Govt. 1 Spring 2010 Paper Assignment


This paper will consist of several different sections:


1. A report on your volunteer experience

2. A section on the history of youth political participation and activism .

3. An analysis of what factors contribute to student political involvement incorporating lessons from section 2, your recent experience, and current events and research on youth and political engagement.


Section I, Volunteer Report


1-1.5  pages


Write a report on your volunteer experience including the following information: 

  • Name and purpose of organization
  • Work you did for the group
  • What goals did your work contribute to?
  • Describe the setup of the organization from your personal observation – what types of people worked with you?  Did it seem well organized or scattered?  Did it seem likely that the group would achieve its goals?  Why or why not?


Section II, Research


2.5-4 pages


Section two will require you to use the CSUS library.  You are to research the following questions: How much do younger Americans (18-29 or so) participate in politics? How has this changed over the years? Why are their participation rates not higher?  

This section will require you to use library resources.  You will need to cite at least one book and one academic article (published in an academic journal, and available through the library databases such as JSTOR or Prospector).  In addition, you may use online sources such as youth vote websites.   You will need to cite a minimum total of 4 sources for this section (the book and journal article count towards the 4). The textbook for the course does not count, nor does Wikipedia.


Section III, Analysis


 1.5-2 pages


This is the analysis section.  You are bringing together aspects of sections I and II and making sense of them.  The primary questions to answer in this section are:


  • What factors seem to lead to a successful student/youth political participation? (For example, does it have to do with the political climate, the nature of the issues, the way groups are organized?  How it gets members involved?)


  • What did the group you volunteered for do well in terms of getting you or other students/ youth involved? 
  • What changes or improvements could they make to attract more students/youth? 


  • And finally:  What do you see as the future of youth/student political activism over the next 5-10 years?  Will more young people and students get involved in politics?  Fewer?  Why, and under what circumstances?


Here is a basic outline of what you need for your paper:


A. Title page including:

            Your Name

            Title of paper

            Instructor’s name (Professor Nalder)

            Course Title

            Date of submission


B. Section I

            A 1-2 page report on your volunteer experience


C. Section II

            Research section. 

            Minimum 1 book, 1 academic article, total of 4 sources

D. Section III

            Analysis section


E. Works Cited page (APSA Style or MLA Style)

            Minimum 4 total sources

            At least 1 book

            At least 1 academic article

            At least 2 others (could also be books or academic articles)


F. Appendix: Your volunteer verification sheet(s) (signed and completed)



Due Friday, April 30 , at the beginning of class.  I will deduct 5% per day late (including weekends).  It is considered late by one day if not turned in at the beginning of class on Dec. 1. A hard copy is required.