American Political and Legal Thought

submitted in doc or doc x format (Be very careful about this if you use a Mac computer. I cannot grade papers saved in Mac formats.)
proofread carefully. Read your paper aloud to hear grammatical errors and sentence fragments.
written in such a way that clear paragraphs each have an idea that contributes to the overall flow of the argument that you want to make.
written in a way such that they show evidence that you read the text and not just my lecture notes
3-4 pages in length
double-spaced
formatted with margins of one inch on each side
without a cover page (Put your name on the first page)
written in 12 point font
Good answers will be proofread both for spelling and for grammar. (Poorly-written papers will receive low grades.)
Good answers will clearly state what each theory/argument entails
I prefer that you not use outside sources, but, if you do, cite these sources parenthetically or in footnotes.

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Instructions
Political theories describe a vision of what the best government would be. Sometimes, these political theories describe ideals that arise at with the beginning of new political societies. So far in the course, we have studied the two foundings or beginnings of the United States. The first was associated with the Declaration of Independence and the second was associated with the Constitution.
Discuss how each document articulated a particular vision of government. Do the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution differ? Or, do the two documents advocate the same ideals of government? Good answers to this question will cite specific passages of the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the Antifederalist response to the proposed Constitution. (Also, be very careful not to confuse those who favored the new Constitution, the Federalists, with the Federalist party of the 1790s which we read about in week 3. All relevant reading materials for this essay were assigned in weeks 1 and 2).
Essay Rubric
Tips and Recommendations:
1.
Make an argument! Typically, bad papers merely cut and paste lines from posted lecture notes without explaining how the sentences that are cut and pasted fit together. Focus and think about how your ideas fit together.
Read your paper aloud. When you do this, you can usually hear grammatical errors and run-on sentences.
Whenever you use want to use “it’s,” always substitute “it is;” if the substitution makes no sense, you have used its incorrectly
“Being” or “being that”: Phrases starting with these words are ungrammatical and should be eliminated from formal writing.
Do not make overly general claims about “society” or “human history” (in fact, it is better not to use these phrases at all.
If you want to claim that a text is “biased,” you must show evidence of bias (e.g. faulty reasoning, incorrect premises). This is very difficult to do. I suggest that you avoid saying that a text is “biased.”
Make sure that long quotations are single spaced and blocked.
Areas
90-100
80-89
70-79
0-69
Integration of Knowledge
The paper demonstrates that the writer fully understands and has applied concepts learned in the course. Course concepts are combined with the writer’s own insights. The writer provides concluding remarks that show analysis and synthesis of ideas.
The paper demonstrates that the writer, for the most part, understands and has applied concepts learned in the course. Some of the conclusions, however, are not supported in the body of the paper.
The paper demonstrates that the writer, to a certain extent, understands and has applied concepts learned in the course.
The paper does not demonstrate that the writer has fully understood and applied concepts learned in the course.
Question focus
The paper is focused such that the steps of the argument are laid out in each paragraph. A thesis statement provides direction for the paper, either by statement of a position or hypothesis.
The paper is focused, but lacks direction. The paper is about a specific topic but the writer has not established a position.
The paper is too broad for the scope of this assignment.
The paper does not address the assignment question.
Cohesiveness
The paper ties together information from all sources. Paper flows from one issue to the next. The writer demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between the ideas discussed in the paper.
For the most part, the paper ties together information from all sources. Paper flows with only some disjointedness. The writer demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between the ideas discussed in the paper.
The paper sometimes ties together information from all sources. The paper does not flow–the ideas discussed in each paragraph are not related to each other. The writer does not demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the ideas discussed in the paper.
The paper does not tie together information. The paper does not flow and appears to be created from disparate issues. The writing does not demonstrate understanding of how the ideas are related.
Spelling and grammar
No spelling and/or grammar mistakes.
Minimal spelling and/or grammar mistakes.
Noticeable spelling and grammar mistakes.
Unacceptable number of spelling and/or grammar mistakes.

 

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