Lesson 4 Writing Assignment
Writing Assignment 4
-Read the textbook subchapter “Judicial Politics” on pages 299-312
-Read the textbook subchapter “The Death Penalty” on pages 462 and 464-466 review death penalty background information on “Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?”on ProCon.org.
-The title for Writing Assignment 4 is: Texas Judicial Elections and the Death Penalty.
-These are the critical response questions for Writing Assignment 4:
1. Do you support Texas state-level judges being elected in partisan elections or do you support state-level judges being appointed by the Texas governor with approval of the Texas Senate? Why?
2. Do you support or oppose the State of Texas using the death penalty as a form of capital punishment? Why or why not?
-Provide a response to each of the two set of questions with three reasons why you feel the way you do and at least 500 words of analysis. Your total response to both questions must therefore consist of at least 1,000 words of analysis.
Mr. Kelleys Government 2306 Critical Response Essay
Class Writing Assignment Directions
In our sophomore-level college class about Texas state and local government you are required to submit four critical response essays befitting of a second-year-college course. The purpose of our class critical response essays is for you to improve your ability to analyze public policy and political topics, to express your viewpoint about these topics, and to improve your writing skills.
Writing Assignment Format
-Do not use a title page.
-Insert a heading in the body (not in the header) of the first page consisting of four double-spaced lines. On line one type your first name and last name. On line two type Professor Michael A. Kelley. On line three type Government 2306. On line four type the month, day, and year you prepare your writing assignment. The first line of your heading should be one inch from the top of the first page and all four lines should be flush with the left margin, one inch from the left side of the page.
-Center the title of the assignment two spaces below the fourth line of your heading.
-Two spaces below the title and flush with the left margin write verbatim the critical response questions posed for your response.
-Two spaces below the restated assignment questions begin your first paragraph with the first line indented one-half inch from the left margin.
-Paragraphs will have one space between them and will begin with the first sentence indented one-half inch from the left margin.
-Double space all writing.
-Use 12-point Times New Roman font for all writing.
-Insert page numbers on each page, including the first page and, if used, the Works Cited page. The page numbers will be cardinal numbers that are centered in the footer and will be 12-point Times New Roman font.
-If you provide a Works Cited page it will be the last page of your writing assignment. The format for the Works Cited page is the same as for the body of the assignment except that the first line of a cited reference will be flush with the left margin, one inch from the left side of the page, and all subsequent lines in that reference will be indented one-half inch from the left margin, 1 ½ inches from the left side of the page. Provide one space between reference entries.
-Respond with at least 500 words of analysis to each of the two sets of questions posed for your response. As such, you must provide at least 1,000 words of analysis for each class writing assignment. Only those words stating what you think and why you feel the way you do count towards the number of words for which you will receive credit for the assignment.
-Save and submit your assignment with the document named using your first name, a space, your last name, a space, Writing Assignment, a space, then the writing assignment number. For example, Joe Smiths first writing assignment would be saved and submitted as Joe Smith Writing Assignment 1.
-Save and submit your assignment in the rich text format (.rtf).
Critical Analysis Response
-Use four paragraphs to respond to each of the two sets of questions posed for your analysis. A paragraph contains about 3-5 sentences and focuses on one main idea. Each paragraph has a topic sentence that introduces the main idea and about 2-4 other sentences that support the topic sentence. Your total response in these four paragraphs must contain at least 500 words of analysis.
-The first paragraph will contain four sentences. The first sentence of this first paragraph will answer the critical analysis question posed for your response. Each of the three remaining sentences of this first paragraph will explain one of the three reasons you feel the way you do regarding your response in the first sentence. The last three sentences of this first paragraph will be the first (topic) sentences of the next three paragraphs, respectively.
-The second paragraph will contain about 3-5 sentences. The first sentence of the second paragraph is the topic sentence and is the same as the second sentence of your first paragraph. The approximately 2-4 remaining sentences should clearly explain the reason you feel the way you do regarding what you stated in the first sentence of this second paragraph.
-The third paragraph will contain about 3-5 sentences. The first sentence of the third paragraph is the topic sentence and is the same as the third sentence of your first paragraph. The approximately 2-4 remaining sentences should clearly explain the reason you feel the way you do regarding what you stated in the first sentence of this third paragraph.
-The fourth paragraph will contain about 3-5 sentences. The first sentence of the fourth paragraph is the topic sentence and is the same as the fourth sentence of your first paragraph. The approximately 2-4 remaining sentences should clearly explain the reason you feel the way you do regarding what you stated in the first sentence of this fourth paragraph.
