The sample Outline should provide you some ideas and directions. Brief "Democracy Paper" Instructions Evaluate one to three items from the list below that you feel has the greatest impact on advancing democracy in the United States. Racial inequality due process protections Limited government Gender inequality Interest Group behavior Civic Education Right of Privacy voting & elections 1st Amendment rights Civil Rights Bill of Rights "role of media and political socialization" Civil Liberties Bureaucracy Xenophobia/Immigration Bicameral Legislature Economic Inequality Gerrymandering Political Parties LGBTQIA Concerns Campaign Spending & Elections In the conclusion of this paper, please explain what role any individual person could play in society to promote a more effective and better functioning democratic system. The Democracy Paper consists of: 5-6 pages (not counting the Cover Page or Bibliography Page) APA “in-text” citations must be used Double Spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font 6-8 scholarly “peer-reviewed” sources Cover page & Bibliography Page included A must use source: American Government 2e (https://openstax.org/books/american-government-2e/pages/1-3-engagement-in-a-democracy) You may access the entire textbook from the link above. This is only one of the sources. More Detailed "Democracy Paper" Instructions The whole point of your Democracy Paper is to get you thinking critically about what factors in society we need to focus on in order to improve democracy in the United States. Bottom line, this paper is fundamentally about democracy, which, as you will learn in this class, is a particular type of political system that gives ultimate authority to its citizens to determine who their leaders will be and what kinds of policies will govern over them. But no democracy, including ours, is ever perfect and it is accordingly our responsibility to be thinking about what adjustments we can make (or should be focusing on) in order to ensure that the process of political decision-making is a function of the overall public’s concerns and needs as opposed to just some elite group or faction in society. That is to say, a democracy is more legitimate to the extent that it includes in its decision-making process as many different voices and perspectives as possible. Conversely, to the extent that a nation-state excludes or hinders the input of any particular group in society then we can safely say that this country is decidedly less democratic because it is undermining the basic principle of inclusion that is indispensable for being classified as a legitimate democracy. In saying all this, the best way to go about this "Democracy Paper" is to first think in what precise areas can America improve upon in order to get closer to this principle of “inclusion” that is so important for democratic legitimacy? If a well-functioning democracy means that as many people as possible should be able to wield some affect over our government’s decision-making process then how can we get America’s political system closer to this goal? Some may argue that we can reach this goal by focusing on racial equality (that is, doing what is necessary to facilitate minority participation in the political process). Others may suggest that limiting the power and influence of interest groups is the key. Still others may argue that securing our Civil Liberties from national government infringement is the answer. The point here is there is no perfect answer or solution to this problem. All of these issues are important but for purposes of this paper I just want you to focus on one or two (or possibly three) items from the list above that you feel hold extra significance for advancing democracy in the United States. Keep in mind that it is perfectly normal in the process of researching scholarly articles and books for this paper that your argument will evolve. And in fact, expect this to happen. It just makes sense that as you familiarize yourself with your topic and come across more sources you will see how certain items from the list above complement each other. But do not feel pressured to have to account for everything. That is not the aim here. Boundary your argument around one to three items from the list above and simply find the scholarly articles and books that defend your particular thesis for improving our country’s democratic system. Formatting the Democracy Paper – Make Sure to Follow these Rules There are some basic rules that you must follow for writing a proper Research Paper. Firstly, make sure that your paper is double-spaced, includes page numbers, and is written in 12 point Times New Roman font. Make sure to include a basic cover page with your name, the section number of our course, and also on this cover page create a title for your research paper and lastly don’t forget to list the particular “items” that your paper ended up focusing on for its argument about advancing democracy. Secondly, remember that this paper must be 5-6 pages in length. This page range does not include the Cover Page nor the Bibliography Page that must be included at the end of your paper. So make sure that you have written a legitimate 5-6 pages of text. If you have to, you may go over 6 pages but writing under 5 pages will certainly lower your grade. Thirdly, remember that this is a research paper so avoid using the “first person” and do not use “I”, “our,” or “we” anywhere in this paper. In a comparative literature class that may be acceptable but in a social science class the focus is on your argumentation and the evidence that you bring to bear to defend your thesis. So only write in the third person for this paper and keep the reader’s attention on your paraphrasing of scholarly information that will illuminate the persuasiveness of your thesis. Fourthly, avoid plagiarism and do your own work. Remember that a research paper requires that you “paraphrase” the ideas of other scholars and sources in order to show how your thesis holds argumentative weight. To “paraphrase” means to REWRITE ENTIRELY