POLS 304 NIU Public Opinion & American Politics in Light of The Public Essay

Reaction Papers refers to the quality of your written “reaction” to a group of readings. The reaction papers are designed to introduce you to important scholarly literature and to provide students the opportunity to explore and understand each text individually and evaluate how well each accomplishes its own objectives. These reaction papers should provide a focused discussion of the assigned readings rather than a summary of them. Since you will be evaluating several weeks readings, you must also discover how the texts relate to one another. A reaction paper may include a discussion of interesting questions that the readings raise for the class, but such a discussion is not sufficient by itself. Writing a good response is not simply a matter of reading the text, understanding it, and expressing an opinion about it. You must allow yourself enough time to be clear about what each text says and how the texts all relate to one another. In other words, response papers require you to synthesize the intellectual work of others—that is, bring it together into an integrated whole. In preparing to write your response papers, therefore, it is crucial that you allow yourself not just enough time to do the readings but enough to digest what you have read and to put the results together into a unified account. 

Be analytical – think BIG! What are the implications of the key points of a reading or readings in the short-term, long-term, etc.? So, for example, the first set of readings discuss the connection between public opinion and democratic governance and a reasonable approach to Reaction Paper #1 may be to examine the extent to which the public is equipped to participate in the democratic process as supported by the assigned readings. Alternatively, you might focus on the role polls play in responsive governance, the implications, and whether you find polling results an appropriate/convincing representation of the people’s voice. Challenge the argument or assumptions being made by an author or authors and suggest an alternative · Consider problems with the approach or methodology being used and suggest an alternative. Integrate common themes among the readings wherever you can!

https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/06/02/most-americans-favor-the-death-penalty- despite-concerns-about-its-administration/

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/21/how-americans-see-climate-change-and- the-environment-in-7-charts/

https://news.gallup.com/poll/1651/gay-lesbian- rights.aspx

https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2019/11/25/u-s-public-views-on-climate-and- energy/


https://www.pewresearch.org/2021/03/05/a-year-of-u-s-public-opinion-on-the-coronavirus- pandemic/

https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/343649/american-public-opinion-gun- violence.aspx

https://www .pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/01/21/do-state-laws-on-abortion-reflect-public- opinion/

http://www .pewforum.org/fact-sheet/public-opinion-on-abortion/

https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2018/04/26/2-views-of-american-democratic-values- and-principles/

https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2018/04/26/the-public-the-political-system-and- american-democracy/

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