Coronavirus Precautions

With this current state executive leadership, there has been several policies discussed for current debate and future legislation (either through executive order by Governor Greg Abbott or the Legislature). There is always an argument for and against any policy or ordinance as there is room for error and/or agreement as it is being explored and implemented.  For the purpose of this class, you will write a policy essay based on the research you will conduct and then discuss your opinion of the policy you have selected as well as provide an argument for your stance using the steps below to help guide you on this journey.  I will not be grading based on whether or not I agree with your opinion. What I will be grading in is the strength of your argument – from YOUR perspective.  State policies to be selected that are or have been under discussion by the current leadership (examples): Coronavirus precautions/response by state leadership (Health & Human Services, Texas Education Agency, The Governor’s office, TDCJ, etc…) Revoking of local control by governor of city ordinances Plans for 2021 Legislative session Voter suppression tactics – long lines, mail-in ballot issues, drop off points, extension of early voting, voter purges Pledge for cities not to de-fund police departments Daylight savings time discussion Local government action/ordinances   DATES TO REMEMBER: Confirm topic for Essay — due to instructor by 5pm FRI, 30 OCT (post in ANNOUCEMENTS) Confirmation of resources for Essay – due to instructor by 5pm FRI, 13 NOV (post on ANNOUNCEMENTS)   FINAL EXAM – Policy Essay submission due between 2pm to 4:30pm on Wednesday, 9 December 2020 to this assignment below   INSTRUCTIONS: Step 1: Find a policy to do your essay on. Above is a list of potential topics to choose. Pick one and confirm your selection with the instructor. You can make a suggestion for a different topic, but it must be discussed with and confirmed with the instructor. Answer the question: What is the topic you will cover? 5pm FRI, 30 OCT (post to ANNOUNCEMENT) Step 2: Find and read the policy/ordinance itself. For this, google the information and see what you find… It is usually in the form of a policy paper or newspaper article, but it could also be a legal document such as a bill or executive order. Find out through your research about what reason or rationale the policy was based, what the policy’s expected outcomes are, and the plan for implementation. Answer the question: What is the policy? Step 3: Research the policy and its background. This is one of the most important steps. You should be familiar with the issue the policy deals with, who the policy may impact, what appropriations were requested (if any)…. For example, if you are writing an essay on health reform, you should have a good understanding of the current health system and its impact,  its history, its main strengths and weaknesses, and the principal actors in the industry. Answer the question: What are the details of this policy? Step 4: Research the outcomes or potential outcomes of the policy. A policy is a plan for action – how is it to be carried out or implemented? If it is a current policy, is it getting the results that were intended? If it is a proposed policy, what factors will affect its implementation? Answer the question: What was the impact of this policy? Step 5: Select your resources to help you write this essay. You will need a total of 7 resources: the legislation (bill, executive order, and analysis through Texas Legislature Online – https://capitol.texas.gov/) — ask for assistance from instructor one newspaper article detaining the pro side of the argument for your chosen policy one newspaper article detailing the con side of the argument another newspaper article that provides support for your argument  apply two lectures discussed in our class to the topic and themes discussed in your essay Texas Tribune The newspaper articles must come from verifiable newspaper sources – major newspapers as cited by instructor (San Antonio Express News, Austin American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, El Paso Times, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, USA Today, etc…) – no blogs. A politically written biography or scholarly journal can be used to replace one of the newspaper articles. Confirm your resources for approval with the instructor before you continue with your essay by 5pm FRI, 13 NOV (post to ANNOUNCEMENT)  Step 6: Decide how you feel about this policy. Take some informal notes on the reasons you agree or disagree… Answer the question: Do you agree or disagree with this policy? Step 7: Start with an introduction stating the policy and the relevant issues. Outline the sections of your paper and state your main recommendations or conclusions. Step 8: Provide the background information about the issue and your chosen policy. You need to present some criteria on which you are evaluating the policy. For example, you could do a cost-benefit analysis, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), or a Critical Theory analysis. Step 9. Explain your opinion – state if you agree or disagree with the policy. And then discuss your position. Provide an answer and support of why you support the policy or not… It is not enough to just provide your support – you must also discuss the reasons for your opinion and then provide support for your argument. Answer the question: Why did you agree or disagree with this policy? Step 10. Apply the two lectures from class that have themes that can be discussed in your essay… The lectures to be utilized for the essay MUST BE ONLY THOSE discussed after our Midterm Exam (example: Criminal Justice, The Judiciary, Interest Groups, Campaigns & Elections, Political Participation, News Media, Public Opinion, Local Governments, etc…). You can also use an earlier lecture like The Texas Plural Executive, The Texas Governor or The Texas Legislature) ONLY to help provide context or better understanding to the topic that you are writing about,   Step 11: If you have come to the conclusion that the policy you are analyzing is not a good one, this is the section where you should explain which alternative policy you would recommend and why. Answer the question: What would you have done differently? Step 12: Conclude your essay by summarizing your points and restating your findings. Step 13: In total, you paper should contain 6 pages: the 4 page essay (4 full pages, in 12 font, double spaced, regular margins) , have a COVER PAGE (NO HEADINGS) to include the following: a. your name b. the class you are in c. date it is due d. identify and list the name of policy topic you are researching for the essay. Step 14: The 6th page should be a WORKS CITED PAGE for the references used for this project. It should be in the MLA format, which should be a bit easier to use through this generator: https://www.citationmachine.net/mla8/cite-a-book/search?q=amgov%3A+long+story+short&style=mla  (Links to an external site.) This essay is worth 100 points. There will be points deducted for the following: 5 – using a heading (do not include a heading anywhere on this essay) 10 – no title page 10 – incorrect page length 10 – incorrectly cited work 10 – topic not confirmed with instructor by due date 10 – gross grammatical errors (incorrect margins, font size, spacing) 20 – incorrectly submitted (submit ONLY in Word document) 20 – references not vetted by instructor by due date 20 – no lectures discussed or included in the essay 25 – missing resources  40 – no works cited page 50 – no references used in essay Please make sure to confirm your choice of topic and references when beginning. THIS IS YOUR FINAL EXAM. It is due between 2pm and 4:30PM on Wednesday,9 December 2020. We will meet in class at that time but all you will have to is show up and confirm that you have submitted your Final Exam. Submit your paper on CANVAS as your final exam as a WORD document – no other form will be accepted. No work will BE ACCEPTED BEFORE THAT DATE AND TIME. No late work will be accepted – no exceptions.

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