In this term paper you will need to select ONE issue or topic relating to or that impacts poverty in the United States.

Some possible topics include:
(you are not limited to these, you are encouraged to explore an issue of interest to you)

  • Is Welfare Reform increasing the number of the working poor?
  • Would increasing the minimum wage help or hurt the working poor?
  • Is the lack of health insurance creating a new category of the poor?
  • Are new laws to criminalize the homeless necessary?
  • Does housing discrimination cause poverty?
  • Is illegitimacy the primary cause of poverty?
  • Are Americans suffering from lack of food?
  • Will promoting marriage help end poverty?

Your paper should be 8 pages long

You MUST include and label the following sections and subsections in your paper:

  1. Summarize the issue. (10 points) (2 pages)
    1. Introduce your topic and present a well documented research-based description of your issue of interest.
    2. Give an historical background of the issue you will be discussing. You must include at least 3 important events/dates that relate to your issue.
    3. Describe the prevalence and seriousness of the issue. You must include data and statistics that show this is a problem.
    4. Discuss the impact of the issue has on families.
  2. Supporters and Critics of the Issue (25 points) (4-5 pages)
    1. Discuss and describe at least TWO “Key Players” who influence and are in support of the issue (i.e., politicians, advocates, or organizations that have an interest in a specific agenda and that actively work to promote policies that address your issue).
    2. Identify and briefly describe at least TWO “Key Players” who are in opposition to your issue (i.e., politicians, advocates, or organizations that are critical of your issue).
    3. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the FOUR key players positions.
    4. Are the viewpoints convincing? Include research to support your stance.
  3. Conclusions (10 points) (2 pages)
    1. Discuss current laws that have been passed in regards to the issue.
    2. Are these laws helping or worsening the situation?
    3. What’s the future hold for this issue? What’s your prediction of what will happen in 20 years from now in regards to your issue?
    4. What changes or improvements would you recommend for the direction of this issue?

References (5 points)==============

  • I will NOT accept plagiarized papers – you must give credit where credit is due to the authors of the research you used in your paper.
  • You must cite at least 7 references in your paper and then list them in the reference page using APA style with “Hanging Indents” (refer to this helpful video on how to create proper hanging indents:
  • Papers need to be double spaced, 1″ margins, and Arial 12-point font. The reference page also needs to be double spaced, meaning each citation is double spaced (not single).
  • If you use a direct quote, put quotations marks around the quote. Always include (Author, year) when citing throughout your paper.
  • Do not include the url as a citation. If no author is given, use the first words of the article title in place of the author’s last name, then the year of publication.

Though you will need to include a title page and reference page DO NOT include them into the page count. You will be required to use a bare minimum of 7 professional journal citations or respected web sites in your paper (you are allowed to cite from your text books).

APA cite style 


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