Essay One Paper Details:
The topic of essay one will be bureaucratic institutions. As you’ll find out when you read Chapter Eight of the textbook, the executive branch of the American government has many, many bureaucratic institutions which help it to carry out daily governance. Some of these institutions help organize domestic politics (like the Department of Education), some conduct foreign policy (like the Department of State), and some do so many things that we aren’t even sure of what their responsibilities are (like the National Security Agency).
If you need help choosing a bureaucratic institution, you can peruse the list on this page: http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml
Almost every institution listed on that page is a valid topic for the essay. Further, this list is comprehensive, so if you picked a topic for your essay and can’t find it on this list, that topic is probably not valid. If you’re confused or need help picking a topic, email me or come to my office hours!
You will be required to choose one of these bureaucratic institutions and perform the following tasks within a 2-4 page essay:
(1) Describe the bureaucratic institution’s history. When was it formed? What was its original purpose? Who were the important leaders that helped define this institution?
(2) Describe the day-to-day activities of this institution. What are its responsibilities? How does it ensure its tasks are carried out? Have these responsibilities changed since the institution was first created?
(3) Critique the institution’s more recent actions/decisions (within the past 10 years). Do you agree or disagree with the work it has done? What would you change about its actions?
This part of the assignment is worth 80 of the 500 total points that make up your final grade. You will be graded based on:
(1) How thorough you were in completing the above three tasks. (20 points per task, for a total of 60/80 points)
(2) Grammar and clarity of writing. You do not need to be 100% error free, but if your writing style makes your essay hard to read, you can be penalized up to 20 points. (20/80 points)
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