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The assignment instructions are:
The object of this requirement is for you to explain how or why a law or policy or event in American politics happened as it did.  Set this project up as a puzzle in which something happened and you do not know why.  Your task is first to frame the puzzle and then to provide the solution for the reader.

The topics are relatively broad, so first pick one specific thing that the government has done (passing a law, for example).  DO NOT PICK A COURT ACTION, since court their decisions may reflect more legal than political reasons.  Then develop a very clear research question asking why the government did the action to focus your research.  The research question will set up your puzzle.

Then, after you do your research on the topic, develop a very clear answer to the question, which will be the thesis, your solution to the puzzle.  Use the body of the paper to provide convincing evidence from your sources that the thesis correctly answers the research question.

Be very sure to focus on politics and not someone’s opinion (including yours) about whether the policy or event in question was a good or bad idea.  By “focus on politics” I mean to explore how political actors – interest groups, parties, members of Congress, the president, the media, or other individuals – fought for their preferred outcomes.  Some actors won, and the event came out the way they wanted, while others lost.  Why?  Why did the event happen the way that it did?

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