Here is some information regarding your research paper. First of all, please do not submit your paper in Google Docs or Pages. Please only submit your research paper in Microsoft Word document form. Another important point is that you may not use a previous paper as your paper for this course. This is considered plagiarism and will result in a very low grade on this assignment. As far as topics for your paper I leave it totally up to you. The only criterion is that it has to deal with an issue related to the U.S. (or a specific state like Texas’) government. If you look in the front of your book in the Contents section you’ll find lots of options and then you can look on the appropriate page(s) to see if that topic really sounds interesting to you. It has to be a topic where there is an argument for it and against it so it has to have some level of controversy around it. For example, you can argue for or against the death penalty and in your papers you will need to present both sides to the argument, why both sides believe as they do, and then tell why you think one side of the debate represents a better choice. The paper needs to be between 3-5 pages in length and must be in APA format. Below are two links that illustrate through examples how to cite sources using APA. Also, your entire paper needs to be double-spaced including your cover sheet, which should be centered with the title of the paper first, then your name, the name of the class with the section number, my name (Professor McMahon), and finally the date. Again, it should at least be three pages meaning that you should write to at least halfway down the third page. You should have a References page at the end of your paper where you should have at least three different sources used in the paper. These need to be legitimate sources (New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, Time, Houston Chronicle,, etc.). Wikipedia and Pro/ are definitelyNOT acceptable sources. Again, your References page should be double-spaced. On the first page that you begin writing your paper (so not the cover page) you should begin numbering your pages in the top right hand corner (header) which means that at a minimum your References page should be number four. In front of your numbering at the top right hand corner you should put at least part of the title. If you have a short enough title you can put the whole title in there but if its too long, for instance, The Controversy Surrounding the Death Penalty in the United States, then just write The Controversy in front of the number of the page. Here are some areas you might consider for your topic:

The death penalty, same-sex marriage, gun control, teledemocracy, voting machines, electoral college, campaign finance reform, the media (should they provide entertainment, make profits, partisan bias…), Patriot Act, specialized federal courts and the war on terrorism, nuclear power, privatization of U.S. prisons, federal drug policy, deficit spending and the public debt, nuclear weapons (get rid of them, national missile defense), military spending, multilingualism.

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Along with this information here are some links that provide examples of how to cite sources using APA formatting. APA Formatted Paper.pdf