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Writing Assignment 2


-Read “A Full-Time or Part-Time Legislature?” on page 217 of the textbook.
-The title for Writing Assignment 2 is:  “Texas Legislature Sessions and the State of Texas Minimum Wage.”
“Background of the Issue: “Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased?” on ProCon.com.

These are the two sets of critical response questions for Writing Assignment 2:
     1.  Do you support or oppose the Texas Legislature changing its regular sessions from biennial, part-time sessions to annual, full-time session?
(Don’t really have an option on this subject so you can make the decision on which one)  Why or why not?”

    2.  Do you support or oppose the State of Texas raising the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour?  Why or why not?
-Provide a response to each of the two set of questions with three reasons why you feel the way you do and at least 500 words of analysis.  Your total response to both questions must therefore consist of at least 1,000 words of analysis.

Writing Assignment Format
-Do not use a title page.
-Insert a heading in the body of your first page consisting of four double-spaced lines.  On line one type your first and last name; on line two type “Professor Michael A. Kelley”; on line three type “Government 2306”; and on line four type the month, day, and year you submit your writing assignment.  The first line of your heading should be one inch from the top of the first page and all four lines should be flush with the left margin, one inch from the left margin of the page.
-Center the title of the assignment two spaces below the fourth line of your heading.
-Two spaces below the title and flush with the left margin write verbatim the critical response questions posed for analysis.
-Two spaces below the restated questions posed for analysis begin your first paragraph with the first line indented one-half inch from the left margin.
-Use one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and sides of each of your pages.
-Use 12-point Times New Roman font for all of your writing.
-Double space all lines including the lines between paragraphs.
-Indent the first line of a paragraph one-half inch from the left margin and use double spacing between paragraphs.
-Insert page numbers centered in the footer that consist of a cardinal number.
-Organize your thoughts and ideas into paragraphs that consist of 3-5 paragraphs.

-Save and submit your assignment with the document named with your first name, a space, your last name, a space, “Writing Assignment,” a space, then the writing assignment number.  For example, Joe Smith’s first writing assignment would be saved and submitted as “Joe Smith Writing Assignment 1.”
-Save and submit your assignment in the rich text format (.rtf).

Critical Analysis Response

-Respond with at least the minimum number of analysis words required for the assignment.
-Only those words stating what you think and why you feel the way you do count towards the number of words for which you will receive credit for the assignment.  The heading, title, restated critical response questions, parenthetical citations, and introductory and concluding comments do not count towards the writing assignment word count requirement.
-In the first sentence of your first paragraph respond to the questions posed for your analysis with an explanation about what you think.  
-In each of the next three paragraphs the topic sentence should be one of the three reasons you feel the way you do and 2-4 supporting sentences backing up why you feel that way.
-Do not provide a conclusion at the end of your analysis. 

Citation of Other’s Writing, Research, and Statistics

-You do not have to use the original thoughts, ideas, writings, research, or statistics of another person to respond to our class critical analysis writing assignment questions, but if you do you must use the Modern Language Association (MLA) documentation style in which you acknowledge your sources with brief parenthetical citations in your text and an alphabetical list of works that appears at the end of your writing assignment.  
-In MLA style (MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics) referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what is known as parenthetical citation.  This method involves placing relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase.  The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends upon the source medium and upon the source’s entry on the Works Cited (bibliography) page.  Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.
-According to MLA style (
MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format) you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text.  Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.  Label the page “Works Cited” without italicizing the words or putting them into quotation marks then center the words “Works Cited” at the top of the page.  Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.  Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
Grammar and Writing Guidance