IN YOUR OWN WORDS the ideas, concepts, or information that you are using from other sources. Specifically, immediately after you have paraphrased some content you must place an APA “in-text” citation right after the sentence or paragraph that you just paraphrased. Let me be a little clearer here. You don’t have to place an “in-text” citation after every sentence but perhaps after every discrete paragraph it would be wise to indicate what sources you just used for that particular paragraph’s paraphrasing. For instruction on APA “in-text” citation mechanics please see the “APA Citation Resources” sub-module that is located under the Week One: "Getting Started" Main Module. In that sub-module or sub-section there should be a document that explains APA citation mechanics for beginners and another document that is an actual example of a completed paper using APA in-text citations. Additionally, in that sub-module you should also be able to access a template of a completed APA Reference List (or Bibliography Page). And don’t forget that you can also just simply “google” the website “Purdue Owl” and access its APA Formatting Guide which is incredibly helpful because it gives you examples of both “in-text” and “Reference List” formatting. Trust me, I realize that many of you may not be familiar with APA mechanics so just do your best (that's all I ask) at applying these “in-text” citations within your paper. That is the aim here – to give reasonable accountability to the sources that influenced your argumentation. Remember that the stronger papers avoid falling into the trap of simply “commentating” or “editorializing.” Rather, the superior papers draw on quality sources to develop their arguments and do their best to account for these sources by applying APA “in-text” citations along with a Reference List page at the end of the paper. Another small point to raise here is not to overburden your paper with unnecessary quotes. No more than 5% of your paper’s analysis should be constituted from quotes so only use quotes if you see that the precise wording of another scholar may serve to enhance an important point that you are attempting to make. Remember that if you decide to quote from another source you must also include the page number (or paragraph stanza) in your APA “in-text citation (along with the last name of the author and the year of the source). However, when you are merely paraphrasing (and not quoting) then it is only necessary to include the last name of the author and the year in your APA “in-text” citation. Refer to the APA documents under the “APA Citation Resources” sub-module or the website Purdue Owl for more guidance on these issues (But just try your best here, that is all I ask for, don't worry about needing to be perfect with APA). The organizational structure of this paper is pretty straightforward. Your paper should begin with an introductory paragraph that introduces the topic of the paper and also clearly states the argument (or thesis) that you will be defending in this paper. Remember to write your paper entirely in the 3rd Person. Your introductory paragraph should be roughly half a page to three quarters of a page in length. Next is the body of your paper (as you likely learned in high school) and this section of your paper should be the most extensive because here is where you are defending your thesis by drawing on scholarly sources that will provide information to support the claims of your thesis. Obviously here in the body of the paper is where I expect to see most of your APA “in-text” citations. Also keep in mind that the body of your paper should be written through multiple paragraphs so take time to organize this section of the paper carefully, using your scholarly sources strategically to defend your central thesis. Finally, for the Conclusion of the paper, please refer to prompt #2 of the "Brief Democracy Paper instructions" because it states there precisely what you need to address. But your conclusion of the paper is for the most part the only place in the entire paper where I allow you to engage in some speculation. This part of the paper, like your introductory paragraph, should not be that long, approximately half a page to three quarters of a page in length. "Democracy Paper" Grading Rubric How your Democracy Paper is graded for Political Science 1. Teacher’s Name: ________________________ Student’s Name: ________________________________________ CATEGORY 13-15 points 10-12 points 7-9 points 4-6 points 1-3 points Quality of Sources/APA compliance All sources are accurately documented and in the desired format. Virtually all the sources are accurately documented, but a few are not in the desired format. Most of the sources are accurately documented, but several are not in the desired format. Very little usage of valid sources and nearly all are not in the desired format. No valid sources, missing sources, or not enough sources. Grammar Mechanics No grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Almost no grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors A few grammatical spelling, or punctuation errors. Many grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. Clearly not proofread or major grammatical errors. Organization of the Paper Information is very organized with well-constructed paragraphs and subheadings. Information is organized with well-constructed paragraphs. Information is organized, but paragraphs are not well constructed. The information appears to be disorganized. No organization. Quality of Information and development of the thesis Virtually all the information relates to and substantiates the development of the thesis. Most of the information relates to the development of the thesis with just a few exceptions. Some information relates to the development of the thesis, but there could be more consistency. Information has very little to do with the development of the thesis. Information has nothing to do with the development of the thesis. Total Possible Points = 60 points possible for your Democracy Paper!