Research Paper Overview
• Research the effects of federal mandates in your state. Examples include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the Help America Vote Act. What has your state done to comply with at least two federal mandates?
• Examine how your state determines voter registration, provisions for voting prior to Election Day, the counting of ballots, and what kinds of voting equipment are used. In addition, find the turnout rates for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Analyze whether these voting procedures have any effect on voter turnout.
• National Conference on State Legislatures, gather information to compare your state legislature to two or three other state legislatures.Issues for comparison could be partisan composition, chamber size, and issues before the legislature during the current or most recent session.
• Follow a current gubernatorial or U.S. Senate/House election. Identify the candidates, results of the primary and general elections, debates, news reports, advertising, and campaign financing.
• Research a current program in your state that is designed to improve public schools. Has your state instituted charter schools, magnet schools, or the use of vouchers? Has the program had a demonstrable effect on school performance?
• Select a current public policy debate within your state. Why is this issue so important within the state? Does the issue have a place on the ballot in the November election? Who are the key interest groups on either side of the issue?
These issues will likely fall into one of the following categories:
• Social welfare policy
• Health care
• Transportation/urban planning
• Economic/budgetary policy
Length: The paper should be a minimum of 8 pages in length with a maximum length of 12 pages. This page requirement excludes the cover page and bibliography.
Font: The paper should use 12-point font. Any readable style is acceptable.
Bibliography and Citations: Please consult a relevant style guide (MLA, AP or Chicago-styles preferred). You must cite your information within the text and provide a separate bibliography that lists all works cited.
Spelling and Grammar: It is essential that you proofread your paper. Using spell check is a good first step, but this will not catch all mistakes. Your paper should be easy to read with a coherent sentence structure. Please consult the writing center for assistance if needed.