allowing third party candidates enter presidential debatesfor H u m a n i t i e s

allowing third party candidates enter presidential debatesfor H u m a n i t i e s

Your paper should make a case for against a reform to the U.S. electoral system. This is not a summary of what other scholars or groups have said about this issue. Rather, this is a persuasive essay that presents an original argument. You will not be graded on whether or not you take the “correct” side of the issue. You will be graded on how well you articulate and defend the side that you choose to take.

Your argument should be backed up by facts and not just opinions. You must draw on scholarly sources (books or journal articles — NOT Wikipedia) and cite them using MLA-style in-text citations. Websites can also be used, but be discerning about the credibility of the sites you choose. The strongest arguments will also anticipate possible criticisms of the reform and respond accordingly.

  • A copy of your paper is due by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, December 1. Papers must be uploaded through It is your responsibility to ensure your paper is uploaded. Save or screen shot your submission receipt. I will not accept papers that are not submitted on time.
  • Your paper should be typed and double-spaced in a standard 12-point font. You should aim to have about 6-8 full pages of text. This is not a strict min/max, but note that your grade may be reduced if you fail to adequately defend your statements.
  • This paper should be your own words and argument, so try to limit the use of direct quotations and large block quotes from other sources.
  • You must include a works cited page (not counted in the 6-8 page range)

You are free to choose your own topic, but some suggestions are:

  • For or against limiting outside spending in campaigns
  • For or against removing/easing hard money rules
  • For or against instituting a voting holiday
  • For or against instituting compulsory voting
  • For or against national laws creating same day registration
  • For or against all mail ballots
  • For or against having a national primary election day
  • For or against abolishing the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote
  • For or against allowing third party candidates enter presidential debates
  • For or against replacing SMDP with a proportional system