Analyze data and other information in support of a thesis and major arguments.

You need to turn in a six page paper on 26 April in class, in the form of a hard copy. This paper must consist of six pages, double-spaced, not including the title page and the references page. You must properly document all of your sources within the text of your essay when you are relying on such sources. Additionally, you must list all sources used on a reference page at the end of your paper. I want you to use at least four sources, including the Barbour and Wright text. This paper will involve a careful and reasoned analysis of some issue in American and/or Nevada politics. A partial and suggestive list might include the politics of Social Security, same-sex marriage, immigration, the rights of the accused, property rights, etc. In so doing, make sure you apply what you are learning in this class to your chosen issue. If, for example, you do immigration, explore the issue of federalism—what role for the federal government, what role for state and local governments. You could also look at the issue from a judicial angle—what have the federal courts said about this issue? What role for the President? Congress? And so forth. Same for something like gun rights—what policy has the federal government adopted? Nevada? What have the courts said? The NRA? What role for the Second Amendment? And so forth.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course represents a survey of the United States national, state, and local governments with emphasis on the historical, cultural, economic, social, and political aspects of the governing process. This course satisfies the Nevada legislative requirement for education on the U.S. and Nevada constitutions.
COURSE PURPOSE: The purpose of the course is to provide students with a firm base of knowledge concerning the logic and history of governmental design, structure, operation, and effect. An additional purpose is to provide students with marketable skills for the modern workforce, whether the student is a political science major or not. Those skills include communication skills (written and verbal), basic research skills, software proficiency, and critical thinking/reading skills.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of the course, students should understand and be able to do or articulate the following:
1. Understand the various ways in which American politics and government are studied and analyzed.
2. Explain the structure of American and Nevadan governmental institutions and why they are so designed.
3. Understand the history of U.S. and Nevada politics.
3. Comprehend the powers, and limits thereof, of the U.S. government. Likewise for Nevadas government.
4. Understand the rights and liberties that come with being a U.S. and Nevada citizen.
5. Analyze the cultural and demographic characteristics of the people of the United States and how this shapes our politics and government.
6. Analyze the processes and motivations behind various political behaviors (e.g., voting, interest group activity, campaigning, etc.).
7. Characterize the basic design and operation of Nevada state government, including the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
8. Analyze data and other information in support of a thesis and major arguments.
9. Understand and be able to explain contemporary debates about American politics.
10. Understand and appreciate what it means to live in a constitutional democracy.

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