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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? 

  • Free: Info that's true and verifiable (and that your professor will accept!) isn't easy to find for free on the internet. Even Google Scholar just shows you things behind paywalls. Library books are free!
  • Big Picture: Books can give you a detailed analysis of a topic touching on many sides of an issue, so you can use one book as a source instead of looking for several articles
  • Accessibility: Will provide background information and explain basic concepts and terms

San Jacinto College Library Catalog

Find Books and More!
Catalog Home

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.

The American Political Science Association (APSA) uses a "light version" of the Chicago Manual of Style citation system that doesn't use footnotes.

Click on the file below to open a PDF that will walk you through how to cite some of the most common sources in APSA. If you need help, email| Central Library: 281-476-1850 | Generation Park Campus: 281-998-6150 x8133 | North Library: 281-459-7116 | South Library: 281-998-6150 ext. 3306