Texas Government Research Project Directions
You will use the case study that I approved in the discussion board assignment. This case study must be over a Texas issue and cannot involve the national government! The issue can be something that has been taken up by the Texas Legislature or by local governments. “Case study” does not mean it has to be a court case. Case study simply means that you will look at an event that occurred in the past (or currently) and examine the event based on what you are learning in this class. (You can have a court case but that is not the requirement.)
Remember that this project is about the process that resolved the issue between the state and national government at that time. The project is not about the issue today. If you wanted to discuss the creation of the Texas Ethics Commission, you would discuss the process of creating the Texas Ethics Commission based on what was happening in 1991. (I will give a little bit of room on the year, so don’t feel like you can only look at what happened in 1991, if you used my example. However, you should not discuss public opinion on corruption in 2018 because that has nothing to do with why the legislature created the Ethics Commission in 1991.) You would NOT discuss issue of corruption in Texas politics today. You also would not talk about where the issue of corruption in Texas politics today because corruption in Texas politics in 2020 is not relevant to why the Ethics Commission was created in 1991, which means it is not within the guidelines of this project. This project should lead up to the event, not tell me what happened afterwards. I grade for two things in this project: Critical Thinking and Communication.
Critical thinking will be graded on how well you answer these questions as they relate to the case study you submitted and I approved. You must have a valid case study for this project which is why I approved them. If you change case studies, after I approved one, or if you did not submit one for approval, then you run the risk of earning a “0” for the whole project grade.
· The role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties;
o How did the public, in the state and/or local level, feel about the issue? o Identify one interest group that was in favor of your issue, and describe what they did to have their ideas become policy. Also, identify one interest group that was against your issue, and describe what they did to have their ideas become policy. You must cover BOTH interest group positions by examining ONE group on each side. o Describe the official position held by BOTH major political parties on this issue.
· The state and local election process;
o Identify and explain the state or local policy at issue. How did it come into being? o What are interest groups and elected officials doing to resolve the conflict?
· Rights and responsibilities of citizens; and
o Which of the citizens rights were violated or are in question, under Texas law, as a result of the conflict? o What responsibilities do the citizens have to ensure their rights are not violated on this issue?
· Key issues and policies and political culture.
o Identify and describe the specific policy in Texas. o What were the issues? Why did this become a problem? o What specific element of Texas Political Culture does this issue address? (Traditionalistic, or Individualistic?) Explain
Communication will be graded based on how well you follow my format as shown below. For this project, you will submit a PowerPoint presentation of 11-14 slides in length.
Sources must be academically acceptable and cited in APA format. (Do not worry about a running header or an abstract since this is a PowerPoint. I essentially treat each PowerPoint slide like a paragraph in a traditional paper.) Academically acceptable sources are sources that are checked by third parties who maintain the integrity of an institution. This means you should not use wikipedia, google, etc. Therefore, major print newspapers, major news websites, articles in academic journal, and primary sources are all examples of a primary source. (Using an article on the internet simply because it agrees with your position is not considered academic and the source is usually not academically acceptable.)
Remember, sources from textbooks or the online lecture notes from a university will not count as one of your academic sources. If you wanted to use our textbook to discuss political culture, that would be fine. You would still need to cite it, but it wouldn’t count as one of your five sources. So, you would have at least six sources in your bibliography. You can have more sources but you can’t have fewer sources without losing points.
You will have a minimum of 5 academically acceptable sources. At least 2 of your 5 sources will be print sources. You can find sources electronically that still count as a print source. For example, if you find a newspaper article online from the New York Times or the Houston Chronicle, I would consider those to be print sources. Lone Star College Library also gives you access to print sources online to academic journals. They have online databases that allow you to access this material, so you don’t have to go to campus! You can message them or call, and someone should be able to help you find sources. Anything from Ebsochost, Academic Search Complete, and Opposing Viewpoints would be considered a print source and academically acceptable. (There are others but these are the big ones. Opposing Viewpoints is a good source to see both sides, so it could be helpful in discovering interest groups that were working for and against your issue. This is only a possibility; you can look other places as long as the source is academically acceptable.)
Communication / PowerPoint Format:
Title Slide (1 slide)
• Title of Presentation
• Date Introduction slide (1 slide)
• Title it “Introduction”
• Underlined thesis statement as first sentence.
• Using bullets points, make each bullet point 1 complete sentence
• 1 sentence per bullet point, only.
• 4-6 more complete sentences (with bullet points) introducing your topic. (Perhaps give a preview
of evidence you will present in the project to prove your thesis statement)
Body Slides (MINIMUM of 7 slides, MAXIMUM of 10 slides)
• Title of EACH body slide should reflect the part of the prompt you are addressing.
• Each complete sentence will begin with a bullet point.
o 1 sentence per bullet point, only. • Each slide will contain 5-7 complete sentences
• Each slide in the body will contain at least 1 in text citation, written in APA format.
o Slides that do not contain an APA citation will receive no credit for the communication
or critical thinking portion of the grade. o If all slides are missing an in-text citation, you will receive a “0” for the project.
o Example: “The role of political parties” o I will not read slides that do not have my prompt as the title and you will not receive
credit for information in any slide whose title does not reflect the research prompt o If the title of the body slide does not match the section of my prompt you are covering in
the slide, you will get no credit for that slide on the Critical Thinking portion. o If the title of the slide has nothing to do with my prompt – for example, “What went
wrong!” – you will get no credit on the Critical Thinking or Communication portion. o If none of your slides match my prompt, you will get a “0” for the project.
Conclusion Slide (1 slide)
• Title it “Conclusion”
• Restate thesis in complete sentence with bullet point.
• 4-6 more complete sentences that wrap up your evidence and argument in complete sentences
each with their own bullet point. • 1 sentence per bullet point, only. • You will NOT have a citation on this slide because you NEVER introduce new information in
Bibliography Slide (1 slide)
• Title it “Bibliography”
• Put your 5 academically valid sources (minimum of 2 print sources) in APA citation
• Can be more than 1 slide if you have more than 5 sources.
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