American Government & Politics Fall 2021 Independent Reading Research Paper Any study of the AmericanGovernment requires no

American Government & Politics

Fall 2021

Independent Reading Research Paper

Any study of the AmericanGovernment requires not only understanding the Constitutional rules set bythe framers, but also a contemporary analysis of the application of thoserules.  And doing that requires anin-depth study of specific events in our countrys historyrecent or otherwise.


Consider the followingquestions: What events have shaped our political history?  Has our government always done things in thepeoples best interests?  How haveindividuals in the government been reflections of that government?  How are these actions viewed when examinedthrough a constitutional lens?


The answers to these and manymore sometimes politically charged questions are neither simple nor brief.  The answers require an in-depth analysis ofthe topic, the application of critical and rhetorical research, and fundamental knowledge of the complex worlds in which the government conductsits business.  It is precisely thesequestions that you will address in this research paper.


Below is a list of books thatfocus on several different facets of the American political experience.  Each of them examines either one specificevent, a series of events, or a person who has had some intersection with Americanpolitics and government.  You do not needto worry about anything else at this point other than choosing one andbeginning to read it. 


Remember: You will need to get a hardcopy of the book to annotate as you read.



The Soul ofAmerica: The Battle for Our Better Angels

ByJon Meacham




1.      Choose abook. 

       Do not take this decision lightly.  Read the book descriptions on Amazon, Barnes& Noble, or Good Reads before you decide. Take into consideration what the reviews say, what experts say, how thebook is described, even (if you must) the length of the book.

2.      Read that book. 

3.      Conduct additionalresearch.

4.      Write your essay.



This assignment requires thatyou read the entire book and then compare that material with what we have beenlearning in class and the contemporary application of that knowledge.  It is partially a descriptive essay, anargumentative essay, and an analytical essay. That means there is some research required on your part.  The nature and depth of that research willdiffer for each of you depending on which book and topic you choose.


At minimum,your essay must show the following elements in order to achieve a passing evaluation(keep in mind that a C is sufficient to pass this class). 

       A well-crafted thesis that presents your argument

       Relevant and factually correct data to support thatthesis

       Multi-paragraph organization

       Researched information that demonstrates yourknowledge of the facts you present in the essay

       Correct use of MLA citations for all factualinformation that points to crediblesources

       A minimum of spelling, grammatical, and mechanicalerrors

       Sufficiently sophisticated language, structure, andtransitions

       No less than five (5) pages of content 

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