Citation of Other Persons Material
-You do not have to use the original thoughts, ideas, writing, data, research, statistics, or statements of another person to respond to our class critical analysis writing assignment questions. But, if you do use them you must use the Modern Language Association (MLA) documentation format to acknowledge your sources with brief parenthetical citations in your text and an alphabetical list of works that appears at the end of your writing assignment.
-The MLA format requires parenthetical citation in the body of the text when referring to the works of others (MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics). This method involves placing relevant source information in parentheses after a quotation or a paraphrase. The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends upon the source medium. Any source information provided in-text as a parenthetical citation must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited (bibliography) page.
-According to MLA style a bibliography known as a Works Cited page is required at the end of a writing assignment in which parenthetical citation was used (MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format). All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in the body of the text. The Works Cited page is a separate page at the end of the writing assignment that has the title Works Cited centered one inch below the top of the page (with no quotation marks). The format for the Works Cited page is the same as for the body of the assignment except that the first line of a cited reference will be flush with the left margin, one inch from the left side of the page, and all subsequent lines in that reference will be indented one-half inch from the left margin, 1 ½ inches from the left side of the page. Provide one space between reference entries.
Grammar and Writing Guidance
-Do not respond with rhetorical comments or rhetorical questions since these improperly assume your reader knows what you mean and agrees with whatever viewpoint you are trying to express.
-Do not make colloquial comments since they may not be clearly understood by your reader.
-Never use second-person pronouns such as you, we, us, your, and our.
-Specify to whom you are referring with a specific noun and do not state such generic terms as person, people, one.
-Do not qualify your viewpoint with such comments as I think, I believe, I feel, or in my opinion since it is known you are sharing what you think, believe, or feel. Simply state your viewpoint without qualification.
-Spell each word correctly.
-Spell out an acronym when it is first used then place the acronyms abbreviation in parentheses after the fully-spelled-out words. Do not use an acronym for a set of words if you only use that set of words once in your writing.
-Do not begin a sentence with an abbreviation, including an acronym, or with cardinal numbers.
-Capitalize all proper nouns.
-Spell out whole words ten or less and use cardinal numbers for all other numerals. Spell out any number used at the beginning of a sentence.
-Never use exclamation marks in academic writing since this is the equivalent of yelling when speaking.
-Do not use contractions. Spell out all words.
-Provide two spaces after a period or other concluding punctuation mark.
-Do not use contractions or abbreviations. Spell out all words.
-A period or comma goes inside of a quotation just to the left of the second quotation mark.
-Spell out the first and last name of a person when first referenced them. Refer to them only by their last name after that.
-Spell out United States when referring to the United States of America as a nation.
-Use the abbreviation U.S. when referring to an adjective describing a noun as being affiliated with the United States of America.
-Do not end a sentence or other clause with a preposition.
-Do not quote others words. Paraphrase the meaning of their words so you are stating shared information in your own words. Paraphrasing others ideas requires proper citation and reference.
-Shorten statements by converting prepositional phrases to an adjective and a noun. For example, convert law of the state to state law.
-If you reference paragraphs or concepts by number order, you must do so with all paragraphs and concepts.
-Do not use the phrases lots of or a lot. Instead use words such as many or numerous.
-Use a dash between those words immediately before a noun that are modifying the noun. This creates a compound adjective such as 19-year-old boy or American-made car.
-Do not use italicized words, words in all-capital letters, or quoted words to show emphasis.
-When listing items only use definitive terms or words. As such, do not conclude a list of items with such open-ended terms or punctuation as etc., , etcetera, or so on.
-The term except does not mean but.
-Who is a subject. Whom is an object.
-Use proper verb tense.
-Do not use indefinite pronouns that are impossible to verify such as everybody, everyone, everywhere, everything, anybody, or anyone.
-Effect is a noun. Affect is a verb.
-Italicize the name of a book, newspaper, magazine, or court case.
-Place in quotation marks the name of a book chapter, newspaper article, or magazine article.
-Use they for he or she. Use their for his or hers.
-If you state not only before the first clause of a compound sentence, then state but also before the second clause in that sentence.
-When writing a dollar figure use a dollar sign and the number. For example, $25 million or $12.50.
-Do not qualify your thoughts and ideas with such statements as in order or so that.
-Refer to a group or to an inanimate object with the pronoun it and not the pronoun they.
-A legislator is a member of a state-lawmaking body. A legislature is a state-lawmaking body.
-Do not use a sentence fragment, which is a set of words that does not form a complete sentence either because it does not express a complete thought or because it lacks a subject or a verb.
-Do not use a run-on sentence. A run-on sentence is where two or more complete sentences are joined without an appropriate conjunction or punctuation mark.