Oakland Community Political Science-Solving Problems in the US Essay

You’ve had a chance to think about what makes our system of government work–and, frankly, not work. Given that, and given that one of the purposes of this class is for you to learn how one person can make a difference in the shaping of our country, here’s what you need to do for this part of the project:

Develop a solution to a problem that faces the United States of America.

That’s it–but there are usually questions, like:

What problem should I solve? There isn’t really a single answer to this question–in addition, part of the purpose of the assignment is to get you to think about what matters to you, so your answer will probably be different from everyone else’s, and giving you ideas often means you’re walking in their footsteps, and not your own.

As you think about what to do, ask yourself these questions: What could be improved in our government? How are other people trying to improve that part of the government? What are the problems with some of the solutions being tried to solve this problem right now? Answering these questions may help you get started.

How will I be graded on this? There are three main parts to the paper:

Explaining the problem. Before you can solve a problem, you have to convince me this problem exists, and really is a problem. This means you’ll need to provide at least two sources of data that describes the problem, why it’s a problem, and the cost this problem has to the United States—either in terms of dollars and cents, reputation, or other costs.

Identifying current solutions. If this is really a problem, there’s a good chance other people are trying to solve it already. Your task in this section is to identify at least two solutions that are being taken to solve this problem. Your research should include a discussion of what the federal government is doing to solve the problem, and what the states are doing to solve the problem. You should also find at least one interest group that’s keeping an eye on the problem.

Presenting your solutions. This section gives you a chance to explain your solution to the problem—what it is, why it’s different from current solutions that are being tried, and why it will work. You’ll also need to address who might oppose this solution, and why they might not like it. In addition, you’ll want to identify at least three reasons why your solution might not work, and why your solution should be tried anyway.

Points will be awarded for this activity as follows:

  • The reflective paper is at least 400 words long (no points will be awarded for this activity if the essay is shorter);
  • Your reflective paper includes at least four referenced sources used to develop your solution (no points will be awarded if these are not correctly sourced and identified in the paper);
  • Your reflective paper includes an explanation of the problem, with a thorough explanation of the effect it has on the United States, and two data resources showing the problem exists (0-5 points );
  • Your reflective paper includes a thorough explanation, and two specific examples, of what the federal and state governments are doing to solve this problem, and what interest groups are working on the problem (0-5 points)
  • Your reflective paper includes a well-reasoned and communicated solution to the problem, including a discussion of why it will work, the government agencies and interest groups involved in its implementation, how it will benefit the United States, who might oppose the solution and why, and three reasons why your solution might not work—but should be tried anyway (0-10 points).
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