• For this assignment, you are required to choose an essay topic (only one) by visiting the websites listed under the heading Chapter Options below.
  • Write one short essay (two or three paragraphs: minimum 9 sentences) on the article/topic you selected that includes the following:
    • explain why you decided to research that topic
    • how does it relate to the chapter(s) covered in this module
    • discuss whether you consider this site a good tool for learning about American politics.

Chapter Options:

Chapter 9: Congress

  1. National Committee for  Effective Congress provides a broad range of national and international  political information. To learn what are the current predictions on  electoral races at the U.S. Senate, visit or for information on electoral races in the House of Representatives.
  2. Earmarks are language that members  of Congress insert into legislation that dedicates funds for specific  uses, many whose broad benefits can be questioned.  tracks your representatives and the bills in Congress they introduce,  providing estimates of their costs or savings when available.
  3. The Library of Congress “Thomas”  website is an excellent source of information on current legislation. To  find about present bills at the 113th Congress go to:

Chapter 10: The Presidency

  1. The War Powers Resolution was  passed in 1973 to define and limit the president’s power during times of  war. Read the full text of the resolution at this web-site: You could also visit any of the links provided on related topics at the end of the resolution’s text. Watch – Optional Study Video
  2. Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S.  Presidential Elections provides Information on upcoming and past  presidential elections. By visiting this site you can also experiment  with the electoral college calculator to see how your state could affect  the electoral outcome:
  3. The first lady is an  important resource for the president in his role as head of state. Read  about current and past first ladies by visiting the following web-site:
  4. Presidential attempts to increase  executive power by influencing or diminishing the authority of other  branches of government have been a source of political conflict during  different administrations. To read about news on Congress, the White  House and current political issues visit

Chapter 11: Bureaucracy

  1. Project on Government  Oversight is an independent, not-for-profit organization that seeks to  make government more accountable by investigating corruption and  misconduct. The group examines all types of government bureaucracies.  Visit to read the articles discussing some of the present issues under investigation.
  2. The Department of Homeland  Security was created after 9/11 to promote bureaucratic communication  and domestic security. See what the department is doing to protect  America from foreign threats by visiting:

Chapter 12: The Federal Courts

  1. The web-site for U.S.  Supreme Court Media has a great search engine for finding information on  landmark cases as Marbury v. Madison, Miranda v. Arizona, Roe v. Wade;  and the most recent cases of Fisher v. The University of Texas, Shelby  County v. Holder; and Hollingsworth v. Perry. To find information on any  of these cases visit:
  2. The U.S. court system  consists of trial, appellate, and supreme courts. The U.S. Courts  web-site provides a look at the different types of courts in the federal  judiciary. To learn about the federal court system visit:
  • Essays must be submitted through the proper dropbox. Scroll down the page and you will see the instructions and the dropbox.
  • Paste your final essay in  the dropbox below or attach it as a Word document. Work that is not  submitted through the assigned dropbox or that is submitted using other  software will receive a grade of zero.
  • Note: Written Requirement:  All assignments must be written using proper English grammar,  punctuation, and spelling. Four (4) points will be deducted for each  spelling, grammatical, and/or punctuation error. Work that contains more  than five (5) spelling, grammatical, and/or punctuation errors; or work  that does not meet the minimum number of sentences required will  receive a grade of F (No points).

Essays are  automatically submitted to SafeAssign. Work that SafeAssign identifies  as having more than a 10% rate of similarity after quoted material and  small matches (10 words or less) are excluded will not be read and will receive a grade of F (No points).

Teaching Tip NOTE:  Read your answers and use spell check before submitting your work. You can only submit this assignment once.

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