Writing Assignment: Comparing State Party Platforms
The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are the two leading political parties in the United States. Part of the structure of political parties includes State Conventions where members of the political party from throughout the state come together to codify the values, positions, and public policies that their party members support in a formal document. That document is called the party platform. At the state conventions the parties also solidify who the delegates will be from Texas to the National Convention where the parties will formally nominate their candidate for the US Presidency, presumably Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.
The Texas Republican Party just wrapped up its convention on May 14 here in Dallas and has released their 2016 Party Platform. I have included a link below that you will use for this assignment. The Texas Democratic Party will not have their convention until mid-June, so I have provided their 2014 Platform below. I have also included links to the official state party websites as well as to the Texas Tribune’s webpage on each of the parties. These sites are just suggested starting points for this assignment, but are not limited to them and will likely need to conduct research beyond just these sites.
In this assignment you will determine your political ideology along a variety of policy topics using the the Pew Center for US Policy and Politics’ Beyond Red and Blue Typology Assessment. They have come up with a set of questions that they use to categorize people into one of eight political typologies (patterns of political thinking). Their typology allows for more nuance than just sorting people into conservatives or liberals, Democrats or Republicans. Then, once you know your political typology, you will choose two of those policy issues as the basis to compare the positions of the Texas Democratic Party and the Texas Republican Party as described in their party platforms.
This assignment requires FOUR steps:
1. Take the Political Typology Quiz. There are no wrong answers here, so no studying is needed. Make sure you take note of your results, which is your political type.
Political Typology Quiz Link: http://www.people-press.org/quiz/political-typolog…
2. Select any three of the policy areas that you answered questions about (ie immigration, economy, foreign policy, etc) and compare the platforms of the Texas Democrats and Texas Republicans on that topic. The party platform links and the link to Typology Views and Beyond Red & Blue Report will be useful here. You may also need to conduct research beyond just these sites, just make sure they are valid, authoritative, current, reliable academic or journalistic sources.
3. Compose and properly format an essay with a minimum of 5 paragraphs and 500 words. The essay must be double spaced, in a 12 point font and in APA format. Your essay must have at least five paragraphs including a thesis and conclusion paragraph. It may be longer than five paragraphs and 500 words if needed. Each of the questions below should be answered in its own complete paragraph. Each paragraph should have a minimum of four sentences and facts must be cited using correct APA in-text citation format. Provide citations in APA Style for any and all sources you use. A running head and abstract are not required. Submissions will be checked for plagiarism using Safe Assign. You must include at least two sources, with a minimum of one addressing each political party. Sources will be evaluated based on their credibility and authoritativeness.
4. Upload your essay which must include, at minimum, the following:
a) Paragraph One: Thesis paragraph in which you introduce the topic of the essay and the case you are presenting. This is an argumentative essay, so you have to identify what your position is on the policy issues you are addressing, which party is best suited to address the two issues you most care about, and why the other party’s views are not as persuasive, compelling or simply wrong-headed.
b) Paragraph Two: A paragraph that identifies your political typology group and general characteristics and issues of concern for that group as identified by the researchers. Include your judgement as to whether you believe that category is a good fit for you or you think another would be a better fit and if so, state why and identify that other typology.
c) Paragraphs Three and Four: One paragraph for policy topic one and one paragraph for policy topic two that you identified in your thesis paragraph. For each paragraph identify the public policy issue, each party’s view of the issue, each party’s proposed solution to the issue. State the pros and cons of each party’s position and identify which solution you support.
d) Paragraph Five: Conclusion in which you sum up the essay, your position and make a final pitch to the reader as to why they should be persuaded to vote for the party you most agree with.
e) Works Cited in APA Style