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American National Government: Research Project -- Traditional Paper

Traditional Research Project

Select one of the topics below and write a paper of at least 1200 words. 
1. Write a paper in which you discuss the role interest groups play in the American political system and how they attempt to shape public policy.  After that, select a specific national piece of legislation during the Obama administration and identify two groups in favor of the legislation and two groups opposed to the legislation. Explain how the groups attempted to influence the passage or defeat of the legislation. 

2. Write a paper in which you discuss the role of the president as chief legislator. Why is there conflict between Congress and the president while the president is performing the role of chief legislator?  Select a specific instance of public policy conflict between Congress and President Obama and explain the reasons for the conflict.

3. In the United States, we use the winner-take-all electoral system in electoral districts for Congress. Write a paper in which you discuss the winner-take-all system and the proportional system of representation. For the proportional system, you should select a country that use the proportional system and briefly explain how it works in that country. Should the American winner-take-all system be abolished and replaced with a proportional system of representation?  If yes, why?  If no, why not?  Do not discuss the presidential election process.  Do not discuss the Electoral College.  Focus on congressional (U.S. House) districts.

4. Write a paper in which you define foreign policy, discuss the role of the president and Congress in foreign policy formulation, and discuss a specific foreign policy (toward a country) of the Obama administration. Make sure to give the name of the policy, the nation involved, and indicate what the policy was designed to accomplish.

5. Over the years the balance of power between the nation and the states has shifted. Write a paper in which you briefly discuss (in one or two paragraphs) how the Framers of the Constitution arranged government power between that nation and the states. After that, discuss two periods in American history that impacted on the balance of power between the national government and the states. Within those two periods, specify what lead to the shift in power. Explain how power shifted between the national government and the states and identify the level of government that gained the power. Identify the power that was gained. Do not discuss the period of transition from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. Discuss periods after ratification of the 1787 Constitution.

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Welcome to the Library (video transcript)

Search Strategies

Search Strategy Tutorial: How to conduct a search strategy prior to starting your research.

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Journal Article Search Log: Use to track your research.

Handout: Journal Article Search Log: This is a sample completed search log used to track journal article research results.

Sample APA Style Annotated Bibliography: For additional information, see pages 307-308 of The Publication Manual

Recommended Databases

Introduction to Your Topic

  • Your textbook
  • Virtual Reference Library (Gale) database

Deeper Research on Important Sub-topics

  • Academic OneFile (Gale)
  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCO)
  • EJS Journals (EBSCO)

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APA (7th ed.) Help

Introduction to APA Style Video (7th ed.) & Transcript

APA Style (7th ed.) Guides (formatting/in-text citations/references):

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