The purpose of the project is to give students an opportunity to discuss a key political science concept, and to show a basic understanding of academic research and reporting skills. The project consists of producing a 500-750 word essay on one of the provided topics (see below), as well as a works cited page for sources containing information used in the essay. The assignment is to be formatted according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Students should research this style in order to properly format the assignment; papers not formatted properly will not receive a passing grade.
Students should use Courier or New Courier 12 point as the paper's font, double space the text, and create one inch margins on all four sides of the page. In addition, the assignment should be formatted according to MLA style for papers with no title page.
Please choose from one of the following topics for your writing assignment:
In Chapter 2, "The Constitutional Setting," the authors describe the various state constitutions of Texas, with particular attention to the current state constitution. Complete the following:
Describe the features of the current Texas constitution.
Explain the influences that were critical in the structure and powers of the government created in the final document.
Identify similarities and differences between the Texas Constitution and the U.S. constitution.
Illustrate your points with specific examples from each of the legislative, executive, and judicial articles.
In Chapter 5, "Voting, Campaigns, and Elections," the authors provide an in-depth discussion of voter turnout. Complete the following:
Explain how voter turnout is measured.
Compare voter turnout in the U.S. with that in other countries.
Describe the factors that affect the level of voter turnout in the United States.
Compare voter turnout in Texas to that in the United States as a whole.
Identify the historic and contemporary factors which have led to a culture of low voter turnout in Texas.
How do you think voter turnout could be increased in Texas?