For this paper evaluate one to three items from the list below that you feel has the greatest impact on advancing democracy in the United States. Racial Inequality, due process protections, Limited government
Political Science 1: Brief “Democracy Paper” Instructions
1. For this paper evaluate one to three items from the list below that you feel has the greatest impact on advancing democracy in the United States.
Racial Inequality due process protections Limited government
Gender Inequality Interest Group Behavior Civic Education
Right of Privacy voting & elections 1st Amendment rights
Civil Rights Bill of Rights role of media and political socialization
Civil Liberties Bureaucracy Immigration/Xenophobia
Bicameral Legislature LGBTQIA concerns Gerrymandering
Political Parties Economic Inequality Campaign Spending & Elections
2. In the conclusion of this paper, please explain what role any individual person could play in society to promote a more effective and better functioning democratic system.
The Democracy Paper consists of:
5-6 pages (not counting the Cover Page or Bibliography Page)
APA “in-text” citations must be used
Double Spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font
6-8 scholarly “peer-reviewed” sources
Cover page & Bibliography Page included
Political Science 1: “Thesis Assignment” Instructions
As you can see in the course work schedule you have a “Thesis Assignment” due no later than Sunday, May 1st, by 11:59 p.m. The central aim of the Thesis Assignment is to prevent you from procrastinating on your Democracy Paper. Specifically, the Thesis Assignment simply just requires that you write out the introductory paragraph of your Democracy Paper and submit it online so that I can see that you are on the right track. Recall that the introductory paragraph of your Democracy Paper should be roughly half a page to three quarters of a page in length (so your Thesis Assignment doesn’t require that much writing at all).
Your introductory paragraph should clearly set the table for what your Democracy Paper is trying to accomplish. That means your introductory paragraph (written in the 3rd Person, not the 1st person) should introduce the precise topic that you will be examining and assert the precise argument that your paper will be making with respect to how best to improve democracy in America (that is, how to expand its political inclusiveness).
Keep in mind that before you can effectively begin to write out your Thesis Assignment (or Introductory Paragraph) it might be a good idea to first do some preliminary research on your topic so that you have at least some basic understandings of what you should be arguing about. Perhaps you may already have in mind some notion of the broader contours of your potential argument for improving democracy but in order to focus it like a laser you will have to familiarize yourself with some scholarly articles and/or books that have already examined the topic more critically.
A great place to begin searching for scholarly sources is to go to our school web site at www.wlac.edu (Links to an external site.). Once you are on the home page simply look to the bottom of your screen and you will see the “Library” tab. Click on it and this will take you to our internal library database system. Once you are in the new screen/window simply click on “Databases” on the left hand side of the page and this will take you to a listing of online article databases.
Now it is up to you to peruse and to do the “grunt” work of researching but let me at least point you in the right direction by suggesting some of the more useful article databases for doing social science research. For starters, check out “Academic Search Complete.” This is a great database for finding scholarly, peer-reviewed articles, but you are going to have to take time to refine your search accordingly in order to grab what you are looking for.
I would also look at other databases, such as “CQ Researcher,” “Political Science Complete,” “Academic One File,” “Opposing Viewpoints in Context,” and even “LexisNexis” or “ProQuest.” Of course, there are additional databases available in our system so take the time to browse more carefully but these are some of the ones that other students have indicated were useful for writing their papers.
Of course, you do not have to rely solely on West LA’s library database system, so feel free to use your local library or another school system’s library database. All I care is that the articles that you retrieve to develop this research paper are mostly scholarly and peer-reviewed so wherever you acquire them is ultimately up to you. Bottom line do not forget to upload this “Thesis Assignment” on time and to make sure that you formulate an introductory paragraph that accomplishes everything that I just mentioned above. You are being graded on this short writing assignment so take it seriously.
I am essentially looking to see how effectively you introduce your topic and how clearly you convey your argument concerning how best to advance democracy in America. Make sure that your spelling, punctuation, and grammar are all sound and above all make sure that your thesis (that is, your central argument about advancing democracy) is not vague or indirect, but rather persuasive and razor sharp. The better you can meet these standards the higher your score will be on this particular thesis assignment.
Lastly, make sure to include a Cover Page for this Thesis Assignment. Just put your name on it, the section number for our course, and the title “Thesis Assignment.” Make sure to upload your Thesis Assignment as a Word or PDF document that I can open!
