PRE- APPROVED TOPICS:  Essay Approval is not required if one of the following topics is used: abortion, death penalty, legalization of marijuana, gay marriage, stem cell research, gun rights, tax reform, lowering legal age of alcohol consumption, and immigration reform.

-The Political issue essays are expected to highlight both sides of a political issue. Students are allowed to take a political standpoint as long as both sides of the political issue are explored. For example, a student may want to explore the political issue of abortion. A student should provide a very brief historical perspective of abortion and explore both the pro-life and pro-choice political perspectives. Finally, students can argue whether they feel that abortion is appropriate or under which conditions and circumstances that abortion is acceptable or unacceptable.

Papers may be refused if they do not adhere to the following basic requirements:

-The essay should be at least 1000 words in standard academic format

-12pt. Times New Roman Font, and double spaced formatting.

-Students are required to utilize at least three academic resources (There is a link to Galileo from the course home page- wikipedia and ask.com are not academic resources).

-The paper must be in MLA format.

-All essays must be in a word document format (.doc or .docx)

Penalties- If a paper is not submitted by the deadline then the paper is considered late. Papers will be accepted at any time prior to the deadline.


Scoring Rubric for Political Issue Essay:

The following information is intended to supply students with a clear understanding of the Political Issue Essay expectations and grading rubric. The Essay is worth 250 points with a breakdown as follows: Content 100 Points, Formatting 50 Points, Resources 50 Points, and Deadline 50 points.

Quality of Content (100 points)

(100 Points) The essay has a clear grasp of the political issue and provides convincing support from the various readings regarding both sides of the issue. The writer demonstrates a strong command of the language through a variety of sentence structures, word choices, quotes or paraphrases from the readings (consistently cited correctly). Control of usage and mechanics, despite occasional flaws, contributes to the writer’s ability to communicate the purpose of the paper. The writer thoroughly understands the concepts/theories involved.

(80 Points) The essay presents a clear understanding of the topic. A complete mastery of the theories may not be fully indicated with the use of quotes or paraphrases, but the writer provides enough supporting details to illustrate both sides of the political issue is understood. The quotes and paraphrases from the readings are used appropriately and cited correctly. There are occasional errors in usage and mechanics, but they do not excessively interfere with the writer’s ability to communicate the purpose of the paper.

(60 Points) The essay presents a basic understanding of the topic. The writer may or may not have completed all of the required readings and utilizes generalizations. The quotes and paraphrases from the readings are used appropriately and cited correctly. Command of the theories and major aspects of the political issue under consideration is weak. Sentence structure tends to be repetitious, and errors in usage and mechanics sometimes interfere with the writer’s ability to communicate the purpose of the paper.
(40 Points) The essay may address the major political issue; however, the plan of development is usually not carried out. This indicates the writer may have spent little time with the readings or thinking about the political issue. The writer provides support that tends to be illogical. Sentence structure is simplistic, repetitious and occasionally awkward. Language is often inappropriate in tone, or style. Errors in usage and mechanics are frequent.

(20 Points) The paper presents a weak understanding of a political issue. Support, if any, tends to be rambling and superficial. The quotes and paraphrases from the readings are used inappropriately and cited incorrectly Sentence structure is difficult to follow and errors in usage and mechanics interfere with the writer’s ability to communicate the purpose of the paper.
Quality of Formatting (50)
(50 Points) The essay used proper MLA formatting throughout the work including in-text citations and works cited page.
(25 Points) The essay is clearly formatted, but it does not have MLA formatting appropriately throughout the work. The in-text citations and works cited page are not adequately formatted in a consistent manner.
(0 Points) The essay is not formatted according to MLA or any discerning standard
Quality of Resources (50)
(50 Points) The essay used a minimum of 3 quality academic resources in a meaningful manner throughout the paper

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