APLS 201 on the Internet –Fall 2010 – Test 3
Dr. Carol Botsch
This test must be received by Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at midnight. Email the test to firstname.lastname@example.org – be sure to save a copy. You will receive an acknowledgement via email within 48 hours from your professor. Please send the test in the body of an email, not as an attachment. If you would like me to mail you a copy of your test with my comments, send me your mailing address when you submit your test.
Note: You may want to read the hints for taking an essay exam before beginning this test – see the link on your class schedule. I want everyone to write a good test!
If you want me to mail your test, please send me a mailing address. I will not be able to write as many comments on this test, though, due to the press of grading.
After completing the test, read and sign the honor pledge. By submitting this test to your professor, you agree that you have met all requirements of the USCA honor code: “On my honor as a USCA student, I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this examination.”
Instructions: Complete two of the four essays below as completely as possible. Answer all parts of the essay. Proofread your work before submitting it as I will subtract points for excessive spelling and grammatical errors. Be sure to use your own words. I will not give you credit for parroting or closely paraphrasing the words in your text. You should use a separate paragraph for each major point. Please leave an extra line between each essay for ease of reading.
I will be happy to mail your test if you so request, but due to the press of end of the semester grading, I will not be able to make detailed comments. But you may include your mailing address if you wish to have the test returned to you.
Hint: One or two paragraph essays are probably not going to get full credit. I have made some suggestions about organization but of course you may use more paragraphs in each essay than I have suggested. Just label each part of the essay a, b, c, etc. Essays need to be detailed, well-organized, and cite lots of specifics.
1. The author of your text states, “The struggle over civil rights and liberties will continue. You can see that what the Constitution seems to say helps very little. Each generation will have to fight to claim the protection of Constitutional rights and liberties for themselves in the face of new challenges and new fears.” In a well thought out essay, address this.
A. Provide evidence in support of this statement by looking at three separate and distinct rights or liberties. To what extent are they found in the Constitution? To what extent did they come from interpretation? How has that interpretation changed over time? In your discussion, explain how that right or liberty came about and how and why it has changed. Trace its history over time, and cite the struggles involved, the laws and the major court cases involved (35 points).
B. Then indicate and describe the new challenges and new fears, the contemporary twist for each of the three rights or liberties! Be sure to explain why and how each new generation has to engage in a battle. You may wish to refer to some current news stories to illustrate your major points – if you do, this should supplement what you say but not replace a discussion of these concepts and points. You should have at least two or three separate paragraphs for each (15 points, five points per right/liberty).
2. The author of your text states “Interest groups have long been an essential part of the American political system.” In your essay, address this.
A. Begin, in your first paragraph, by defining in your own words what an interest group is, and describe each of the three major categories of interest groups (10 points).
B. In your second, third and fourth paragraphs, use an example from each of the three major categories of interest groups that you just discussed to explain specifically why your author’s statement is true. If you feel strongly that your author’s statement is false, you may use that as your premise instead. By example, I mean pick a specific group that you can name, or that you will find through doing some research that falls into each major category, not more than one that fits in the same category! For example, “Students for Texting in Class” could be an example of some general category discussed in your book (30 points).
C. In your final paragraph, explain why, if your author thinks interest groups are essential, Madison thought they posed a serious problem to American society. Briefly explain what solution(s) he proposed to this in Federalist Number 10 (10 points).
3. In a recent newspaper column, Kathleen Parker suggested that it may be time to create a third, centrist political party to compete with the Democrats and Republicans. Our Founders certainly disliked political parties, and it appears that much of the general public does not like the existing parties, either. So, do we need parties or are they irrelevant today?
A. In your essay, first define a political party in your own words in a paragraph (10 points).
B. Next, answer the question I posed above by describing in your own words, what you see as the three most important reasons that we need political parties (your text listed ten) in a separate paragraph for each. If you feel they are irrelevant, cite the three major reasons instead (30 points).
C. Finally, what do you think about Kathleen Parker’s idea? To what extent, if at all, would it solve our problems with the two major parties? In your response to this part, indicate what you think those problems are (10 points).
4. The author of your text argues that “We live in a culture that reinforces our temptation to retreat into ignorance about politics.”
A. Address this statement within the context of how we gain our political attitudes (political socialization), referring specifically to at least four of the ways that this occurs, with the exception of the media, in separate paragraphs for each. In your discussion, indicate how this can be applied to you, based on your personal experience. I stress that you do not need to address your own political ideology here or any other specific personal information if you prefer to keep that private (40 points).
B. In your final paragraph, explain what role, if any, the media plays in influencing our attitudes. Include a discussion of how and why the media determines what is newsworthy, and whether this reinforces our ignorance about politics (10 points).