Current Event – The Patriot Act

FORMAT: The only guidelines here will be that the paper must be at least five to ten pages long, double spaced and it should have one inch margins. Make a title page. Use font size 10-12 pt. You need to have a separate bibliography showing your sources in detail… You will be required to prepare a brief analysis of a current event in U.S. government during the course. This assignment involves selecting an issue in current American politics that is likely to be highly visible during the time you are taking the course. The topic will be tracked in the print media, especially the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Philadelphia Inquirer supplemented by weekly news magazines, and the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, all located in most local libraries. You may also want to use the Internet to gain news articles from The New York Times and the Washington Post on the World Wide Web, and The presidential Web site is and the Congressional Web site is You are expected to cite your sources appropriately and include a “Works Cited” or bibliography at the end of your assignment. Several methods of citation are acceptable. English courses use the Modern Language Association (MLA) format contained in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 3rd ed. (1988) or later edition. The American Psychological Association (APA) uses a format contained in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 3rd ed. (1983) or later edition. Political Science majors should use the American Political Science Association (APSA) format contained in the Style Manual for Political Science, revised edition (2001). The APSA manual uses a modified version of The Chicago Manual, published by the University of Chicago. This course directive follows the APSA style manual and you can use this Study Guide as a reference for documenting your paper. Any of the above styles for citations are acceptable. Most bookstores have writing handbooks that contain the above writing styles. You may use this study guide as an example of how to correctly cite your sources. Additional citation information is also available at the Penn State University Libraries web page, which is included on your course syllabus. Here are some websites to help you do citations: Here is a link to show you how to make your bibliography: Here is a link to show you how to do in-text referencing in the MLA style: Here is a link to show you how to do in-text referencing in the APA style: Sloppy note-taking during the preparatory phase prior to writing a draft is the number one cause of inadvertent plagiarism. As you collect articles in your notebook, be sure to record bibliographic information for every article so that you can properly cite the author’s work in your report (author, date, and page number). Exercise care in documenting direct quotes and paraphrasing or summarizing the author’s work in your report. ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTION TO THE CURRENT EVENTS PROJECT As you proceed through this course, you should build a bibliography of sources you are citing for your current event analyses. You should include appropriate citations with this paper. Your assignment now is to write a three-to-four-page discussion of the role of the media, voters, political parties, and interest groups in the context of your current event. Your paper must deal with the following questions: What are the various “sides” to the issue, and who are the players associated with each side? For example, what interest groups, political parties, public opinion polls, or individuals have emerged related to your topic? What are the objectives and concerns of these actors, and what policy options are they advocating? Finally, how have the governmental actors (President, Congress, and courts) responded to these pressures? This assignment is easier than you think. The assignment does not ask you to decide which side is “right” nor does it ask you to identify which side you favor. Instead, we want you to understand the powertics of “who gets what, how” in the American political system. Also, this is an opportunity for you to review the important aspects of the U.S. government as you prepare for the final exam. Be sure to appropriately cite the sources you are using, and include full citations in the form of a bibliography at the end of the paper. The bibliography does not count toward the three-to-four pages you need for the paper. DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA AS A SOURCE !!!!! Please create your assignment in Microsoft Word and save the file to your computer before you use the form below to upload your assignment. Please do not just paste your responses into the box below

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