Posted on December 6, 2018 Updated on December 6, 2018

Lesson Writing Assignments

The Lesson Writing Assignments are worth 100 points each.  Submissions that are more comprehensive and detailed will earn a higher point total.  You need several substantial paragraphs (minimum 500 words for each lesson writing assignment).  This exercise is to show that you have read the material and that you have thought about the issues.

You should use New Courier or Times New Roman, 12 point font, double-spacing, and one inch margins on all four sides of the paper.

All writing assignments will be analyzed using SafeAssign.  Essays that contain plagiarized material will receive a significant reduction in points or a zero.   Students may receive a failing grade in the course for submitting plagiarized material.  Do not cut and paste information from an online source or copy information directly from the chapter without using quotations and citing the information you used. The assignment is to be formatted according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style which includes a works cited page but does NOT include a title page.


Select ONE of the following topics to answer for the Lesson Writing Assignment. The writing assignment should be a minimum of 500 words. You should find most of the information you need to complete the assignment in the chapter, but you are allowed to use outside sources as well (such as news articles or government websites). DO NOT simply copy the information word for word from your sources. If you use information directly from the textbook or another source, it should be cited and the properly formatted citation should be provided at the end of the assignment. All assignments will be analyzed with SafeAssign to identify possible plagiarism.

1. Read Chapter 1 in the textbook, including “You Decide: Voices of Texas: Immigration in Texas,” and write an essay that addresses the following questions:

How is the population changing in Texas?
What are some of the possible political implications of the changing population in Texas?
After reading the “You Decide” passage, do you agree with Dan Patrick or Julian Castro? Should undocumented immigrants be given a pathway to citizenship or be sent back to their country of origin?
What are the pros and cons of illegal immigration in regards to both the U.S. and Texas economies? Consider how illegal immigrants have positively or negatively affected the economy.
Do you believe compromise is possible on immigration? Are the only two options deportations and amnesty? Is there a third option?
What role should the state of Texas play in the immigration policy?

2. Read Chapter 2 in the textbook, including “You Decide: Voice of Texas: Proposition 2 and Same-Sex Marriage,” and write an essay that addresses the following questions:

As compared to the US Constitution, why is the Texas Constitution so frequently amended?
How does the turnout for elections dealing with constitutional amendments compare to turnout for presidential elections?
Do you think the level of turnout influences the legitimacy of the amendments that are passed or rejected?
Is Proposition 2 a violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution?
Should Proposition 2 be deleted from the Texas Constitution? Why or why not?
Must the state recognize same-sex marriages that have been licensed and performed lawfully in another state? If so, why? If not, why not?
Do you believe that religious freedom gives people the right to deny their services for same-sex marriages? If so, why? If not, why not?

3. Read Chapter 3 in the textbook, including “You Decide: Voices of Texas: Voting Rights and Redistricting,” and write an essay that addresses the following questions:

Has the evolving relationship between the federal government and the states changed for the better or worse? Why?
How has Texas often responded to mandates from the federal government?
With regards to voting rights, is this an area where the federal government should have more or less influence on the states?
What is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act?
Does preclearance violate the Tenth Amendment and give the federal government too much power, or is it a necessary check on the states to make sure that minorities are not discriminated against?
Texas argued that it is unconstitutional to impose preclearance unless a state’s racial discrimination was as bad as what existed in 1965. In 2013, then-Attorney General Gregg Abbott argued that voter discrimination is no longer a problem in Texas and consequently is exempt from federal oversight. Do you agree? If yes, why? If not, why not?
What are two other areas where Texas is at odds with federal laws or mandates?

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