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Democracy: Home

This guide was created for Professor C. Mayes Jones's Government 2305 class.

Democracy - Assignment

How democratic is the United States?  How could it become more democratic?

Students are to write a paper and annotated bibliography on a topic related to the questions listed above.  Research papers should be in proper MLA format with 10-15 resources. Students need to use a combination of different types of sources.  Magazine, newspaper, and journal articles as well as book chapters are all acceptable.  Websites on the open web may be used in a limited fashion.  It is suggested that students use Google Scholar.   For detailed assignment information, please see the attached PDF.

Democracy -Definition

DEMOCRACY:

Government by the people; esp. a system of government in which all the people of a state or polity (or, esp. formerly, a subset of them meeting particular conditions) are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly; (more generally) a system of decision-making within an institution, organization, etc., in which all members have the right to take part or vote. In later use often more widely, with reference to the conditions characteristically obtaining under such a system: a form of society in which all citizens have equal rights, ignoring hereditary distinctions of class or rank, and the views of all are tolerated and respected; the principle of fair and equal treatment of everyone in a state, institution, organization, etc.

--- Oxford English Dictionary (OED), online, 2015.

Democracy in Action

Suggested Topics

Students are allowed to pick any topic related to the research questions.

Here are suggested broad topics:

  • Voting Issues (Electoral College, Primaries, Caucuses, Voter ID)
  • Gerrymandering, Redistricting
  • Third Parties
  • Money and Big Corporations
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Treatment of Labor
  • Justice System
  • Lobbying/Lobbyists
  • Income Inequality, Wealth Distribution
  • Privacy
  • Campaign Finance

These are very broad topics which need to be narrowed and focused.  An example of a narrow topic is:

  • How same sex marriage limitations negatively affect democracy in the United States, or
  • Effects of voter ID laws on a specific ethnic or economic group.

 


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