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Note: do not make the case for which branch is most powerful; argue on behalf of which check or balance listed below is the most important.
For this exercise, you will be arguing in favor of one of the following checks and balances:
The presidential veto
Impeachment and removal from office by the legislature
Purpose: the purpose of this assignment includes the following:
To research and explain the workings of three salient checks of the three governmental branches.
To demonstrate critical thinking skills by stating a position and defending it with evidence.
To develop skills of argumentation that will help you write persuasively in the future.
Step One: Explanation of issues: First, define each of the three checks/balances listed above and describe the specifics of how each one works to be utilized successfully. Use a compare and contrast (Links to an external site.) format to accomplish this. Example: “The Congress has the power of _____, for Congress to use this successfully, the first step is…”
Step Two: Assert a position/analysis presented (perspective, thesis/hypothesis): Why is the check/balance you chose the most essential to our republic? What is it designed to accomplish, and how does it do so? What are the limits or weaknesses of this power? What about the power you chose as most important makes it more necessary to a functional republic than the other two? Example: “___ is the most important goal of the federal government. [The check] ___ is the most important check in accomplishing this as it___…”
Step three: Gather and attribute your evidence: Although you are expressing your opinion, to be taken seriously you must support your proposal with no fewer than three (3) relevant expert sources that are of the highest quality and credibility. Use sources with perspectives that are consistent with one another; your points must be clear and without contradiction. You must cite each source both in the body of the essay and on a Works Cited page. The table below will help explain evidence quality:
Sources that are consistent with your argument and thus support your conclusion
Information that merely describes your subject matter rather than supports your assertion; your course textbook is most likely in this category
Work that is inconsistent with your argument or contradictory to it; superficial material such as dictionary definitions or encyclopedia descriptions
Step Four: Conclusion and related outcomes (implications and consequences): Your conclusion should leave the reader with a feeling of closure, that you accomplished your goal of substantiating your original assertion. Restate your thesis briefly and summarize the evidence that supports your overall point. Do not introduce any new information, but you may speculate on the implications of your findings.