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The Assignment

AMERICAN GOV'T FINAL PAPER – DUE MAY 29th (or last day for seniors)

You get to research a topic and become an expert on it. You will have a wide choice of topics, but it must be somehow connected to government and/or politics. You might choose to do in depth research on a single piece of legislation, a notable court case, or a political race. Or, you may want to focus on a particular topic or theme, such as drug policy or income inequality. No matter what your topic is, you must frame your paper as an answer to a question.

Your paper will consist of three major parts:

1.     introduction

2.     data and evidence 

3.     conclusion 

You will also need a works cited page, with a minimum of three sources.


1.     What are the 3 most important laws related to the War on Drugs?

2.     What are the effects of income inequality in America?

3.     Why was Darren Wilson not brought to trial for killing Michael Brown?

4.     Why are there fewer female CEOs?...what has been done to make more?

5.     Should the US government change the regulations on the food industry?

6.     Should Congress raise taxes on the wealthy?

7.     What would happen if marijuana were completely legal in America?

8.     Why are there so many sexual assaults on women in the military?

9.     When will gay marriage be legal in America?

10.  How could the Electoral College be replaced?

11.  What was the biggest failure of (insert President's name here)'s presidency?

12.  Why does America have troops in Afghanistan?

13.  What is so controversial about “Common Core”?

14.  What key impacts has the Affordable Care Act had?

15.  What are the main arguments against citizenship for illegal immigrants?

16.  Is there anyone to blame for the high number of homeless people in America?

Laws and court cases you might look into, by theme


·         Arizona SB 1070

·         Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996

·         Secure Fence Act

Marijuana/Drug Laws

·         Controlled Substances Act

·         Samantha Reid Date Rape Prevention Act

·         Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act

·         Oregon Ballot Measure 91 (2014)


·         Planned Parenthood v. Casey

·         Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

·         Roe v. Wade

Gun Rights

·         Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban

·         Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

Death Penalty

·         Roper v. Simmons

·         Furman v. Georgia


·         Universal Child Custody Jurisdiciton and Enforcement Act

·         Arizona v. United States

·         National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius


·         Affordable Car Act

·         National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius

·         Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

·         Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

Campaign Finance

·         Federal Election Campaign Act 1972

·         McCain-Feingold Act 2002

·         Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 2010


·         No Child Left Behind Act

·         Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act

·         Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

·         Tennessee v. Scopes


·         1964 Food Stamp Act

·         1935 Social Security Act

·         Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

Gay Marriage/Equality

·         Lawrence v. Texas

·         Bowers v. Hardwick

·         Matthew Shepard Act

·         Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010

·         Boy Scouts of America v. Dale

Privacy/Online Spying

·         Child Internet Protection Act

·         Child Online Privacy Protection Act

·         2007 Protect America Act

·         1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

·         USA PATRIOT Act

·         2002 Homeland Security Act

Sexual Privacy

·         Genarlow Wilson v. State of Louisiana

·         Lawrence v. Texas

·         Griswold v. Connecticut

·         Eisenstadt v. Baird


·         Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

·         Plant Protection Act

·         Kyoto Protocol

·         Kellogg-Briand Pact

·         Help America Vote Act




  • Student Resources in Context
    Provides contextual information on a broad range of topics. Includes reference content, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.

    MLA citation at the bottom of the article.
  • American Government
    username orhs
    password wildcats

    Use the search box to find information about your topic.

    ML citation at the bottom of the article.
  • World History: the Modern Era
    username: orhs
    password: wildcats
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
    This database is designed to support research on controversial topics, so subjects are approached from a "pro" and "con" perspective.

    If you need a password, use "elvis."
  • Military and Intelligence Database Collection
    Military and Intelligence Database Collection provides access to scholarly journals, magazines, and reports covering all aspects of the past and current state of military affairs. The database offers content in key subject areas including governmental policies, the socioeconomic effects of war, the structure of the armed forces, and more.

    Use "elvis" if you need a password.
  • Gender Studies Collection
    Gender Studies Collection provides balanced coverage of this significant aspect of culture and society. The database offers access to scholarly journals and magazines covering topics including gender studies, family and marital issues, and more.

    If you need a password, use "elvis."
  • Diversity Studies Collection
    Diversity Studies Collection provides access to scholarly journals and magazines that explore cultural differences, contributions, and influences in the global community. The database is a must-have for social science, history and liberal arts coursework.

    Use "elvis" if you need a password.


Cover Art
American Social Reform Movements Reference Library - Thomson Gale Staff
ISBN: 9781414402147
Publication Date: 2006-10-26
Examines the movements that have helped shape American society, culture and politics: numerous illustrations and maps, engaging text, interesting sidebars, helpful words to know listings, research and activity ideas, as well as further reading suggestions, easy-to-use subject index and a concise chronology.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of the American Constitution
ISBN: 0028648803
Publication Date: 2000-06-19
Contains new and updated original articles covering recent concepts (i.e. adoption, race, the Constitution, birthright citizenship) and court cases since 1992 offering comprehensive coverage of all aspects of constitutional law, as well as biographies of people who have had an impact on our government's legal framework (Supreme Court Justices, Presidents, Cabinet Members, Lawyers, and more). Also covers judicial decisions handed down.

Cover Art
Supreme Court Drama - Daniel E. Brannen; Richard Clay Hanes; Rebecca Valentine
ISBN: 9781414486567
Publication Date: 2011-06-03
Provides exciting details on key events, people and outcomes of approximately 200 major Supreme Court decisions that had a significant impact on American society. Cases are arranged by topic, introduced with an overview essay. Entries are three to five pages in length, and describe the events leading up to the case, key moments in the proceedings and the Supreme Court's decision, including its contemporary relevance. Also featured are helpful callout boxes providing significant court details and sidebars highlighting court justices, key court figures or important facts about the amendment or part of the Constitution being argued.

Cover Art
Landmark Supreme Court Cases - Roy M. Mersky; Gary Hartman
ISBN: 0816024529
Publication Date: 1998-09-01
Providing concise summaries of more than 350 of the most important US Supreme Court cases, this reference covers cases on such issues as: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, civil rights, labour unions, abortion, antitrust and competition, due process, search and seizure and more.

Cover Art
History Behind the Headlines - Thomson Gale Staff; Meghan Appel O'Meara
ISBN: 9780787649517
Publication Date: 2000-11-14

Today's newspapers are filled with reports of conflicts between nations. Some conflicts have recently erupted; many have been going on for years. But most of them have deep-rooted, historical causes that are not explained in the media. That's what makes History Behind the Headlines big news for librarians, students, teachers and other researchers, who will consult it over and over again. For important background information on long-term ethnic, religious, political, territorial and economic conflicts between nations today, there isn't a more targeted ongoing print series.Volume 5 of History Behind the Headlines is a special volume devoted entirely to topics of terrorism. Each biannual volume includes approximately 30 entries arranged alphabetically by either the major country involved or the subject of the conflict. The entries are complete with overview essays, photographs, maps, charts, primary document excerpts, short biographies, current status and much more. These combined features offer a unique and in-depth analysis, tracing significant international conflicts back to their earliest stages.While Gale strives to replicate print content, some content may not be available due to rights restrictions.Call your Sales Rep for details.

Cover Art
Food in Context
ISBN: 9781414486529
Publication Date: 2011-06-16
Examines food in relationship to nutrition, world health issues, agriculture, environmental concerns, current events and political decision-making.

Use "elvis" if you need a pass.


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