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• POL201 • Assignments • Week 5 – Final Paper

America’s Democracy: Your Report Card

The primary goal of your last assignment is to critically analyze the primary features of the American national government. The results of your analysis will indicate what you have learned over the last five weeks. In order to accomplish this task, it is important to critically evaluate the key facets of our American democracy.

You have been preparing for this final assignment each week by constructing a detailed outline of the Final Paper’s main points through the weekly Learning Activities. In addition, you have read the course text and course readings, reviewed videos, and researched additional material for each week’s assignments and for this paper. This week, you will put all of those outlines, readings, reviews, and research together into a one summative paper.

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As we wrap up our course, reflect back on what you have learned about the key structures, systems, roles, and processes that embody our national government. Focus on the strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages, and positive and negative impacts of these aspects of our democracy. Use what you have learned so far to evaluate our national government and recommend ways to enhance what works and repair what is not working well. It is important to understand that this paper is not simply a cut and paste of your four Learning Activities. While the research you have completed can serve as a strong base it is important that you implement any comments from the instructor, as well as further expand on the material. Appropriate transitions and headings are needed to ensure a cohesive paper.

Construct a six-page paper based on the detailed outlines that you created over the last four weeks. It is important to utilize APA headings (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. major sections of your paper in order to ensure that the paper is easy to follow. A model POL201 Final Paper Guide is provided for you to download and utilize when completing your Final Paper.

Scaffold your paper around the following outline:

• Title page (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

• Introduction (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (half page)

o Describe the paper’s overall thesis.

o Provide an overview of main points.

• The Constitution (1 to 1.5 pages) (Week One)

o Describe one strength and one weakness of the U.S. Constitution.

o Recommend one option to maintain the strength and one to correct the weakness

• Federalism (1 to 1.5 pages) (Week Two)

o Describe one advantage and one disadvantage of a national policy that must be implemented by one agency of the federal bureaucracy.

o Recommend one option to maintain the advantage and one to improve the disadvantage.

• Branches of Government (1 to 1.5 pages) (Week Three)

o Describe one strength and one weakness of one branch of our government: Executive, Legislative, or Judiciary.

o Recommend one option to maintain the strength and one to correct the weakness.

Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections (1-1.5 pages) (Week 4)

o Describe one positive impact and one negative impact of one of the following: political parties, interest groups, or federal elections.

o Recommend one option to accentuate the positive impact and one to lessen the negative impact.

• Conclusion (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. 

 o Review your main points.

o Review your overall thesis.

• References page (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The America’s Democracy: Your Report Card paper

• Must be at least six double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

• Must include a separate title page with the following:

 o Title of paper

 o Student’s name 

o Course name and number

 o Instructor’s name

 o Date submitted

• Must use at least eight scholarly sources in addition to the course text. A minimum of six of the resources must be from peer-reviewed scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library

 o The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.

• Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

 • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

                                                        America’s Democracy 


                                             POL 201 – American National Government

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Instructor Name 


                                                               America’s Democracy

This is where the introduction for your paper should begin.  You should indent the first paragraph and include a hook to draw your reader in and make the topic interesting.  Your introduction should also include an overview of the main points you will discuss in your paper and conclude with a clear and concise thesis statement of 25 words or less that clearly summarizes what your paper is about.  Please be sure to not refer to the paper in your paper.  For example, “In this paper, I will discuss…” is not appropriate for formal writing.  Also, your paper should not use words such as I, we, or you.  Start the first paragraph here.  It should introduce your reader to the subject you are writing about, as well as your particular position or claim.  Be sure that your thesis reflects on all four of the topics you will discuss in a concise manner of 25 words or less.  For more suggestions, please read about thesis statements on our Ashford Writing Center website: Thesis Statements.  Other helpful tools on our website are the  Thesis Generator and Moving from Prompt to Thesis. Your introduction should be at least ½ a page in length.

