Discussion Blog #4

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.


It seems as though a constant in American politics is that governments are cash strapped. The federal government, as well as many state, county, and city governments typically have problems collecting enough revenue to meet their expectations on spending. The City of Terre Haute is one prime example of this, as it is frequently criticized for operating with a budget deficit. I know that other cities are facing similar problems given the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your task is to explore these other cities.

Specifically, in this blog post students need to first identify a city currently experiencing budgetary issues. This city must be in the state I assign you (see table below). The blog should identify what is causing this budget problem and then address what that city is doing/proposing to try and solve their budget problem. I expect this task will require some outside research to fully complete.

I want students to use parenthetical citations in their write-up.  And then, when the blog is completed, I want students to include a works cited listing (see rubric for more information).  Just pasting a link at the end of the blog is NOT a legit works cited listing. So, make sure you do better than that or points will be deducted. 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 the assigned readings.  Original writing is expected.  This blog post is due by Saturday night (11:59pm).

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