1. Select an interest group. You may choose a group that works at any level of government to influence policymaking. Project Vote Smart has a website which enables you to search for interest groups by issue area. This group search tool is found at: http://votesmart.org/interest-groups.
Using the group’s web site and other appropriate sources, gather information on their key issues and ideologies. Also look for your group in the news to help you figure out their policy priorities and issues. Once you have found this information, write an analysis that incorporates the following:
a. History: Provide a brief (1-2 paragraphs) overview of the group including when it was founded.
b. Issues: What are the group’s key issues? What legislation does your group support or oppose? What actions does your group undertake to try and influence policy.
Hint: Remember the tactics we discussed in class: media campaigns, lawsuits, lobbying contributions.
c. Ideology: What is the group’s political ideology? Is one party favored over another? Does the group overtly support specific political candidates?
Please note: Groups can be neutral and please feel free to identify your group accordingly. Even if your group is neutral, you can still identify tactics they are using to influence public policy.
d. Assess your group’s strengths and weaknesses: How effective is the group in achieving its goals? Please use specific examples.
a. Length: The paper should be no longer than 4-6 pages, double-spaced.
b. Citations: Please, please cite references within the paper and include a separate page listing all works cited. MLA, AP or Chicago Style citations are fine.You should use 3-5 sources. The group’s web site counts as one source.
c. Consult appropriate sources: Wikipedia and similar web sites are NOT appropriate sources. The internet, however, has many other excellent sources. For example, use Google News to search for stories about your interest group. Online newspapers are another good source.
d. Grammar and spelling: It is essential that you proofread your paper. Using spell check is a good first step, but this will not catch all mistakes. Your paper should be easy to read with a coherent sentence structure. Please consult the writing center for assistance if needed.
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