Define “loose construction” and “strict construction” methods of constitutional interpretation, and describe how each perspective aligns with formal versus informal methods of change.

Students will write an essay, 500-750 words in length, on a topic selected from the list below. The purpose of the project is to give students an opportunity to discuss a key political science concept, and to show a basic understanding of academic research and reporting skills. The project consists of producing a 500-750 word essay on one of the provided topics (see below), as well as a works cited page for sources containing information used in the essay. The assignment is to be formatted according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Papers not formatted properly will not receive a passing grade. Students MUST have a minimum of three research sources on their works cited page as well as at least one parenthetical notation per paragraph.

Students should use Courier or New Courier 12 point as the paper’s font, double space the text, and create one inch margins on all four sides of the page. In addition, the assignment should be formatted according to MLA style for papers with no title page.

Please choose one of the following topics for your Writing Assignment 1 essay.

1. As the authors explain in Chapter 2, “The Founding and the Constitution,” the Constitution can be changed by formal, as well as informal, means. Complete the following assignment:

Describe the formal amendment process, as put forth in Article V of the Constitution and explain why the founders chose those rules for formally amending the Constitution.
Provide an explanation of the informal process of amending the Constitution.
Define “loose construction” and “strict construction” methods of constitutional interpretation, and describe how each perspective aligns with formal versus informal methods of change.
Explain whether you favor a method of loose construction or strict construction of the Constitution. Identify what you view as the benefits of your perspective.

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