Pol 211

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Final Paper Outline

Review the Final Paper instruction in Week Five of the online classroom or the “Components of Course Evaluation” section of this Course Guide. Submit an outline of your Final Paper. You will receive brief feedback on the status, and you will receive up to five points for submitting an outline. In order to earn full credit for this assignment, your outline must contain (a) a thesis statement that addresses the topic of the Final Paper, (b) a brief description of your position and opposing counter-argument, (c) a brief description of the overall effect of your issue on our political system, and (d) the resources you intend to use. If you would like to review material on creating an outline, visit the Ashford Writing Center located in the Learning Resources tab in the left navigation bar.

Final Paper

The U.S. political system is based on several conflicting political processes, political behaviors, institutions, and issues. Below is a list of some of these contentious political issues that affect our system of government. Select one of these issues and create a logical argument defending or opposing the issue. Use at least six scholarly sources, including your textbook, to support your argument. Make sure you address counter-arguments to the issue you select.

The purpose of this Final Paper is to not only demonstrate an understanding of selected political behaviors but also apply critical thinking in the analysis the most pressing current political issues.

Here is a draft outline of what your Final Paper should contain:

  1. Introduction:
    1. Preview of your thesis/argument/position.
    2. Preview of your main points.
  2. Explanation of your position:
    1. Describe your position and support it using scholarly sources.
    2. Discuss why your position is valid and/or credible and support your discussion using scholarly sources.
  3. Explanation of the opposing position (counter-arguments):
    1. Describe the opposing positions and use scholarly sources to support it.
    2. Discuss why the opposing position is not valid and/or credible and use scholarly sources to support your argument.
  4. Overall effect on our political system:
    1. Describe how your issue affects our political system.
    2. Evaluate the effect on our political system.
      • Determine if the issue is having an overall positive or negative effect on our democracy.
      • Support your evaluation using scholarly sources.
  5. Conclusion:
    1. Review your thesis/argument/position.
    2. Review your main points.


Select your topic from the list of issues below:

  • The U.S. government is too large.
  • The U.S. government does not supply enough social services.
  • The U.S. tax system is unfair.
  • The Executive Branch has too much power.
  • The Legislative Branch has too much power.
  • The Judicial Branch has too much power.
  • The media has too much power.
  • Civil rights/liberties are currently threatened by the federal government.
  • Public opinion has too much influence over political actors.
  • U.S. elections do not reflect the will of the people.


Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:

  1. Must be 10 to 12 double-spaced pages in length (excluding title and reference pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  2. Must include a title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  6. Must include at least six scholarly sources, which may include your textbook. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  7. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
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