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POL 101: American Government


Governments administer, or design and implement public policy to address social problems and controversies. Politics is the contested social process whereby individuals and groups compete to have government represent varied and often opposed interests as official public policy. In a 5-7 page essay, you are to write an academic research paper which MUST be organized around answering the following themes:

1.) Identify and explain an important political issue that the federal government administers through public policy. Why is the issue controversial? What are the relevant facts? Provide data.

 2.) Identify the primary interest groups involved in the politics of the political issue. How do they get government to do what they want? Do they lobby the Congress and executive branch of government? Do they mobilize the public with information and grassroots movements? Be specific.

 3.) Identify and explain how the federal government administers the policies that address the political issue. What laws have Congress passed regarding the issue? What executive department, agency, or bureau is responsible in creating and enforcing the public policies and programs related to the issue? How have the federal courts and Supreme ourt ruled in interpreting the constitutionality of legislation and policies related to the political issue?

 4. Conclude by providing an assessment of your research: Are government institutions effective in addressing the political issue through public policy? Why or why not?

 These four key points must be addressed in the essay. This essay is expected to be double spaced, written in a 12 point font (Calibri or New Times Roman), and utilize appropriate margins. Its length must be at least five full pages but no more than seven full pages. Each essay must follow an acceptable academic format containing an introductory paragraph with thesis statement, coherently organized body paragraphs providing evidence supporting your thesis, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes your reasoning provided in the essay. The essay is also to have a proper citation format utilized for referencing source materials. I leave the citation format open to student choice (i.e. APA, MLA, Chicago), so long as it is done correctly. Good essays show your ability to critically and creatively utilize intellectual skill in applying course material to original academic work.