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Students will select a U.S. President (and their administration) to evaluate. The purpose of this assignment will be for students to address multiple aspects of a president, their policies, the political climate of their administration, and their successes. In this course, we will examine how different presidents (and their administrations) serve as models for deeper analysis. This is your opportunity to evaluate a president. Upon selecting a president for examination, students should then address the following questions:
1. What was the historical period of your selected president? Does the historical period complicate the president’s ability to initiate policies or present a policy agenda?
2. What was composition of the US Congress at the time of your selected president? If this was a period of divided government, did the U.S. Congress impede the president’s policies? If so, did the president then act to place a check on Congressional power?
3. What would scholars argue were the most important successes of your president’s term in office? Why were these noted accomplishments or successes?
Write a 1,500 word essay to address the above questions. Students should use a variety of sources for this project. Books, memoirs (if your selected president wrote one), journal articles, newspapers, speeches, and documentaries should be consulted. While there are no restrictions on how many of each type of source is use, the assignment requires the demonstration of at least 10 scholarly sources. Students that do not demonstrate the use of at least 10 sources will receive a grade no higher than a C. Furthermore, papers that cite unsuitable sources (those not deemed scholarly as detailed in this syllabus) will receive a grade no higher than a C on the assignment. Students should ONLY consult scholarly books and scholarly journal articles (i.e. articles accessed by using the databases from the college’s library website). Scholarly journal articles are those sources located in JSTOR and Project Muse (the databases housed on the library’s website). Since students are to use Chicago Style footnotes for their citations, students do not need an attached bibliography for this paper since sources should be cited with footnotes. Be sure to cite your sources as used in the paper. Attaching a bibliography at the end of the paper without in-text citations does not illustrate how those sources were used or the information obtained from each source for the paper. Students will receive a grade deduction for failure to illustrate how the sources were used throughout their paper.
To be clear, scholarly sources are those journal articles as accessed from only JSTOR or Project Muse from the college library’s databases or scholarly books. Do NOT use material intended for children or young adults. No other databases should be used to locate sources for this project. Websites should additionally not be used for this project.
Help Provided: The instructor has uploaded guides in the “Student Guides and Frequently Asked Questions” folder. The Research Guide provide tips for locating suitable scholarly sources and information to access the college’s library. The instructor has posted suggestions and helpful links in the Tips for Success Guide, located in the Student Guides and Supplemental Information folder, to be used for the Pick a President Paper. While the provided links are helpful and can be used for the paper, these sources should not be used toward a student’s minimum of 10 sources for the president paper. Students are expected to locate, at minimum, their own 10 sources for the president paper. This guide provides tips for locating sources for course assignments, information to access the college’s library, and other strategies to be successful in this course.
Please note: Since the bibliography is submitted in advance of the paper, students may find different sources as they continue their research. If students locate different, new sources after they submitted the bibliography, they are free to use those sources for their projects. Students do not need to submit a new bibliography for review. Students should be sure these new sources adhere to the guidelines detailed above in the bibliography assignment regarding suitable sources. Students are always responsible to cite any and all sources used for all course assignments (written work and exams).
All papers should be a full paper, complete with an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion to deftly summarize the major points. Students that fail to answer ALL questions will receive a grade NO higher than a C on any and all assignments that have failed to meet this criterion. This paper should demonstrate careful attention to grammar, formatting, word length, Chicago Style Citation, and instructions as detailed in this syllabus. Students often receive grade deductions for not answering all the questions or for not answering them fully or for using a citation style other than Chicago for their citations. Much like a paper for an English course, writing assignments for this course (written work and exams) should be full papers (with introductions and conclusions) with proper citations of sources.
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