Topics: Policy & Presidential Power
Instructions (note key changes from the midterm in red):
- Compose two comprehensive analytical essays that respond to each prompt. Things to consider:
- address each point in each prompt in two separate essays. Each prompt has 3 key ideas that are numbered.
- analyze (opinionate) on each point. analysis can be:
- application (how does this relate to other things)
- prescription (propose a solution)
- proscribe (criticize)
- combinations of different types of analysis, or other types
- explain your ideas and how you arrive at them
- source content using some method of citation (full citation not required)
- no particular format/structure style required (scoring is not based on adherence to MLA, APA, Vancouver, Turabian, Chicago, etc)
- only content from the course is acceptable, no outside sourcing of content
- Requirements for Essays
- Combined length should be between 5 and 15 pages for both essays (total, not 5 to 15 each)
- Indicate where one essay ends and the other essay begins
- feel free to upload two different files
- Double space
- Times New Roman size 12 font
- Title page is not mandatory
- Citation page is not mandatory (but citation is mandatory, no particular format)
- use full essay structure (thesis, introduce topics in background, analyze topics, conclusion)
Scoring is based on quality of analysis, completeness of explanation (including logic or cited reference), grammar (if there are major issues, minor issues ok), organization, and clarity of your analysis and explanations
- Possible 35 points
- Grades will be assigned as A+, A, B+,B, B-, etc….
Late work will be considerably marked down
- Try to demonstrate what you have learned from this course
- focus on the key points that were covered in the class material
- Some of you may wish to follow the order of the points as you see them in the prompt (but not required)
- You’ll naturally want to write more on some aspects than others, as the degree to which the readings and lectures focused on each aspect varied substantially. You can agree with all, some, or none of the statements,For the final, address each point with equal (or near equal) emphasis
- Remember that essays have a thesis and conclusion. (if you don’t like writing theses, try writing the thesis last!)
Prompts (write an essay for both, 5-15 pages total for both):
In the early part of this course you were told that the theory of American government led to a system which may not be very efficient but is excellent at preventing things we don’t want. As a result, we have a political system that maximizes input into the decision-making process. But the system is also one that minimizes the potential for policy change.
Write an essay explaining this state of affairs, focusing on: 1) how interest groups make their points of view heard through the political process, and the factors that make them more likely to be successful; 2) the various procedural roadblocks to passing legislation through the Congress; and 3) how the lack of party discipline makes it more difficult for Congress to pass legislation than in a parliamentary democracy.
It has often been said that the power of the American presidency mostly involves the power to persuade rather than to command. Taking into consideration all that you have learned in this class, write an essay elaborating on: 1) how Congress and the Supreme Court can constrain presidential power; 2) why the president has more power with regard to foreign policy than domestic policy; and 3) how presidents have sometimes been able to use executive orders to accomplish important goals by command.
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