PART I: CHOICE OF ISSUE, PARTY PLATFORM POSITIONS, ISSUE IN THE NEWS
Part I of the assignment sets the stage for the remaining three section. Take some time to investigate and choose a topic of interest that you can work with and will enjoy analyzing. Part I requires you to investigate a topic of your choosing in three ways: the position taken on this issue by the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and then how this issue is appearing in the news as a current event. 
What is a party platform? Party platforms are compiled by selected committee members who debate and vote on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy positions. Decisions made become the basis of the party’s platform. Party platforms are important, in that they provide a clear political position for the candidate to run on, provide voters a sense of what the candidate believes in, the issues thought important, and if elected, how they will be addressed. 
Both the Democratic and Republican party draft new platforms every four years to coincide with the presidential election. However, in 2020 the Republican National Committee made the following resolutions, resulting in no new platform. Therefore, for this assignment, we will use the 2016 Republican Party Platform.
ü “RESOLVED, That the Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.”
ü “RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.”
INITIAL REQUIREMENTS: CHOOSING A TOPIC
If you are not familiar with the general positions taken by Democrats vs. Republicans, watch the quick video, Democrats vs. Republicans Explained in 5 Minutes! You may find this helpful to orient your decisions regarding what to investigate.
Begin by reviewing the party platforms of both the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. Begin with the Index – this will show you the topics considered important by the party. It may be easier to begin with the Democrats – their index is broken in much greater detail than the Republicans. Decide upon a topic that interests you and that you would like to research. 
Review the position taken by both political parties. The Democratic platform is organized by topic, but you will find that the Republican platform discusses topics in multiple sections, requiring you to dig a little deeper to grasp their full position. Read over the different positions, considering their similarities or differences in how they address this issue.
Next, find an article from a reputable news source that reports on some aspect of this issue in the media. You will summarize this article, and tie it into the positions taken by both parties. Be sure to pick an article with enough information for you to work with. Your article should be published within the last 18 months. How to know if a news source is reputable? A reputable source provides accurate content from reputable and verified sources. Content and headlines will accurately represent the article content, avoiding bias that plays on reader’s emotions. If you are unsure of your source, run it through https://mediabiasfactcheck.com
Important: You must include a copy of your article with your paper. Do not provide only a link. Upload the article into the assignment link or cut and paste it and add it to the end of your paper.
  
WRITING THE PAPER: REQUIREMENTS AND OUTLINE
(Provide the following six headings in your paper)
INTRODUCTION 
Begin by defining the issue that you have chosen to investigate. Explain why this is an important campaign issue for the American population to consider. Explain why you chose to focus on this topic. Why do you find it interesting? 
DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM
Summarize the Democratic position on this issue. Do not merely cut and paste from the report, but summarize the important aspects of the campaign issue. Why is this issue singled out for mention in the overall party platform? Do Democrats see this issue as currently problematic and in need of reform? How does the party believe this issue effects the American people? How will the issue be addressed, and what solutions are offered?
REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
Summarize the Republican position on this issue. Do not merely cut and paste from the report, but summarize the important aspects of the campaign issue. Why is this issue singled out for mention in the overall party platform? Do Republicans see this issue as currently problematic and in need of reform? How does the party believe this issue effects the American people? How will the issue be addressed, and what solutions are offered?
ANALYSIS OF SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
Compare the party platforms. Do they have any similarities? What are the main differences between the position taken by both sides on this issue? How does the influence the ways the candidates will address this issue? 
THIS TOPIC IN THE NEWS
Be sure to follow the guidelines described above in choosing your news article. Once you are assured of your article’s reputability and are happy with the depth of information provided, include the following information for this section of the paper. (Do not forget to include a copy of the article with the assignment.)
– Introduce the article by providing the article title, author, source and date. Also briefly summarize the issue being covered. 
– Identify why this topic is considered newsworthy at this time. What social factors are contributing to the current public interest in this issue? 
– Using a sociological lens, identify any historical factors or current social changes that are important to understanding this issue. Go beyond what is simply reported in the article – no topic exists in a vacuum – many different complex factors are behind any social topic. What factors are at the root of this issue?
– Finally, tie the news coverage to the platform positions. What are the political implications of this issue? Does coverage indicate this a concern and on the radar of Republicans and or Democrats? Is it being addressed in a manner that is consistent with the party platform? 
PERSONAL REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION PROMPT:
End your paper with a personal reflection of the issue. In your opinion, which platform do you believe is best for the country, and why?  
In Part III you will be required to pull your information together into a presentation for group members and provide a prompt to stimulate a discussion about this issue. What kind of conversation would you like people to have? What important aspects of the topic need to be discussed? Provide a draft of a possible prompt for your topic (it may change or be modified, but start thinking about where you want the conversation to go.)
  
Grading Criteria
Follow the assignment descriptions carefully! This sounds simple enough, but students often lose valuable points on assignments because they did not read and follow directions carefully. Your work will be evaluated on how well you fulfill assignment criteria and follow directions. 
For your information, a rubric is included with this assignment. Rubric sections mirror the outline requested above, and grades will reflect your depth, insight, and understanding of the issue.
Formatting: 
Your papers should be double spaced, using a standard 11 or 12-point font, 1” margins on all sides and paginated. Your paper should be written in paragraph form; do not include any bullet points. The bullet points included above are items you should consider and investigate, not answer verbatim. Write a well thought out, organized analysis. Be sure to save and format your work! Always create your work in a Word document or some other savable format prior to posting it to the assignment links. I cannot give credit for work that is lost or not submitted. 
Keep your writing professional and objective. Please proofread your paper before submitting it to ensure that it is free of grammatical and structural errors. 
Submitting Your Assignment
Papers must be submitted through the appropriate assignment link on or before the end of the day on the assigned due date of Sunday, Nov 15. Remember to also include a copy of your article – not merely a link. When submitting, be sure to check the Plagiarism Tools box, stating you agree to submit your paper to the Global Reference Database. This runs your paper through SafeAssign where any outside input (plagiarism of material not your own) will be flagged and points deducted. Grades will not be submitted unless papers are properly uploaded into Blackboard.

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