POL 327 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

POL 327 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric
Overview: Employees of governmental agencies and other non-governmental organizations are routinely asked to prepare position papers, which present a
particular opinion on an issue. Position papers include a concise summary of the issue, followed by a well-developed and supported argument that takes a
specific position. Along with clearly explaining the rationale behind an opinion, the author must discuss potential outcomes, as well as how they will be
During this course, we have discussed how policy is formulated with input of both internal and external political actors. To better understand this process, you
will create a position paper on an issue of your choice.
The project is divided into two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final
submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two and Five. Your comprehensive proposal will be submitted in Module Seven.
This assessment will evaluate your mastery with respect to the following course outcomes:
POL-327-01: Evaluate institutions of American government for their historical importance on contemporary political issues
POL-327-02: Assess the impact of internal and external influences on the policy-making process within the governmental structure
POL-327-03: Critique theories of American government for their relevance to contemporary political issues
POL-327-04: Defend positions on political issues affecting American government supported by scholarly research
POL-327-05: Evaluate historical events in order to formulate well-informed positions on American political development
POL-327-06: Assess the current political climate to identify barriers to compromise and suggest possible solutions
You have been asked to draft a position paper for a congressional representative or senator from your state on a controversial political topic. After you have
selected an issue for which there are well-defined arguments on both sides of the debate (topic must be approved by your instructor), write a position paper that
fulfills the following requirements.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Introduction:
A. Provide a comprehensive background for your chosen issue (including when the situation came about, those impacted, and any laws passed to
address the issue). [POL-327-05]
B. Which historical events related to this issue have had a significant political and social impact on American political development? [POL-327-05]
C. Identify which institution(s) of government would be most suitable for reaching results on this issue. Evaluate this institution for its related historical
importance. [POL-327-01]

II. Sides of the Debate:
A. Evaluate each argument for its key strengths. [POL-327-04]
B. Evaluate each argument for its weaknesses. [POL-327-04]
III. Position:
A. Which argument best supports your position? Provide specific rationale in support of your argument based on scholarly research. [POL-327-04]
B. What are two key theories of American government relevant to your position? Explain the relevance of:
1. Theory I [POL-327-03]
2. Theory II [POL-327-03]
C. Explain why your congressional representative or senator should take the position you are advocating. [POL-327-04]
D. Based on your position, what are potential impacts on the policy-making process from:
1. Internal influences (such as other elected officials) [POL-327-02]
2. External influences (such as interest groups) [POL-327-02]
IV. Considerations/Recommendations:
A. Based on the assessment of the current political climate, do you foresee a significant shift in public opinion concerning this issue? Explain. [POL-327-
B. Consider possible arguments opponents of your position could make and provide a well-supported rebuttal to these claims.[POL-327-04]
C. Differentiate between whether an institution of government should advocate for the creation of new legislation or whether a change of current law
is most suitable to achieving desired results based on your recommendation? Explain. [POL-327-01]
D. Assess the likelihood of success for your proposal and suggest possible solutions in order to attain desired results.[POL-327-06]
Milestone One: Issue Selection
In Module Two, you will select the issue you will discuss in your final project and submit a 12 page summary of the issue, including its historical significance, the
different sides of the debate, and the position you plan to take. Also, include at least three resources you will use in writing your final paper. This milestone will
be graded with the Short Paper Rubric.