Research Paper Criteria

Research Paper Criteria

The papaer is a five-page research paper on a topic related to the government and/or politics of either Texas or the United States. You are allowed to pick your own topic of inquiry for this paper, so long as it is connected to American or Texas government and/or politics (See Topics below).
The criteria for this research paper includes:
1. Clear thesis argument or statement in the introduction paragraph.
2. Thesis argument/statement is taken through three or more outside sources in the body of the paper.
3. Thesis argument/statement is reevaluated in the conclusion, answering the questions of whether or not the thesis statement has changed after
considering your sources as well as whether the thesis is reinforced.
4. The paper follows a style, such as MLA, with cited sources and a works-cited page.
5. The paper is at least five pages long, 12-point font, double-spaced.
6. There are four or more cited sources from the course’s ‘Extra Resources’ folder.


The paper does not necessarily have to be argumentative, it can be descriptive. Either way, however, a thesis statement is required in the introductory paragraph.

As far as topics for the research paper, you pick your own topic so long as it relates to American government and/or politics. When students have hard times thinking of topics for their papers, I usually ask them to think of a few things:

1. An issue or policy they feel strongly about.
2. A president, political leader, or political figure they have a strong opinion about.
3. A deeper look into any of the topics we covered in class.
4. Something they might have experienced in their own lives that was a result of government and/or politics;
5. Something that impacted a family member or friend due to politics.
6. Problems they see in the political system.
7. If a student is presently working, how does the government, policies, and regulations affect his/her line of work?
8. A current event, its meaning, and/or its possible outcome(s).
9. If a student is from another country or has spent time in another country, compare and contrast the governments, elements of the constitutions,and/or the political systems the United States and the country from which he/she came.
10. Compare and contrast political ideologies, such as Liberalism and Conservatism.
By pondering any of the above-listed ideas, you will likely think of a topic. If you don’t, we can talk after the next class to figure something out. Remember to link your topic to some of the things we discussed in the class lectures.
As far as sources go, you must use four or more sources from the course’s “Government 2301: Extra Sources” folder. These may include any of the maps, charts, links, etc. from the Extra Sources folder’s sub-folders. Additional and outside sources may be used so long as the four-source (from the ‘Extra Sources’ folder) minimum is satisfied.
• The Democratic National Committee
The Official Website
• The Republican National Committee
The Official Website
• Open Secrets
Information On Campaign Finance And Money In Politics
• Polly Vote
Election Forecasting And Prediction
• Gallup Organization
One Of The World’s Most Respected Polling Organizations
• Real Clear Politics
Vast Political Science Resources Including Articles, Polls, And “Polls Of Polls”
• Intrade
The World’s Leading Prediction Market
• The United Nations
The Official Website
• The CIA World Factbook
An Excellent Source Of Information About Every Country In The World
• The White House
The Official Website
• The United States House of Representatives
The Official Website
• The United States Senate
The Official Website
• The Supreme Court Of The United States
The Official Website
• The Texas Tribune
A Non-profit, Nonpartisan, Texas News Organization; Vast Resources For Texas Government
• The Houston-Galveston Area Council (Regional Government)
The Official Website
• Harris County
The Official Website
• The City of Houston
The Official Website
• Houston TranStar
Real-Time Traffic Map
• The International Energy Agency
Multinational Enegry Organization
• Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
A group that specializes in low-income budget issues
• The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment statistics