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Political Science: Course Assignment Help

Political Science Spring 2021 Prof. Heffren Ponicki

Political Science 1101 Fall 2020 Prof. Mouritsen


Legislator Paper

POLS 1101 011 – FALL 2020

To take advantage of the election year, 25% of your grade will be in the form of a paper following the campaign of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or a U.S. Senator. Each of these members of Congress has been chosen because they are incumbents that are in seats that most analysts believe are vulnerable – meaning there is great potential for this incumbent to lose their seat. We will use the Cook Political Report As of August 20, 2020. It can be accessed at Seats analyzed will be those that are ‘toss up’ or ‘lean.’

This means this member of Congress has a lot of work to do this fall – in fact they have already begun. You will be responsible for following your candidate during the semester and reporting on their journey. When writing about your candidate and answering the questions, use the Simpson book as a guide. This is a book on winning elections, and you are applying the advice/guidance to your candidate. The outside research is on the behavior of your candidate only.

You are required to be present on the day that the member of Congress is assigned to you, the day we “go” to the library to learn how to research this paper, the day each paper portion is due, and the day after the election to report whether your member won or lost.

Keep in mind these are basically five mini-essays, with participation-required activities along the way. While it is more of a report than a literary piece, it must have a proper format and follow usual guidelines (12 point font, 1” margins, spell and grammar check). You may use tables where appropriate. All sources must be cited. Each mini-essay should be about 3 pages in length, not including any required attachments or works cited.

Each portion must be turned in via Blackboard. Do not email, I will not grade it. All portals and a copy of the instructions can be found under the ‘Legislator Paper’ link in the content area of Blackboard.

Aug 23 – Library Day, meet in Library classroom 2025

Sep 3 – Legislator assigned in class

Sep 23 – Due Part One – Background

Complete the following about your legislator:

            Biographical information: name, age, birthplace, where they reside, other places they have resided, where they went to school, family information

            Family information: married, kids, etc

            Professional information: what is this person’s experience since they started working? How did they get in to politics? How long have they been in Congress? Did they start in a lower office?

Oct 7 – Due Part Two – Campaign info

            Campaign information: What is the website for the campaign? Take a screenshot of the first page. Who is the campaign manager? If you wanted to volunteer for this campaign, how would you go about it?

            Candidate’s message: What is your candidate’s slogan? What appearances has your candidate made to get out his or her message? What sorts of things does this campaign do to reach its potential voters? Does the campaign have surrogates? Attach a sample piece of campaign literature.

            Opponent: What is the name, profession and political experience of your candidate’s opponent?


October 28 – Due Part Three – Finance

            Where do candidates get money from? What committees does your candidate have to raise money? How much money has your candidate raised so far? How much money has your candidate’s opponent raised? How much money is being spent by outside groups in this race? How much money has your candidate spent so far? On what sorts of things has your candidate spent money? Attach financial reports to your paper.

            Think strategically about the money your candidate needs. How big is your candidate’s district? Is it spread out making communication more difficult or densely packed? Is there a major media market that will make it more expensive? Where might your candidate be best spending their money? What do your authors think?


Go to and answer the following questions:

  • How much money has your candidate raised? How much have they spent? How much cash do they have on hand? How much money has your candidate’s opponent raised? How much have they spent? How much do they have on hand? Talk about these numbers – is there anything interesting or unusual about them?
  • Scroll down to the outside money. This is money that is raised by groups other than the candidate’s personal campaign committees. How much outside money is being spent in this race? Where is it coming from? How much money is being spent in opposition to your candidate by outside interests? How much money is being spent for your candidate by outside interests? What about for and in opposition to your opponent? What do you think of this?

Newspapers also report on the money that candidates raise and spend, so that is another way to search.

Think strategically about the money your candidate needs. How big is your candidate’s district? Is it spread out making communication more difficult or densely packed? Is there a major media market that will make it more expensive? Where might your candidate be best spending their money? Is there a big disparity between how much your candidate has raised and how much their opponent has raised? What do your authors think?