-Do not respond with rhetorical comments or rhetorical questions since these improperly assume your reader knows what you mean and agrees with whatever viewpoint you are trying to express.
-Do not make colloquial comments which may not be clearly understood by your reader.
-Never use second-person pronouns in our class first-person narratives such as “you,” “we,” “us,” and “our.”
-Specify to whom you are referring with a specific noun and do not state such generic terms as “person,” “people,” or “one.”
-Do not qualify your viewpoint with such comments as “I think,” “I believe,” “I feel” or “in my opinion,” since it is known you are sharing what you think, believe, or feel.  As such, simply state your viewpoint without qualification and this qualification so your focus remains on the subject of your analysis, not on yourself.
-Properly spell each word of your response.
-Spell out acronyms when first used then place the abbreviation for the acronym in parentheses after the fully-spelled-out words.  Do not use an acronym if the full term it represents is only used once in your writing.
-Do not begin a sentence with an abbreviation or cardinal numbers.
-Capitalize all proper nouns.
-Spell out whole words ten or less and use cardinal numbers for all other numerals.
-Never use exclamation marks in academic writing since this is the equivalent of yelling when speaking.
-Do not use contractions and spell out all words in academic writing.
-Use proper spelling for all words.
-Capitalize only proper nouns.
-Provide one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark.
-Do not use second-person pronouns such as “you,” “us,” and “we.”
-Do not refer generically to “people,” “persons,” “one,” or “they.”  Instead, specify to whom you are referring.
-Spell out whole numbers below ten and use cardinal numbers for all other numbers.  Also, spell out any number that is used at the beginning of a sentence.
-Do not use contractions or abbreviations.  Spell out all words.
-Do not use rhetorical questions, statements, or expressions.  Doing so improperly assumes your reader knows to what you are referring and agrees with your viewpoint.
-A period or comma goes inside of a quotation mark.
-Fully spell out the first and last name of a person when first referenced in your writing.  Refer to them only by their last name after that.
-Spell out “United States” when referring to the nation United States of America.

-Use the abbreviation “U.S.” when referring to the United States of America as an adjective.

-Do not end a sentence with a preposition.
-Spell out the words of an acronym when it is first referenced and then put the abbreviation for that acronym in parentheses.  Do not use the abbreviation for the acronym if the term is only used once in your writing.
-Paraphrase, do not quote, any reference or cited work.  State the information in your own words.
-Shorten statements by converting prepositional phrases to an adjective or noun.
-Do not qualify your thoughts or ideas with such phrases as “I think” or “I believe.”  Simply state your viewpoint without qualification.
-If you reference paragraphs or concepts by number or order, you must do so for all paragraphs or concepts.
-Do not use the phrases “lots of” or “a lot.”  State, instead, “many” or “numerous.”
-Use dashes between multiple words when creating compound adjectives, such as “19-year-old” or “American-made.”
-Do not use in our class critical analysis writing assignments exclamation points, italicized words, or quoted words to show emphasis.
-Do not introduce new arguments or evidence in your final paragraph or when concluding your viewpoint.
-When listing items, only use definitive terms or words.  Do not conclude your list of items with such open-ended terms as “etc.” or “so on.”
-The term “except” does not mean “but.”
-“Who” is a subject while “whom” is an object.
-When using verb tenses be sure they match.
-Do not make overly-broad or unrealistic comments qualified by “everybody,” “everyone,” “anybody,” or “anyone.”
-The word “effect” is a noun while the word “affect” is a verb.
-Underline or italicize a book, newspaper, or magazine title.

-Use quotation marks to italicize the name of a book chapter, newspaper article, or magazine article.

-Use “they” for “he” or “she.”
-Use “their” for “his” or “hers.”
-Shorten phrases by converting prepositional phrases to adjectives.  For example, convert “President of the United States” to “U.S. president.”
-When you state, “not only,” you must then include “but also” in the second part of that sentence.
-When writing a large dollar figure, use a dollar sign, the number, and the quantity.  For example, “$25 million.”-Simply state your ideas and do not qualify it with such statements as “in order” or “so that.”
-Refer to a group or inanimate object with the pronoun “it” and not “they.”
-A “legislator” is a member of a state lawmaking body.  A “legislature” is a state lawmaking body.
-Do not use any sentence fragments.  A sentence fragment is a set of words which does not form a complete sentence either because it does not express a complete thought or because it lacks a subject or a verb.
-Do not use any run-on sentences.  A run-on sentence is where two or more complete sentences are joined without an appropriate conjunction or punctuation mark.







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