Political Sciences

ASOC374 (#9355)
Fall 2020

Assignment #1: Discussing a Controversial Issue

In previous weeks, we have discussed different ideas about the welfare system in the U.S. and
the welfare reform. Murray argues that the welfare benefits could do harm to the society and
generate welfare dependency while others believe welfare is the solution to reducing poverty.
There are many issues that draw public debate and research. For this assignment, you’re going to
choose one of the issues that is related to the American welfare system that you’re interested in
and discuss research on this issue. For example, you may want to discuss whether we should
increase public income support. Will it harm women’s incentive of marriage or increase marriage
rate? You will discuss the pros and cons of the issue you choose (e.g. increasing public income
support), those who against it and those who support it, as well as summarize related research on
this issue.
Please submit to Top Hat a typed, double-spaced paper (in PDF format) of 3-5 pages, font size
11-12, 1-inch margins. When you need to use content from literature, do paraphrase (i.e. use
your own words), simply “copy and paste” will be considered as plagiarism.
Step 1: Engagement of one of the issues to reach a judgment about.
 Clear definition of the controversial issue.
 Clear delineation of the sides (pro and con) of the issue.
 Clear identification of the main antagonists and protagonists.
Step 2: Clear description of the research that has been done on the issue (at least three
 What research has been done on the issue?
 Refer to and reason out the qualitative and quantitative research to your advantage.
 By who? Impartial observers? Journalists? Advocates? Intellectuals? Exactly who?
 Is the research tending to come down on one side of the issue, i.e., tending to support one
side over other side?
 Cite the literature.
 Do NOT give a history of the programs related to the issue for their own sake!
Concentrate on the issue and the debate, not the history.

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