revise and resubmit” the assignment. In such cases, each revision will be deducted 10 points and after 4 attempts the assignment will earn a zero and will be considered incomplete.
The instructor will inform you of the due date and conditions of resubmission. 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.
Failure to complete the proposal or a requested revision will result in the entire assignment being incomplete.
Part 2: Final Draft
Your task will be to prepare a formal research paper regarding the selected policy. The assignment is to be 4 pages with in-text citations for your research (the cover page and reference page does not count towards the four pages). 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 level of government?
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 grading standards used to assess the quality of your work for this project will be detailed in a grading rubric, which will be provided during the semester.
It is strongly suggested that every student read ahead and use the library database during the first week 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 date. The final product is to be submitted as a single file via the submission guidelines identified by the instructor.
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