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GOVT 2306 | Texas Government

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Your assignment requires you to research information on a particular topic that deals with Texas government and politics. For your paper, you will need to use at least four sources, including books and articles from online databases.

If you need help, please ask a reference librarian.

Topic 1: Capital punishment is a controversial issue in this country. While many people feel that the death penalty is inhumane, others believe that capital punishment is a fair punishment. What is your position on Capital Punishment? Does it violate the Eight Amendment's restriction of "Cruel and Unusual Punishment," or is it a valid and deserved form of punishment? Defend your position on Capital Punishment by using class materials, readings, and research to support your discussion.

Suggested Keywords: capital punishment - death penalty - cruel and unusual punishment

Topic 2: Have the changing demographics in Texas transformed electoral politics? Discuss how the changing demographics in Texas have transformed electoral politics, use class materials, readings, and research to support your discussion.

Suggested Keywords: demographics - demographic change AND politics - demographic change AND Texas

Topic 3: In Texas, all judges are elected through partisan elections. Analyze the claim that politics heavily influences the decisions of Texas judges. Should Texas judges continue to be elected, or should they be appointed? What type of selection system would you create to remove politics from judicial selection and help inform voters about individual judges? Discuss whether Texas judges should be elected or appointed.

Suggested Keywords: judicial elections - judges - selection and appointment

Topic 4: Should the blood-alcohol level for Drinking While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas be lowered from .08 to .05? What are the possible ramifications of this change? Which interest groups in Texas would fight for or against the change? Can you think of any other examples where the liquor industry played an important role in Texas politics? Discuss whether or not the blood-alcohol level for DWI should be lowered in Texas.

Suggested Keywords: blood alcohol - drunk driving - laws, regulations and rules - alcoholic intoxication

Topic 5: Immigration, particularly illegal immigration, is an important political issue today. What, if any, similarities does our current situation share with Mexico and the early Anglo settlers of Texas, and what lessons might we learn from their experience?

Suggested Keywords: immigration and emigration law - Texas state history - Mexican-American border region

Topic 6:  Should Texas legalize or decriminalize possession of marijuana?                                                     

Suggested Keywords: marijuana legalization - marijuana laws and regulations - drug legalization

Topic 7: What benefits do undocumented workers bring to the state economy? What costs do they bring? Do you believe they are a net economic gain or drain for the state?

Suggested Keywords: undocumented workers AND benefits - undocumented workers AND cost - undocumented work AND economy

Topic 8: How has politics impacted the mandated K–12 school curriculum in Texas? Has this impact been good or bad for students? Should Texas’s system of establishing school curriculum be changed?

Suggested Keywords: school curriculum AND Texas - textbooks AND Texas - Texas Education Agency


Why should you use books? 

Most scholarly content is not found on the general Internet and if it is, it's often behind a paywall. Even the articles found through the free library databases have a drawback: they're written by researchers for researchers. Here are some good reasons to use books in your research instead of heading for the Google search: 

  • Big Picture: Books can give you a detailed analysis of a topic touching on many sides of an issue
  • Accessibility: They will provide background information and explain basic concepts and terms
  • Great Start:You can use the bibliographies in books to find other sources, making them a great jumping off point

If you need to do some serious research, books are often a great choice!

San Jacinto College Library Catalog

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Databases provide you access to countless journal articles, newspaper articles, ebooks, videos, and much more! The best part? They are available to you 24/7, on or off campus--which means you can do research from home even if the library is closed!

Just click on the link for the database to get started. If you're off campus, you'll have to log in with your student ID number.  If you have questions or need help using the database, please contact a reference librarian or check out some of our video tutorials.

The American Political Science Association (APSA) uses a "light version" of the Chicago Manual of Style citation system. It focuses on formats that are important to political science, especially documents produced by the United States government.

The most recent citation style guide for APSA is based on the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. It relies on an author-date system, and parenthetical references within the text direct readers to the reference list. Notes are not used in APSA.

The following videos from Penn State University provide help when working with APSA style manual:| Central Library: 281-476-1850 | Generation Park Campus: 281-998-6150 x8133 | North Library: 281-459-7116 | South Library: 281-998-6150 ext. 3306