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Legal Research and Writing- Historical Society of NY Courts -Garfinkel Contest 2017: Home

Historical Society of New York Courts - David A. Garfinkel Essay

Topic Ideas

 

YOU THE VOTER: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME? IS THE JOURNEY OVER?

Picking a topic might seem like the easiest part of this process, but that doesn't mean it should be taken lightly. You shouldn't just look at what seems interesting to you, but also at what you have to say on a topic and what you already know about the subject. In general, think about the questions on the right when picking a topic.

Below are a series of questions to help guide your essay. You may select from one or more of these questions or come up with your own topics.

  • DOES THIS INTEREST ME?

    Writing about something that you want to write about will make the project engaging.

  • DO I HAVE AN ARGUMENT ABOUT THIS?

    A good essay will make a strong argument, do you have strong feelings about the question one way or another?

  • WHAT DO I ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THIS?

    Do you have any experience or knowledge of the topic? If you don't, don't be afraid to do some early research to see if you're actually interested in the topic!

SUGGESTED TOPICS

  1. WINNING THE RIGHT TO VOTE
    Trace how voting, once the privilege of the elite, became the right of all citizens. Discuss the American journey to "one person, one vote," or focus on how one or more specific group(s) of Americans won the vote.

  1. BARRIERS TO VOTING
    Some States across the nation have passed laws that creates hurdles to the universal right to vote by restricting access to the ballot for some of their residents. Examples of such legislation are voter IDs, rollback of early voting, and elimination of same day registration. Should the Courts have a role in overseeing these laws?

  1. ELECTION DISTRICT BOUNDARIES
    States traditionally control the redrawing of voting districts of their residents. Some States across the nation have passed laws that strengthen or weaken the principle of "one person, one vote." Should the Courts have a role in overseeing these laws?

  1. CHOOSE YOUR OWN TOPIC
    If you have a better idea for a topic about voting rights, go for it! Picking your own topic is allowed and won't disqualify you. You may select another aspect of You, the Voter as your topic, or combine elements of the other topics provided.

 

In Memoriam

Beth Seelick's picture
Beth Seelick
This research guide was created by Professor Beth Seelick (1955-2019).
"A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops." ― Henry B. Adams