This week, you will determine a policy for your Final Paper and begin your research regarding the policy of your choosing. It is important to remember that your paper should focus on a specific policy and that your paper will need to address the following components:
- Historical and constitutional basis for the American government’s structure
- The system of checks and balances
- The various roles (e.g., public opinion, media, special interest groups, etc.) concerning public policy and elections
- The voting system and election process
Please watch this video that walks through the steps of the paper development and expands on the four required sections of the paper.
Prepare: Since this is the first step in developing your Final Paper, it is recommended that you review POL201 Assignment Guide before beginning this assignment. A model POL201 Final Paper template and the POL201 Research Guide are both provided for you within the online classroom to utilize when completing your Final Paper. You should also review the Week 2 Policy and Your Life discussion and the list of some possible policies found in the Week 2 DQ and Final Paper Policy Examples in your online classroom, before completing this assignment.
The first step to researching your Final Paper is selecting a specific policy for your paper, which was part of the Week 2 Policy and Your Life discussion. Your paper must focus on a specific policy that focuses on an aspect of the United States government and ideally, that relates to your major and future career. You should be able to find research that will allow you to support your ideas. If you have questions or would like your instructor to approve your policy, please email them directly and/or discuss with your instructor and colleagues in the Week 2 Policy and Your Life discussion forum.
Reflect: Once you have found a topic that interests you, you will begin the research for your Final Paper this week. In addition to establishing your topic and the thesis for your paper, you will also provide an Annotated Bibliography (Links to an external site.) for four of the sources you intend to utilize to support your Final Paper. Each annotation should be a minimum of one full paragraph (five sentences) in length and should explain what the source discusses and how this links to your Final Paper topic. While your textbook can be utilized as a source, it does not count towards your four sources for this assignment. As your paper progresses, it is expected that you will find more sources to support your ideas for a minimum of eight sources are required for the final, with a minimum of five of those sources from the Ashford University Library databases. This research is necessary to develop a strong Final Paper. The following resources will help you to use the library effectively to find sources for your paper:
For guidance on using library databases to locate scholarly, peer-reviewed articles click on Help! Need Article (Links to an external site.)and then click the “How Do I Search for Articles” button from the Main Menu.
For guidance on identifying the types of sources you can use for academic research, watch this interactive tutorial on Evaluating Sources.
The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. Additionally, the POL201 Research Guide, located within the online classroom, is designed to help you find sources for your paper. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Be sure that the sources you are utilizing to support your ideas are valid, reliable, and not overly bias. For information on identifying information bias, watch this interactive tutorial on Subjective and Objective Statements (Links to an external site.).
Write: To complete the assignment, download the Week 2 Annotated Bibliography Worksheet from the online classroom to your computer, fill it out, and submit it via Waypoint. Within the worksheet, you will address your policy, find four scholarly sources to support your policy, and explain the significance of each of your four sources. Please be sure that each section is at least a full paragraph (minimum of five sentences) in length and fully addresses the questions presented. All references should be listed in full APA format and cited appropriately.
For help with Writing Basics (Links to an external site.) and Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.), please review the handouts and tutorials provided by the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.).
Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.