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Instructions: The research paper is a government paper not a history paper. The
research paper should reflect the real effect of government actions on peoples lives today
and should address how specific branches of government or related agencies focus on the
topic at hand. Historical context is helpful for background purposes but research and
analysis must be current. Research does not consist of simply collecting and repeating the
work of others. Research is not just a collection of facts. The purpose of the research
paper is for the student to interpret and analyze political issues making relative points and
including their own personal opinion and analysis. Answer the “Why” question? Why do
you think a government/political issue is so? What do you personally think, feel and
believe about the topic?
Research the topic- why does this topic matter?
What is your experience of this topic? What is the history of this topic? Has the
experience of the topic evolved over time? Who are the political players involved?
Interest groups and organizations, etc.? Be creative. Use polls, surveys, interviews. It may
be helpful to use the free online survey service: www.surveymonkey.com
Reflect on the topic- offer a critical assessment of the problem.
Examine and explore both sides of the issue? What has been done, what is being done or
is not being done to address this topic? Why does this topic divide people and how does it
divide people? (By race, ethnicity, gender, and region?) What are the social, political,
economic factors involved with the topic?
Resolve- recommends real world solutions to the problem at hand.
Present and propose realistic solutions to the problem. How can others get engaged? Who
has the power to implement change or to work to address the problem? How will your
solutions to the problem improve the lives of those impacted by the problem?