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Assignment Questions

Citizenship and Social Change

The text of analytical paper should be roughly 10-12 pages. That does not include any supporting materials—references, tables, figures, and so on. There are a few points to keep in mind. First, organization and clarity are important. I often read papers that apparently were not proofread by the author or anyone else. You should proofread both for grammar, spelling, etc., and to make sure that your argument is clear and that the analysis is cohesive and well organized. Second, do not make unsubstantiated factual claims! If it is a statement of fact, provide documentation. Third, the more informative and/or persuasive the paper is, the better. Teach the reader something, or convince the reader of something. The topics are deliberately broad so that you have room to define most of the grounds of your own paper.

Citizenship and social change. Much of the discussion about citizenship, political engagement, and so on has addressed elements of society that have, at least purportedly, undergone change over time. Your task is to provide a detailed assessment of one such element (or more than one if they are related). Your examination should focus on something relatively tangible and specific. For example, the catalytic converter is preferable to “social capital,” and the growth of suburbia is preferable to “trust.” At least three major themes must be discussed as part of your analysis: 1) why the phenomenon you have selected is important (and especially why it is important for citizenship/civic engagement); 2) what, specifically, has changed over time with respect to this phenomenon, and with what implications; and 3) what recommendations you offer for communities and/or policymakers.

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