Formatting the Democracy Paper – Make Sure to Follow these Rules
There are some basic rules that you must follow for writing a proper Research Paper. Firstly, make sure that your paper is double-spaced, includes page numbers, and is written in 12 point Times New Roman font. Make sure to include a basic cover page with your name, the section number of our course, and also on this cover page create a title for your research paper and lastly don’t forget to list the particular “items” that your paper ended up focusing on for its argument about advancing democracy.
Secondly, remember that this paper must be 5-6 pages in length. This page range does not include the Cover Page nor the Bibliography Page that must be included at the end of your paper. So make sure that you have written a legitimate 5-6 pages of text. If you have to, you may go over 6 pages but writing under 5 pages will certainly lower your grade.
Thirdly, remember that this is a research paper so avoid using the “first person” and do not use “I”, “our,” or “we” anywhere in this paper. In a comparative literature class that may be acceptable but in a social science class the focus is on your argumentation and the evidence that you bring to bear to defend your thesis. So only write in the third person for this paper and keep the reader’s attention on your paraphrasing of scholarly information that will illuminate the persuasiveness of your thesis.
Fourthly, avoid plagiarism and do your own work. Remember that a research paper requires that you “paraphrase” the ideas of other scholars and sources in order to show how your thesis holds argumentative weight. To “paraphrase” means to REWRITE ENTIRELY IN YOUR OWN WORDS the ideas, concepts, or information that you are using from other sources.
Specifically, immediately after you have paraphrased some content you must place an APA “in-text” citation right after the sentence or paragraph that you just paraphrased. Let me be a little clearer here. You don’t have to place an “in-text” citation after every sentence but perhaps after every discrete paragraph it would be wise to indicate what sources you just used for that particular paragraph’s paraphrasing.
For instruction on APA “in-text” citation mechanics please see the “APA Citation Resources” sub-module that is located under the Week One: “Getting Started” Main Module. In that sub-module or sub-section there should be a document that explains APA citation mechanics for beginners and another document that is an actual example of a completed paper using APA in-text citations.
Additionally, in that sub-module you should also be able to access a template of a completed APA Reference List (or Bibliography Page). And don’t forget that you can also just simply “google” the website “Purdue Owl” and access its APA Formatting Guide which is incredibly helpful because it gives you examples of both “in-text” and “Reference List” formatting. Trust me, I realize that many of you may not be familiar with APA mechanics so just do your best (that’s all I ask) at applying these “in-text” citations within your paper.
That is the aim here – to give reasonable accountability to the sources that influenced your argumentation. Remember that the stronger papers avoid falling into the trap of simply “commentating” or “editorializing.” Rather, the superior papers draw on quality sources to develop their arguments and do their best to account for these sources by applying APA “in-text” citations along with a Reference List page at the end of the paper.
Another small point to raise here is not to overburden your paper with unnecessary quotes. No more than 5% of your paper’s analysis should be constituted from quotes so only use quotes if you see that the precise wording of another scholar may serve to enhance an important point that you are attempting to make.
Remember that if you decide to quote from another source you must also include the page number (or paragraph stanza) in your APA “in-text citation (along with the last name of the author and the year of the source). However, when you are merely paraphrasing (and not quoting) then it is only necessary to include the last name of the author and the year in your APA “in-text” citation.
Refer to the APA documents under the “APA Citation Resources” sub-module or the website Purdue Owl for more guidance on these issues (But just try your best here, that is all I ask for, don’t worry about needing to be perfect with APA).
The organizational structure of this paper is pretty straightforward. Your paper should begin with an introductory paragraph that introduces the topic of the paper and also clearly states the argument (or thesis) that you will be defending in this paper. Remember to write your paper entirely in the 3rd Person.
Your introductory paragraph should be roughly half a page to three quarters of a page in length. Next is the body of your paper (as you likely learned in high school) and this section of your paper should be the most extensive because here is where you are defending your thesis by drawing on scholarly sources that will provide information to support the claims of your thesis.
Obviously here in the body of the paper is where I expect to see most of your APA “in-text” citations. Also keep in mind that the body of your paper should be written through multiple paragraphs so take time to organize this section of the paper carefully, using your scholarly sources strategically to defend your central thesis.