Constitutional Convention Paper Requirements



How the U.S. government functions and its flaws have been topics of discussion this semester. By this point, it should be clear that there are several inefficiencies and many places where our political system may be improved. In our Constitutional Convention exercise, we’ll discuss the issue of what precise changes need to be made. If we had the chance to change the Constitution, how would we, as a class, do it?
We will host a miniature constitutional convention on December 2nd and 4th. Imagine that we are the delegates to a national conference to modify the Constitution after 2/3 of the states have petitioned Congress to convene one. We’ll talk about potential changes, weigh their benefits and drawbacks, and then decide whether to formally propose them (at which point they’ll need to be approved by 3/4 of state legislatures before being added to the Constitution). The complete set of convention rules can be found on Moodle.

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Paper specifications
You will submit a paper in advance of the convention in which you will list two amendments that, in your opinion, will strengthen the American government. Both of these amendments must be political in nature; one of them must be institutional (i.e., suggest a change to how federalism functions or the three branches of government and the bureaucracy exercise their powers) and the other must be political (i.e., it may address any other element of the political system, such as elections, campaigns, political parties, interest groups, the media, civil rights and liberties, etc.). I urge you to be imaginative when making your adjustments. There is a paper on Moodle that lists some past proposals for changes, although those are undoubtedly not the only or even the best options for altering the political system. That document is meant to stimulate your thought process, not replace it. During our convention, one of your amendments might be chosen for discussion.
Your paper needs to follow these instructions for each of the two amendments:

1. Describe why you believe the way we currently conduct ourselves is problematic.
2. To find out how other nations approach this, see the website Constitute, which tracks constitutions around the world. It is arranged by topic, making it simple to find comparable clauses in the constitutions of other nations. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of at least two relevant constitutional provisions from other nations.
3. Clearly spell out the entire wording of your proposed amendment as it would appear in the Constitution. Your constitutional amendment might include new wording, modify an existing clause, or make a certain clause more clear. In your amendment, be brief.
4. Describe the thinking behind your amendment. In what ways will it advance our political system? Why do you think this is the best course of action for American government reform?
Ten percent of your final course score will be based on this essay. Your essay needs to meet the criteria listed below in order to be fully graded:

• Have margins of one inch, an approximate page length of six, and double-spaced text in 11- or 12-point type.
• Be written in essay format, using complete paragraphs and sentences rather than bullet points (you can use headings to make your paper easier to read).
• For both of your suggested revisions, thoroughly address all four of the aforementioned points.
• Be well-written, utilizing proper sentence and paragraph structure, word choice, grammar, spelling, and writing style. I advise you to seek assistance from the Writing Center for your paper, especially if you have had trouble with writing in the past or in prior classes.
Cite every source you used to create your paper. This includes any additional sources you use in addition to the Constitute website. When using a source, I prefer that you include an in-text citation (such as a footnote or parenthetical citation) and then include a Works Cited page at the conclusion with a complete citation to the source. Any citation style is acceptable as long as it is accurate, thorough, and consistent. Once more, you can get assistance from the Writing Center with citing your sources correctly.


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