Writing Assignment Texas Government

Lesson 1 Writing Assignment
-Read “Background of the Issue:  Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?” on ProCon.org. and pages 96-100 of the textbook

-Read “Background of the Issue:  Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?” on ProCon.org and page 77 of the textbook
-The title for Writing Assignment 1 is:  “The Drinking Age and Same-Sex Marriage”
-These are the two sets of critical response questions for Writing Assignment 1:
     1.  Do you support or oppose the State of Texas lowering the drinking age from 21?  Why or why not?”
     2.  Do you support or oppose the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that marriage is a fundamental
          right guaranteed to same-sex couples?  Why or why not?
-Provide a response to each of the two set of questions with three reasons why you feel the way you do and at least 250 words of analysis.  Your total response to both questions must therefore consist of at least 500 words of analysis.

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Government 2306 Critical Response Essay Writing Assignments
-This is a college-sophomore-level course in which you are required to submit critical response essays befitting of a second-year-college class.
-The purpose of our class critical response essays is for you to improve your ability to analyze public policy and political topics while improving your college-level writing.

Writing Assignment Format
-Do not use a title page.
-Provide a heading atop the first page with four double-spaced lines containing on line one your first and last name; on line two “Professor Michael A. Kelley”; on line three “Government 2306”; and on line four the month, day, and year you submit your writing assignment.  In your heading the first line should be one inch from the top of the first page and all four lines should be flush with the left margin.
-Center the title of the assignment two spaces below the fourth line of your heading.
-Two spaces below the title and flush with the left margin write verbatim the critical response questions posed for analysis.
-Two spaces below the restated questions posed for analysis begin your first paragraph with the first line indented one-half inch (five spaces) from the left margin.
-Use one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and sides of each of your pages.
-Use 12-point Times New Roman font for all of your writing.
-Double space all lines including the lines between paragraphs.
-Indent the first words of a paragraph one-half inch (five spaces) from the left margin and use double spacing between paragraphs.
-Insert page numbers centered in the footer that consist of a cardinal number.
-Save and submit your assignment with the document named with your first name, a space, your last name, a space, “Writing Assignment,” a space, then the writing assignment number.  For example, Joe Smith’s first writing assignment would be saved and submitted as “Joe Smith Writing Assignment 1.”
-Save and submit your assignment in the rich text format (.rtf).

Critical Analysis Response
-Respond with at least the minimum number of analysis words required for the assignment.
-Only those words stating what you think and why you feel the way you do count towards the number of words for which you will receive credit for the assignment.  The heading, title, restated critical response questions, parenthetical citations, and introductory and concluding comments do not count towards the writing assignment word count requirement.
-State what you think in the first sentence of your first paragraph of response, then in the remaining sentences of that first paragraph explain why you feel the way you do.
-In each remaining paragraph after the initial paragraph of response the first sentence should be a topic sentence explaining why you feel the way you do while the remaining 3-5 sentences should explain why you feel the way you do.

Citation of Other’s Writing, Research, and Statistics
-You do not have to use the original thoughts, ideas, writings, research, or statistics of another person to respond to our class critical analysis writing assignment questions.  But, if you do you must use the Modern Language Association (MLA) documentation style in which you acknowledge your sources with brief parenthetical citations in your text and an alphabetical list of works that appears at the end of your writing assignment.
-You can find information about the MLA documentation style in the book MLA Handbook:  Eighth Edition and online at the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s MLA Formatting and Style Guide.

Grammar and Writing Guidance
-Do not respond with rhetorical comments or rhetorical questions since these improperly assume your reader knows what you mean and agrees with whatever viewpoint you are trying to express.
-Do not make colloquial comments which may not be clearly understood by your reader.
-Never use second-person pronouns in our class first-person narratives such as “you,” “we,” “us,” and “our.”
-Specify to whom you are referring with a specific noun and do not state such generic terms as “person,” “people,” or “one.”
-Do not qualify your viewpoint with such comments as “I think,” “I believe,” “I feel” or “in my opinion,” since it is known you are sharing what you think, believe, or feel.  As such, simply state your viewpoint without qualification and this qualification so your focus remains on the subject of your analysis, not on yourself.
-Properly spell each word of your response.
-Spell out acronyms when first used then place the abbreviation for the acronym in parentheses after the fully-spelled-out words.  Do not use an acronym if the full term it represents is only used once in your writing.
-Do not begin a sentence with an abbreviation or cardinal numbers.
-Capitalize all proper nouns.
-Spell out whole words ten or less and use cardinal numbers for all other numerals.
-Never use exclamation marks in academic writing since this is the equivalent of yelling when speaking.
-Do not use contractions and spell out all words in academic writing.
-Use proper spelling for all words.
-Capitalize only proper nouns.

Scholastic Honesty
-Students are required to maintain the highest standards of scholastic honesty when preparing course writing assignments.  Examples of scholastic dishonesty include plagiarism (the taking of passages from the writing of others without giving proper credit to the sources) and collusion (using another’s work as one’s own, or working together with another person in the preparation of work).
-As noted on the CTC Academic Policies Web Page students guilty of scholastic dishonesty will be administratively dropped from the course with a grade of “F” and subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension and expulsion from Central Texas College.

CTC Writing Lab
-The Central Texas College Writing Lab can review writing requirements for any CTC class.  In the Writing Lab CTC students can work privately with a tutor to understand how to write a course assignment, to review a grammar exercise, to develop an outline or thesis for a paper, to work on a paragraph, and to review a class writing assignment draft.
-To access the Writing Lab click the ‘Organizations and Tutoring’ tab on top of the CTC Blackboard page then select ‘Tutoring’ in the Organizations Catalog.  Then select ‘Enroll’ using the pull-down menu next to ENGLISHTUTOR (The Writing Lab).  After first-time access a CTC student may access the Writing Lab anytime from the same ‘Organizations and Tutoring’ tab by selecting the Writing Lab from the ‘My Organizations’ box.
-The CTC Writing Lab also has MLA style resources in the “Workshop” area and the “Handouts” area to help you with the MLA documentation format.

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