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American Government POL 1110-Auditori


Current Events Connection Project

Pol 1110: American Government • Spring 2022

Overview: Over the course of the semester, you will integrate course material with domestic, political current events. You will create a document that includes a collection of eight political news (not opinion) articles covering eight different current events and a 250-300 word critical reflection for each article that explores its connection to course material. We will occasionally work on these reflections in class and share our work with others. This project will take the place of a final, cumulative exam.

Objective: To be informed about domestic, political current events, and to think about them critically—through a historical lens, through an understanding of government institutions, or with consideration of the complex processes that exist within our government.

Audience: Your classmates, and ultimately I, will be reading your reflections. You may assume that we have the same knowledge that you gain in this course. (For example, you don’t need to discuss the history of federalism or describe how a bill becomes law.)

Requirement: Read credible news sources over the course of the semester, and as you do, collect domestic, political current event articles that have a connection to our course material. As you make those connections, write a 250-300 word critical reflection for each article that identifies and explains the connections that you make.

Your project will include a clickable link to a news article, your critical reflection that explores its connection to course material, and a works cited listing … 8x.

Format (please note that each entry must be numbered, and the article title must be included along with the link):

  1. (Article title) “The Quest for Greater Transparency in the White House”

(Reflection) This article about transparency in the White House discusses one of the unilateral tools used by the president—executive privilege, which allows presidents to “shield from Congress, the judiciary, and ultimately the public the details of debates…” (Abernathy 362)…

Include at least one source from our course material in each reflection (can be Abernathy, a video we watched in class, a podcast we listened to, etc.). Use in-text citations to reference that source, as well as a works cited listing at the end of the reflection.

(Source) Abernathy, Scott F. (2022). American Government: Stories of a Nation (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  1. Do it again… and again… until you have eight.

Articles must be current (published February-May 2022) and be from credible sources.

What is a credible source? A source with little bias and with information based in accepted facts is more credible than a source with blatant bias and based in questionable facts. (All news has some bias; it’s important to recognize those biases and to at least know where to find more credible news sources.)

What I don’t want:

a summary of the news article

an editorial or opinion piece to be used as the news article

your opinion about the topic


What I do want:

  1. a recent news article from a credible source
  2. a critical reflection that explores its connection to course material
  3. a works cited listing identifying the course material that is referenced in the critical reflection (which should have at least one corresponding in-text citation)

The syllabus identifies “Current Events Connection Project work + share” days, which are class days with some time (not an entire class) for researching, reading, and writing, as well as for sharing with one another your current events and the connections that you’ve made.

You will also need to spend time outside of class working on this project.


  • Reflection 1 due Wednesday, February 16 before midnight. I will provide feedback on this reflection only to help guide your future reflections. Take advantage of the Writing Center if you feel you need additional guidance.
  • Final project due as noted on the syllabus (in lieu of the final exam). Submit on Moodle.
  • You must submit the assignment as a word doc or PDF. Ensure that the document opens and that the formatting does not change in Moodle.
  • Value: 25/100 points of your final grade.
  • Your reflections must be double-spaced and written in a semi-formal tone (no slang, no first person, occasional contractions are okay), and well-edited.
  • Each reflection must include at least one source from our course material (e.g., textbook, podcast, video watched in class, slide). Of course, you may additionally reference other credible sources.
  • Use MLA style formatting, with in-text citations and a Works Cited listing at the end of each reflection, to cite the sources used in your reflections. On Moodle, you’ll find a link to a site that demonstrates MLA style formatting.
  • You do not need to include a works cited listing for the news articles since you’re providing a direct link to the articles.


This rubric is designed to clarify expectations and to help you be successful with your project.

                                                                                    Does not meet             Meets            Exceeds

Objective                                                                        2          4             6          8           10

Demonstrates awareness of 8 different current events

Includes credible political news articles (not opinion pieces)

In reflections, shows deep understanding of current events

Content                                                                2          4             6          8           10

Explains connections to course material clearly and in detail

Indicates in-depth analysis and insight

Demonstrates proof of critical thinking

Organization                                                      1          2             3          4           5

The reflections are logical

Unity leads the reader easily through each reflection

The project is neat and well-organized

Evidence + support                                             2          4             6          8           10

One+ course material source is used in each reflection

Additional sources (if used) are well-vetted (credible, relevant)

All sources (including course materials) are properly referenced

using in-text citations and a Works Cited listing at the end of

each reflection

Writing                                                                       2          4             6          8           10

Writing is clear and concise

Communication is skillful and fluent, with a semi-formal tone

Paper is publication-ready (free of typos and grammatical errors)

Logistics                                                                      1          2             3          4           5

You include all components of the assignment

Your reflections are double-spaced

You are prepared to share your work along the way

You submit your project on Moodle by the due date

TOTAL            /50