American Presidency

The topics for the third writing assignment are below. You may choose to write about either topic. This assignment should be no more than 750 words in length. You do not need to use references, but please cite any sources that you do use. You should briefly explain and defend an argument; you will not have room to say much, so I encourage you to stick to a single main point, and I strongly encourage you to get right to the point because there is no room for an introduction. The topic below is a guideline; you should write something closely related to it, but you do not need to answer the questions directly. The paper should be completed and submitted no later than midnight on Thursday of week 6.

  1. How should we classify the last four Presidents (Clinton, G.W. Bush, Obama, Trump) in political time? Feel free to categorize them however you see fit, but defend your classification. Make sure that you classify them in a way that is consistent with Skowronek’s overall theory; if you depart from the theory, be sure to explain and defend that decision.
  2. The system by which we elect Presidents in the United States is often criticized. Primaries, campaign finance, advertising, campaign rhetoric, and the Electoral College are all popular targets, and there are plenty more potential issues. Is the presidential election system fundamentally broken? If not, why does it receive so much criticism? If so, how can we fix it? (I encourage you to focus on one aspect, either one of those listed above or anything else related to presidential elections. This does not need to be, and in fact cannot really be, a comprehensive analysis of the entire process.) Please submit your writing assignment as a single file in one of the following formats: Word 97-2003 (.doc), Word 2007+ (.docx), PDF (.pdf), or rich text (.rtf). If none of these are available, it can be submitted as plain text (.txt).

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS