Discussion Blog #1

Blogs are worth 10 points each in the class. One is due nearly every week in the class, by Saturday night. Here is how they will be evaluated.
1) Use proper grammar. Anywhere between 0.5 to 9 points may be deducted for this, depending on the severity of the writing. A blog post that is very poorly written, to the point of incomprehensible, could have 6-9 points deducted.
2) Answer the question, or the task directed towards each student, clearly and succinctly. This means students should be consistent in their organization of a blog post. It also means students are following the specific instructions and guidelines specified in the blog. One common mistake I see in blogs is that students research a federal program (or plan, entity, etc.) instead of a state or local program (or plan, entity, etc.). Avoid this mistake. Anywhere between 0.5 to 9 points may be deducted for this, depending on the severity.
3) Prove to me that you understand the task being presented to you, and most importantly, that you did quality research to understand the issue and provide an answer. Anywhere between 0.5 to 9 points may be deducted for not following this guideline, depending on the severity.
4) Do not plagiarize. Your blog will be a zero if it is partially or fully copied from the Internet or directly from another source. See syllabus for more details.
5). Properly cite and reference the materials in the Blog. When students use materials from an outside source, they should use both parenthetical citations and then reference the source completely after their Blog post is finished. Parenthetical citations may look like this (Jones 2016). References may look like this:
Jones, A. 2016. “A state crisis in the making.” The Indianapolis Star. Accessed from www.cite_full_website_here.com. Anywhere between 0.5 to 3 points may be deducted for violating proper citations and/or references. The references are not part of the minimum word count.
Prompt:

Chapter 1 of the textbook addresses, in part, some responsibilities of local government.  In essence, the textbook is trying to emphasize to the reader that state and local government has an important function to play in everyone’s quality of life.  Your job is to research a (just one) public policy pursued by any state or local government whose effort is to improve the quality of life of its citizens. This is an intentionally broad task.

In order to avoid duplicate answers from students, I have assigned policies for each student to research.  This listing of students and their assigned policies can be seen below.  To clarify, students have an assigned public policy below.  With that policy, students should profile an action going on (past or present) in any city, county, or state (pick one government type here – but make sure it is not a national-level policy).  Each blog post should start by clearly identifying the place, year, and public policy they are examining.  Then, the blog post should be detailed on the policy’s components (such as funding, goals, implementation, oversight, etc.).  Finally, students should critically evaluate the policy (what makes it good, what are the shortcomings, how can it be improved).

This blog post should be between 400 and 500 words of substantive value in length.  Proper grammar is expected.  Do not attach a Word document as your answer.  Type your answer in the Blackboard text box.  Students should not copy and paste content from the Internet or the assigned reading.  Original writing is expected. Student blog responses are due by Saturday night (11:59pm on 08/29). When students use materials from an outside source, they should use both parenthetical citations and then reference the source completely after their blog post is finished. Parenthetical citations may look like this: (Jones 2016).

References may look like this:

Jones, A. 2016. “A state crisis in the making.” The Indianapolis Star. Accessed from www.cite_full_website_here.com.

HINT: The best sources for this blog, and many blogs to come in the future, are from local media. For example, first visit local television stations and local newspapers of a certain state or city. If you just go straight to google and look up “campaign finance” it could very well lead you in the wrong direction; such as identifying a federal program rather than a state program. Simply relying on google could be more time consuming then doing a search for “campaign finance” in the Tribune Star, or Indianapolis Star, or St. Louis Dispatch, or Chicago Tribune, or WISH-TV, or WSIL-TV, etc.

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