Political Science

Honors Project




The purpose of this project is to challenge the student to research a topic intensively for the nine weeks prior to the spring break.  With weekly feedback from the instructor, the student will research an agreed upon topic from a variety of sources in order to answer the two questions in the box below in a blue book written in class.


Each student’s topic will be different.  Students will be prepared to provide a one-minute oral update on the topic during any class hour beginning Wednesday, February 19.


what facts and concepts in the gitelson text help explain the political dimensions of the topic?


In what way does the topic illustrate facts and concepts found in the gitelson text?


Grade and points:


Your grade depends entirely on fulfilling the requirements of the course outline. this project is worth no points, but provides honors credit for your grade.


1.    Due Wednesday, February 12, 11:30 a.m.

a.        List of LAHC internet passwords to access L.A. Times archives

      obtained from the LAHC librarian.

b.       Your free registration with Los Angeles Times--http://www.latimes.com/services/site/registration/show-createprofile.register

c.       Two small blue books obtained in LAHC Bookstore for $.35.

d.       Choice of the topic with agreement from the instructor and other

      honors students, so that each student’s topic is different


 2.    Due Wednesday, February 19 through Wednesday April 2

        One or two paragraph research journal entry written in a blue book

        during each class hour (or during any other class hour or office hour of

        the instructor).  Students should include at least one question they hope

        their research will answer during the following weeks.


3.    Due week of Monday, April 7

Small bluebook written in class without notes following the guidelines to be provided.




A.  Medicaid/MediCal reform (L.A. Times, 2-1-03, section A) and/or

      Medicare reform and/or

      Headstart reform and/or (L.A. Times, 2-1-03, section A)

      Retirement plan reform and/or (L.A. Times, 2-1-03, section A)

      Elimination of tax on stock dividends

            Will proposals by President Bush gain sufficient Republican

support in Congress to become law?


B.  Smallpox vaccination program (L.A. Times, 2-8-03, section A)

            Will Federal plans to prevent harm from bioterrorism succeed?


C.  U.S. and Al Qaeda or

       U.S. and Afghanistan or

       U.S. and Iraq or

       U.S. and Iran o

       U.S. and North Korea or

       U.S. and Vietnam or

       U.S. and Colombia or

       U.S. and Mexico or

       U.S. and your country or

          What lessons useful for the future are to be learned from the past and present?


D.  Congresswoman Jane Harman (D)/House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence/terrorism or

       Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R)/House Science and Technology Committee/Columbia disaster or

      Mike Lansing (D)/Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education/March 4 election or

…..Warren Furutani (D)/Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees/ March 4 election or

      Congresswomen Juanita Millender-MacDonald (D) or the Sanchez sisters (D) or

      Assemblymembers Oropeza (D) or Nakano (D) or Lowenthal (D) or

      State Senators Bowen (D) or Karnette (D) or Lowenthal (D)

          Will their decisions justify their reelection ?


E.  Tuesday, March 4 elections for city council, school board member,

      community college trustee, issues or other positions CHOOSE ONE RACE

      (See Los Angeles, Carson, Gardena, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo

      Beach, Manhattan Beach, Maywood, South Gate [salary reduction])

            Will your prediction of the results (due Monday, March 3)

and your analysis of the results (due Wednesday, March 5) be accurate and complete?


D.  “Broken Windows” Style Policing (L.A. Times, 2-2-03, Section B;

      George Kelling, “Broken Windows” Atlantic Monthly [online?], 1982

      and any article or book by or about UCLA Professor James Q. Wilson)

            Are supporting or opposing arguments stronger or weaker?


E.  Homelessness:  is the criminalization of street encampments the solution?

     (L.A. Times, 2-2-03, Section B)

Are supporting or opposing arguments stronger or weaker?


F.  Individuals and topics related to them

       Colin Powell:  his service as Secretary of State (L.A. Times, 2-2-03, Section M)

       Arundhati Roy:  her views about U.S. foreign policy (“Come September” speech, 9/29/02)