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specific issue network attempting to shape government policy in American Politics today.

For this assignment, you are to provide a brief sample of a small part of one specific issue network attempting to shape government policy in American Politics today.  You should start this assignment by picking a single issue area to examine, and it should be fairly specific.  For instance, trying to outline the issue network of “Education” would be very difficult because of how many actors are involved in such a broad area of policy.  Picking a suitable topic is critical to this paper, and contacting the professor about a topic choice is highly recommended.
From there, you need to research the issue network surrounding this issue.  The following information is required for your chosen issue network:
•    Paragraph 1:  Topic Overview – ½ Page Minimum
o    For this opening paragraph, you want to briefly explain your policy area as it stands in 2013.
o    You should identify what governmental body (the President, Congress, the Bureaucracy, the public at large, etc), the issue network tries to influence.
•    Paragraph 2:  Side A – ½ Page Minimum
o    In this paragraph, you want to choose two (2) members of the issue network who are attempting to influence the policy area you described in the previous paragraph.  Typically, these will be interest groups.
o    You want to briefly explain each issue network member’s position in approximately 2-3 sentences (therefore, this paragraph should be approximately 4-6 sentences long).
o    It is important to show some form of clear difference between the two actors in this paragraph.
•    Paragraph 3:  Side B – ½ Page Minimum
o    In this paragraph, you want to discuss two (2) members of the issue network who are adversaries of the groups described in the previous paragraph.
o    You want to briefly explain each issue network member’s position on this issue in approximately 2-3 sentences (therefore, this paragraph also should be approximately 4-6 sentences long).
o    Again, you must find two issue network members for this paragraph, and you must show that there is a difference between the two groups you selected.
•    Additional Criteria:
o    At least one issue network member cannot be an interest group.
Research Requirements
This paper should be well researched and documented.  You want to use specific facts and evidence in order to really demonstrate your knowledge of your issue.  Additionally, one of the goals articulated by the university is to make students more skilled in conducting research.
1.    You are required to find at least four (4) sources for this paper.
2.    You are required to find at least one (1) print source for this paper.  Print resources are far more reliable than web-based sources.  These include newspapers, magazines, scholarly journal articles, or books.
3.    No sources may be under the direct control of any members of the issue network you discuss.
4.    All sources must be cited using either MLA or APA format.  Every citation in your paper must give the author’s last name and the page number of the citation when appropriate.  Therefore, in-text citations should appear as follows:

“It should be a priority for future military planners to identify a middle ground between the need to use overwhelming military power to end wars quickly and the need for defeated enemies to save face” (Housenick 96).

You will also need to provide the corresponding bibliographic information, listed in alphabetical order, in the “Works Cited” section at the end of your paper.  This works cited section does not count towards the length of your paper.  These entries should appear as follows:

Housenick, Christopher E.  “Winning Battles but Losing Wars:  Three Ways Success in Combat Promote Failures in Peace.”  Military Review 88 (2008):  91 – 98.

5.    You cannot cite your textbook or lecture notes for this paper.
6.    Below is the Research ‘DO NOT’ List, along with the associated penalties:
a.    Doing no research will automatically result in you receiving a zero for this entire paper.
b.    Turning in a paper with no in-text citations is plagiarism, and will result in a zero for this entire paper.
c.    Turning in a paper with no in-text citations but having a works cited is still plagiarism, and will result in a zero for this entire paper.
d.    Using only websites or other purely-internet sources for this paper will result in you receiving a zero for the research grade of this assignment.
e.    If you use footnotes, endnotes, or any other reference style that is not MLA or APA format with parenthetical, in-text citations to document your sources of information, you will receive a zero for the research grade of this assignment.
f.    If you use any form of encyclopedia (electronic, print, or otherwise, including About.com, Ask.com, Answers.com, Wikipedia, etc.) as sources, you will receiving a zero for the research grade of this assignment
General Format Requirements
•    Papers must be typed using 12 point fonts and double-spaced.

•    Do not include a heading on the first page of your paper.  Since this paper is being submitted electronically, a heading is pointless.  The first line of the paper should be your title, and the second line of the paper should begin your introduction.

•    Your paper must have a title.  This lets the reader know what the paper is about, so even if it is boring and unimaginative, you need to have a title.

•    You must use page numbers.  The preferred method is to put your last name and the page number in the upper right hand corner of the paper’s page headers starting on the second page; however any reasonable method will suffice.

•    Be conscious of statistics.  People often use statistics to help support their arguments.  Be conscious and analytical — statistics can be misleading.  You should consider as many ways of interpreting statistics as possible.

•    Certain words should be completely avoided.  There are certain words that should be avoided in academic writing.  They often convey a meaning that you do not intend; some of these words are:
o    Always / Forever / Eternally (Nothing is eternal in politics; try “Almost always” instead)
o    Obviously (99.9% of the time, when a student writes this word, they omit something important or critical.  Nothing is ever obvious; make your case.)
o    Proof / Prove (These are mathematical ideas, and completely inappropriate for social science usage.  Try “provide evidence for…”)

•    Do not use contractions.  The use of contractions (such as can’t for cannot, won’t for will not) is inappropriate for formal writing, unless they are in a direct quotation.

•    Proofread and spell check.  Bill Gates and Microsoft provide lots of nice red and green squiggly lines to tell you when you misspell something or use poor grammar.  Also proofread your paper very carefully—Word’s spelling checker does create its own version of mistakes, such as “fore” when you mean “four”; the auto-correct feature will change the spelling of a word that you do not mean.  Someone in this class will write the “Untied States of America.”

•    Do not adjust margins or fonts to extend your paper.  Altering fonts (by using Courier-New instead of Calibri, Cambria, Times New Roman or Arial) or changing margins sticks out like a sore thumb and makes your paper look exceptionally shoddy, even if you have good ideas.  If you find yourself coming up short in paper length, it is better for the paper to be briefer than expected but correctly formatted than attempt to hide the length problem with clever computer tricks.
Plagiarism
•    All submitted papers will be run through an anti-plagiarism program entitled TurnItIn, which will automatically scan your papers in search of plagiarism.
•    A paper guilty of plagiarism will receive a zero for the entire assignment.
•    You must provide a parenthetical, in-text citation when:
o    If you have four words (or more) identical to another author, put quotations around it and cite it in the very same sentence.
o    If you take any specific numbers, specific figures, or specific statistics from an outside source, you must cite that original source in that very same sentence. (This is a writing standard for political science, and may be different from what you were taught in College Writing I or College Writing II)
o    If you paraphrase another author, cite it at often as seems appropriate, but it must be at least twice in that paragraph.
o    This list is only a few of the more common guidelines of when you ust include a citation.
•    If you find yourself stuck between deciding whether or not to cite a source, ALWAYS choose to cite the original author.  A paper that is a little choppy because of too many citations is an inconvenience, but getting a zero on this paper for academic dishonesty is far worse.
•    Plagiarism has nothing to do with intent.  A common conception is that a student is only plagiarizing when they actively decide to cheat on a paper and not give proper credit.  This conception is completely wrong.  Accidental or intentional, if you use someone else’s ideas in your paper and fail to give proper credit, you have plagiarized.  It does not matter if you did it intentionally to cheat, if you ran out of time because of the deadline, or simply forgot.
•    Again, DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!

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