                                                                  US Constitution

Your paper should include the four main headings, as outlined in this template.  It is vital, in order to fully meet the expectations for this paper that you support your arguments utilizing scholarly sources.  You must is properly cited with in-text APA formatted citations and an APA reference list in order to avoid plagiarism.  No more than 10% of your paper should be direct quotations.  Be sure to summarize, paraphrase, and include in-text citations.  Each heading should focus on the topics you discussed in your Week 1, 2, 3, and 4 Learning Activities.  Each heading/topic should be a a minimum of 1 to 1.5 pages in length. Please do not just cut and paste the paragraphs from your Learning Activities.  It is important to include transitions and to more deeply reflect and expand on the material from each week.  Be sure to review the WayPoint feedback provided by your instructor each week and integrate the feedback into your revisions as you expand your analysis of each topic for your final paper.


Your section heading should focus on Federalism.  Utilize your Learning Activities as a guide to construct each section of your paper or create an outline or list to help you organize the evidence you plan to present.  Be sure to include the appropriate transitions, review your instructors comments from your Week Two Learning Activity, and expand on the material regarding Federalism.

                                                        Branches of Government 

The third section of your final paper should focus on one of the branches of government, as you discussed in your Learning Activity.  Be sure to include the appropriate transitions, review your instructors comments from your Week Three Learning Activity, and expand on the material regarding the branch of government you have selected.  Each paragraph of your assignment should be clear and easy to follow.  Ashford has several good resources to help you write a strong paragraph, such as How to Write a Good Paragraph and the P.I.E. Paragraph Structure.

                                     Political Parties, Interest Groups, or Elections

The 4th section of your paper should focus on Political Parties, Interest Groups, or Elections as researched in your Week 4 Learning Activity.  Once again, Be sure to include the appropriate transitions, review your instructors comments from your Week Three Learning Activity, and expand on the material regarding the topic you have selected. In addition to being well-written, each paragraph throughout your paper should include an in-text citation to all ideas, references, or quotations  that are from outside sources and research.  The Ashford Writing Center provides many resources to help you follow correct citation style (primarily APA) and gives lessons and examples of how to paraphrase and cite sources.  The APA Key Elements page is a good place to start.


Your paper should conclude with a review of your main points and a review of your thesis.

Remember to start your references on a new page.  Space down until References is as the top of the final page of your paper.


Your paper must utilize at least eight scholarly resources (in addition to the textbook).  A minimum of six of the resources must be from the peer-reviewed scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library.  The following are commonly used references.  Please fill in the required information, and if you need more help, see the AWC References page.  References are listed in alphabetical order. Please be sure to format your references correctly according to APA 6th edition guidelines and utilize hanging indents

Ashford Textbook (Online edition): *

Author, A. (Year published). Title of book: Subtitle of book (edition, if other than the first)

                      [Electronic version]. Retrieved from from URL


Witt, G. A., & Mossler, R. A. (2010). Adult development and life assessment [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

Online Journal Article (such as from the Ashford Library):**

Author, A. (Year Published). Article title. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), page range. doi:# or Retrieved from journal’s homepage URL

**When including a URL for an online journal, you must search for the journal’s home page and include this in your reference entry.  You may not include the URL found through your university library, as readers will not have access to this library.


Churchill, S. D., & Mruk, C. J. (2014). Practicing what we preach in humanistic and positive psychology. American Psychologist, 69(1), 90-92. doi:10.1037/a0034868

Santovec, M. (2008). Easing the transition improves grad retention at Trinity U. Women in

                Higher Education, 17(10), 32. Retrieved from



Online Magazine:*

Author, A. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Magazine Title. Retrieved from URL Example: Walk, V. (2013, April 29). Can this woman fix Europe? Time. Retrieved from,9171,213969.html 

 YouTube Video:* Author, A. [Screen name]. (Year, Month, Day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL Example:   Apsolon, M. [markapsolon]. (2011, September 9). Real ghost girl caught on video tape 14 [Video file]. Retrieved from   Web Page:* Author, A. (Year, Month, Date Published). Article title. Retrieved from URL Example—Corporate web page: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). Police and detectives. Retrieved from Example—Article or section within web page with no author: Presentation tools. (n.d.). Retrieved from  


*Please delete the notes in this document before submitting your assignment.

Previous from week 4 learning activity

Thesis Statement 

Even though the election system is the best avenue for citizens to exercise their  democratic rights, weakness in the system is bound to make people distrust it and even fail to  take part in the elections. Public awareness and education can lessen the cons of the electoral  system.

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