European Politics

POLS 427

Writing Assignment 1

Due: January 22

From the "International Constitutional Law Web" link on my Home Page (, go to the respective pages of your two countries. From there, read the information, if any, under the heading "Constitutional Background." Next, click on the "Constitution" link. Click on the "T" button and there you will find the Table of Contents for that country's constitution. Read through the constitutions of the two countries.

Write a 4-5 page paper (double-spaced, typed), describing and comparing the two constitutions. Specifically, answer the following questions: How do the two country's constitutions compare on

1. Protection of basic human rights,

2. Power of parliament over head of government (i.e., executive branch), and

3. Attention paid to territorial division of power (i.e. central/regional/local)?

Make sure to include the proper in-text citations and a list of references, i.e. all the sources you have been using in writing your assignment!

Note: Those persons responsible for United Kingdom, Norway, and Iceland have a bit more of a challenge. Given that the UK does not have a single, official written constitution, you will have to make use of the assemblage of "constitutional" documents provided by this particular web site. There is no entry in the web site for Norway, but the constitution may be found at

Iceland's constitution is more difficult to locate on-line, but should be available in any number of the "Constitutions of the World" collections in Pullen Library.

Guidelines for All Papers

Use the APSA (American Political Science Association) style for writing your paper and be consistent in its application. Proper form makes a difference in how others read your work and how seriously they take it; a messy paper distracts readers from the point you are trying to make. Consistency of form will help the reader focus on what you have written. Always keep in mind that failure to acknowledge sources will be viewed as plagiarism and results in a failing grade.

Type your manuscript on 8.5 x 11-inch white paper and avoid a typeface that is unusual or hard to read. Begin your paper with a title page that includes the title of your paper, your name, the course number and name, the instructor's name, and the date. Type, double-spacing, on one side of the paper only. Use margins of at least one inch on all sides of the page. Indent the first line of each paragraph five spaces (one-half inch) from the left margin. Direct quotations longer than four lines should be indented also and typed single-spaced. Use headings and subheadings, but use them sparingly. Number all pages consecutively, except the title page but including the "References" page.

Use in-text citations that refer readers to a list of references rather than footnotes or endnotes. In-text citations must include at least the author's last name and the date of publication (Curtis et al., 1996). If the author is unknown, use the first two or three words of the book title (underlined) or the article title (in quotation marks) in the parenthetical citation (Comparative Politics, 1997; "The Third Wave", 1994). For direct quotations give also a page number (Gallagher, Laver, & Mair, 1995, p. 101).

Begin your list of references on a new page, titled "References." Alphabetize the list by the last name of the authors or, when the author is unknown, by the first word of the title. Underline or italicize the titles and subtitles of books. Each entry should include the last name of the author, the first name(s), the year of publication, the title, the edition (if other than first), the place of publication, and the publisher. List sources retrieved through the Internet by citing the author or title and the location or www-address, e.g. "The French Constitution of 1958 (http://www.france.diplomatie/constit.html)."

Staple your paper in the upper left-hand corner; do not use paper clips or those clear plastic binders; paper clips can become attached to other student papers and binders can cause an avalanche of student papers on my desk. When writing your paper on a word processor, be sure to save your work frequently on the hard drive or floppy disk and make a back-up file on a separate floppy disk. Make a photocopy of your paper before handing it in.