El Centro College
Research and Writing Assignment
This assignment may address the following SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes) for 2305: Upon Completion of this Course, students will be able to:
- SLO 2 – Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.
- SLO 3 – Describe the separate of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.
- SLO 4 – Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.
- SLO 5 – Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.
- SLO 6 – Analyze the election process.
- SLO 7 – Describe the rights and responsibilities of United States citizens.
- SLO 8 – Analyze issues and policies in United States politics.
- Pick a current position in the United States Government and write a paper on that government position (i.e. President, First Lady, Vice President, President’s Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, any cabinet head, Head of FBI, Supreme Court Justice, United States Attorney General, any United States Senator, any member of the United States House of Representatives, or any other position).
- Great places to start are whitehouse.gov, www.senate.gov, www.house.gov, www.supremecourt.gov
- In your paper you should:
- Describe the position, explain what does this person does and the sources of this person’s power (i.e. Constitution or another law or bill), who does this person share power with, who does this person report to / who provides a “check and balance” on this position?
- Explain how the role is filled (i.e. appointed or elected and the process).
- Who is the current person in this position and provide background information about this person and major goals / initiatives this individual has in this position.
- Is this person affiliated with a political party? What role does that play in this position (i.e. with election or appointment, with how this person carries out their duties, with decisions the person makes, with accountability)?
- What are the major issues confronting the person in this position currently?
- What is your opinion of this person and why?
- Based on your research, what are the major impacts in history of this position and explain.
Length and Style:
- Your paper should be in APA format and double spaced – an APA template in on our library page that you can save and use.
- Your paper should include a cover page, three (3) written pages at least, and a works cited page.
- You must use in-text citations – you will generally have at least one citation per paragraph. In text citations are in short form.
- You must include a works cited page at the end citing all of your sources in long form.
- If you need help with citations or have ANY questions re citations just get in touch with me and I will help you!
- A great resource for citations is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (put “Purdue Owl” in your search engine and you will easily find it. You can click on “APA Guide” and learn everything you want to learn about APA Format!
- You must use at least 4 credible sources.
- All 4 sources must be either secondary or primary sources and are credible sources from either library books or library databases.
- Wikipedia and Google are NOT sources.
- You must use at least one (1) chart, graph or other form of visual medium that you interpret / explain / comment on in your paper.
- Please use the librarians – they are eager to help you with your research. Include citations for ALL sources you use. A separate works cited page MUST be included, along with short form citations within the paper. As a general rule you should have at least one citation for every paragraph except the introduction and conclusion.
Turn in the Paper on BlackBoard:
- Your paper must be turned in via BlackBoard so it is maintained for college assessment purposes. There is a tab on our class page where you paper will be turned in.
- The rubric is posted online on our library page (El Centro Library / Government / 2305).