The Supreme Court heard a case two terms ago considering whether or not a baker has the right to refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple if they have a religious objection. The state of Colorado alleges that the bakers actions violate state non-discrimination laws while the baker contends that his actions are protected by the first amendment.
The Court ultimately ruled in favor of the baker, but the ruling was narrow in focus and did not establish judicial precedent on the questions of discrimination and first amendment rights.
Your paper should not focus on whether or not gay marriage is morally correct or sinful. It should also not focus on whether it was morally correct or sinful for the baker to refuse service or whether or not the couple should have brought legal action against the baker. Were interested in the question of the law and constitutionality. Is Colorados law unconstitutional? Were the bakers actions protected by the constitution? Your position should speak to the question of where the line is drawn between the first amendment and discrimination.
Read the following article, perform outside research, and support a position. ALL of your arguments and positions should be supported by documented outside evidence. Citing the text of the first amendment along with your interpretation of what that means is NOT sufficient supporting evidence. We have hundreds of years of case law and interpretation of the Constitution. Look for Federal Court rulings on similar constitutional clashes.
Students will be provided with an article(s) on a political issue and will be required to submit the following:
1) Students will write a 700, not to exceed 750, word position paper over the work assigned by the instructor. The bibliography and heading do not count towards the required word count. The paper must be written in MLA format, double spaced, and include a bibliography if outside sources are used. Students are expected to utilize proper grammar and syntax. The paper should:
After performing thorough research, establish a position on the topic in question.
Do not summarize the piece you are writing about. A few lines of general summary are sufficient, but the bulk of the paper needs to focus on your reaction.
Students are expected to make use of outside sources when researching and writing their reaction papers. Students must document these sources in a bibliography and via parenthetical citations. Failure to do this is plagiarism. Avoid using lengthy quotes.
You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Personal opinion cannot be wrong, but you can demonstrate poor logic or utilize inaccurate or distorted information. Engage in due diligence when referencing facts and conclusions and think critically about your own reasoning. Points will be deducted for issues in this area. Anecdotal evidence (I knew someone who) is rarely sufficient support of an argument.
Likewise, differing points of view should be given a fair hearing and shouldnt be altered to align with your criticism. Do not construct strawman arguments to pick apart and do not engage in ad hominem or unsupported personal attacks.
At all times students should demonstrate logical critical thinking skills, illustrate clarity of though when expressing personal opinion, and should support claims and arguments with credible evidence/supporting opinions.
Dig deeper when writing these papers. Avoid clich theses like People should be better educated or Politicians should work together more. The instructor is looking for a clash of ideas, solutions to problems, and a consideration of potential counter arguments to students ideas. Students should demonstrate they can express an opinion without blindly rejecting arguments against it. Students should strive to follow the truth wherever it leads
There may be multiple points that a paper could be written on in a given week, but the word count of these assignments is limited and it is usually best to focus on one aspect of the discussion. It is better to have one well developed idea than to give shallow treatment of several points.