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Term Paper

One paper is required, 6-8 pages in length, including the bibliography but not including the cover sheet.  It is due no later than November 18 (see schedule).  If you miss this date you will be penalized five points.

Topic selection

Pick a topic.  Note that some  are connected with the word "and" - if you pick one of these, you must also cover its companion topics.

Topics must be approved and recorded in your name no later than September 9.  At that time your presentation date will also be assigned.  Each student must have a different topic so be sure to have alternates in mind. Please plan ahead - if you miss the deadline you will be penalized five points.

Format and content

Papers must be neatly typed, single-sided and double-spaced, with conventional one-inch margins and using 12-point type. Put the title of the recommendation and the last 4 digits of your student ID number on a cover sheet and staple the pages securely.  Please do not use any kind of a binder. Please - no color, no graphics, pictures or fancy fonts!

Approach the paper as though you are a newspaper reporter trying to explain a complicated issue to a lay audience (meaning ordinary people who know nothing about the subject.) Summarize information, using your own words. Explain things as simply as possible.  Avoid technical terms or jargon.  Do NOT use quotations.  There should be no " " marks or any need for such marks anywhere in your paper.

Your paper will have four sections: Background, Deficiencies, Proposal and Bibliography. Center these headings on the page.  Divide each section into several logical paragraphs.

1. Background (about 2 pages). Note:  This is not the place to explain or discuss the recommendation. Describe how the particular functions or aspects of government are presently managed or accomplished.  For example, if it is recommended that duties be transferred from one agency to another, describe how the agency is presently structured.  Focusing on the relevant departments, explain how they are organized and what their employees do.  You may need to refer to outside sources such as State government manuals.

2. Deficiencies (about 2 pages). Referring to the recommendation, identify alleged weaknesses in how the functions or aspects are organized, managed or performed. This is not the place to get into the actual recommendations.

3. Proposal (about 2-3 pages): This IS the place to discuss the recommendations. What are they? How would they correct the deficiencies?  What would be the cost, in terms of money, jobs lost, etc.? What are the practical, financial and political obstacles to change? Look in our text, other texts, journals, newspapers for relevant articles and discussions. Papers that use appropriate external references will receive better grades.

If your paper includes more than one topic, you can use separate paragraphs within each section, or, if the topics are closely linked, discuss them within the same paragraphs.

4. Citations and bibliography. Cite references in the text and list them in a bibliography using the APA style (only!).

Grading

Papers will be graded according to adequacy of coverage (5 points), clarity and simplicity of expression(5 points), supportive value of the references (5 points) and grammar and spelling (5 points).

Plagiarism has been defined as "…the act of taking the specific substance of another and offering it as one's own without giving credit to the source."  Plagiarism will lead to failure of the course and referral for administrative sanction. Please don't!  For a discussion of plagiarism click here.