Discussion Blog #3

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.



This blog post addresses state constitutions. A constitution composed for a democratic government includes two major components; the first being what the governing structure of the nation is (how are laws created and enforced, etc.) and the second being what are the civil liberties bestowed onto citizens. The U.S. Constitution does this and state constitutions do as well. Students need to profile a state and research its constitution. In researching their state constitution, students need to identify 5 provisions that seek to protect civil liberties. As a quick definition of civil liberties, these are individual (citizen) protections from the government. Then, students need to identify 5 provisions that set-up a governing structure in the state (legislative branch provisions, executive branch provisions, etc.). In your discussion you should finally identify 2-3 points where the state differs from the U.S. Constitution. Students are assigned states, see the table below to see which state constitution you must profile.

The first sentence of the blog post should be the state you are profiling. Blog post responses must be between 400 and 500 words in length. Students should not use quotes when writing this blog post.  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 from any state constitution. State constitutional provisions can be paraphrased, and you should work on that writing technique here. Original writing is expected. This blog post is due by Saturday night (11:59pm).

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