November 7 – In Class discussion – how did you legislator do?

November 11 – Due Part Four – Media

            Observe as much campaign advertising of your candidate and his or her opponent as possible. Consider Simpson’s plan on page 106. Considering the commercials, online videos, newspaper articles, etc, that you have encountered, what is the media strategy of your candidate? Answer all seven of Simpson’s questions.

            Now that you have answered them, what advice would you give to your candidate? Is there anything you would do differently? What is the current ranking in the polls of your candidate (consult the local newspaper). How might your candidate enhance their image in the media? Is your candidate using the internet to the best of their ability? Do they have a sophisticated web presence? Are they on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other forms of social media?

Dec 2 – Due Part Five – Wrap Up

            Did your candidate win? Consult the major newspaper in your candidate’s home state or major metropolitan area. What is this paper saying? What are the other major media outlets saying? For this piece you are expected to give three accounts for your candidate’s performance: your candidate’s account (their words via acceptance/concession speeches and subsequent interviews), media accounts and your own assessment after all of your research. What did they do right? Wrong? What would you change?



Political Science 1100 Paper Assignment Fall 2023 Professor Mouritsen

Pols 1100 Fall 2023: Paper

For this assignment, you will write a research paper about politics in the Chicago metropolitan area, using all that we have read and discussed so far, plus your own additional research. It is worth 250 points (25% of your overall grade).

A guide to writing

  1. Think about what you want to research in Chicago and/or the suburbs. Then, formulate a research question. A research question is the question around which you center your research, and what you spend the paper trying to answer. You are trying to explain something that has not been explained before, or do a better job explaining something that has been explained. But it all starts with a question. Some examples include:
    1. Why are charter schools controversial in Chicago?
    2. What issues face the newly appointed police superintendent, and why?
    3. Why has corruption persisted in Chicago?
    4. What explains the population and demographic shifts in Chicago?
    5. Why is suburban poverty different than poverty in the city?
    6. What are the obstacles to regional governance in the Chicago metropolitan area?
    7. What are the current problems with the Chicago Transit Authority?

You may use any of these questions if you cannot think of one. Remember that you will have to explain your question, and define the terms in the question. So be specific and stay away from vague concepts. You must get your question approved by me. This is worth 5% of the total grade.

  1. What is the thesis of your paper? Think of the thesis as the answer to the research question. This thing that hasn’t been explained in the past or has been inadequately explained… you are proposing an answer.
  2. You now have a question with a proposed answer, and you will spend the bulk of your paper supporting this answer.
    1. Start with your introduction. In this paragraph, you should make it clear why your research question is valid. In other words, why should the reader care?
    2. End your introduction with your thesis – state directly the answer to your question in a way that sets up the research that will then defend it.
    3. The body of your paper should be organized and act like a road map of explanation. You are bringing the reader from question to answer, but you have to support it along the way by making various stops that explain the data and reasoning. How do I know that your reasons are valid? You will support them with data and evidence. I don’t want your opinion! I want your analysis. These are two very different things.
  3. You need at least 5 sources in your paper. These can be books, journals, newspapers, newswires, websites – you will have a day in the library where our social science librarian shows you how to find these and sort through them. You are not looking for opinion pieces, instead you are looking for reports on the subject you are researching. Think hard about the type of sources that you utilize, and the methods you employ in choosing and organizing those sources.
  4. Citations are mandatory! You may use any type of citation style you like (MLA, APA, Chicago Style), just be consistent. I expect your grammar, spelling, punctuation and other formatting to be correct. A paper is not one paragraph!! And a paragraph is not a whole page long! You will be marked off for excessive mistakes so make sure you use spellcheck and grammar check. Ask someone to proof your paper for you. Do not do things to waste space such as overly long headers – I just need your name, class and date.

Due Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 by noon. You may submit early.

For more tips on how to write a research paper, consult Purdue Owl’s page:

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