Response Paper of William Hudson and Mathew Spalding’s views of American Politics and American Political Tradition


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Term Paper Assignment
Write a paper in response to the following assignment:
William Hudson and Matthew Spalding present rather different views of the nature and quality of American
politics and the American political tradition. In your term paper assignment, you should compare and contrast
the views of these authors, searching for key areas of agreement and disagreement. To do this effectively, you should read both books critically and closely, and try to identity where the authors’ arguments converge or diverge. After identifying areas of conflict and agreement, you should then evaluate the quality of each author’s argumentation in terms of logic and the quality of evidence. In the final analysis, which author provides a more convincing interpretation of the American political situation in the year 2013?
Please note the “instructions for papers” at the end of this syllabus. Be sure to cite each author appropriately, including using direct quotations when necessary.
Instructions for Writing Your Paper:
1. Type your paper, double-spaced, with PAGE NUMBERS, and staple twice in the upper left corner. Do not use folders (they just get in the way). Please save the original file of the paper on your computer or elsewhere.
2. Be sure to have an introductory paragraph and a concluding paragraph that sets out your main theme, and a body that covers the assigned topic. Papers will be evaluated on how effectively they use the assigned course reading, demonstrate clarity and comprehensiveness, maintain logical coherence, etc.
3. Write all the paper in your own words. Be sure to put the words of others in quotation marks which are then
properly cited. You can pass with a paper that has a lot of quotations, properly cited, but using sentences, phrases,paragraphs, or the entire paper from others without attribution will be a recipe for failure.
4. Try to be comprehensive, covering all relevant points, even if you only do so in a sentence or two.
5. Whenever you use quotations or make points that should be cited, please use some system of citation, such as footnotes, endnotes, or a parenthetical citation like this: (Escobar, 1996, p. 33). If you use parenthetical citation, be sure to have a “works cited” page at the end of your paper.
6. Please proofread your paper closely, correcting misspellings and grammatical errors. I would suggest using spellcheck or other appropriate software.
Paper Grading Criteria
A: Excellent in all or nearly all respects. The interest of the reader is engaged by the ideas and presentation. Style and organization seem natural and easy. Paper marked by originality of ideas.
B: Technically competent, but a lapse here and there. The thesis is clear, properly limited, and reasonable, and the proposal is generally effective without rising to sustained distinction. Use of evidence is sufficient.
C: A competent piece of work, but not yet good. More or less adequately organized along obvious lines. Thesis may be unclear or over simple. Development of argument is often skimpy. Use of evidence may be inadequate. Monotony of sentence structure is apparent and errors may be sprinkled throughout.
D: A piece of work that demonstrates some efforts on the author’s part but that is too marred by technical problems or flaws in thinking or development of ideas to be considered competent work.
F: Failing grade, usually reserved for pieces of work that demonstrate minimal effort on the author’s part. Essay may not respond to assignment. Essay may be far too short. Grammar and style may be careless. Paragraph breaks are random; subjects and verbs, pronouns and antecedents turn against one another
REQUIRED READING
1. William E. Hudson, American Democracy in Peril: Eight Challenges to America’s Future, 7th Edition (Sage/CQPress, 2013)
2. Matthew Spalding, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future
(Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2010
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