The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States

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Essay Instructions

The United States has developed a unique combination of both civil and common law. For this essay, read the founding documents of the United States assigned for this week: Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. In the first 2 pages of your essay, explain whether these documents fall within the civil law, common law, or both.

In the second half of this essay, compare the format of the United States federal court system to the court system of the state of Texas.

This module/week you were assigned to read and review the United States courts website—compare the structure described on the federal website to the structure described on the website of state of Texas. Make sure to provide citations to the websites from which you learned the information. Remember, examine the structure on the website of the state’s court system, not on Wikipedia or other online encyclopedia or blog.

Your essay must be 5–6 pages in current Bluebook format and contain at least 5 scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook and the Bible.

NOTE: You will be expected to incorporate multiple sources (at least 5), your textbook (H. Patrick Glenn. Legal Traditions of the World (5th ed. 2014). ISBN: 9780199669837), and the Bible into your essay. This means you must have at least 7 different sources incorporated into your essay. Each one of these sources should be cited using the Bluebook citation method.

Website: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/PDFs/M-654.pdf

Website: United States Courts

http://www.uscourts.gov/

Website: Texas Courts

http://www.txcourts.gov/

Essay Grading Rubric

Level of Achievement
Criteria Excellent Average Below Average Unacceptable Points Earned
Research 36 to 40 points

·   Appropriate research demonstrated by the use of scholarly sources.

·   A minimum of 5 resources that are significant to the study (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) are cited.

32 to 35 points

·   Appropriate research demonstrated by the use of scholarly sources.

·   A minimum of 4 resources that are significant to the study (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) are cited.

28 to 31 points

·   Appropriate research demonstrated by the use of a minimum of 3 resources that are significant to the study (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) are cited.

·   Sources are not scholarly or academic.

0 to 27 points

·   Appropriate research demonstrated by the use of a minimum of 2 resources that are significant to the study (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) are cited.

·   Sources are not scholarly or academic.

Writing 36 to 40 points

·   Appropriate word selection, organization, flow of thought, transition, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

·   Writing is clear and understandable.

32 to 35 points

·   Satisfactory word selection, organization, flow of thought, transition, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

·   Writing is understandable but not completely clear.

28 to 31 points

·   Word selection, organization, flow of thought, transition, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. are not appropriate and fall short of expectations.

·   Writing is unclear and difficult to understand.

0 to 27 points

·   Inappropriate word selection, organization, flow of thought, transition, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

·   Writing cannot be understood and does not meet minimum requirements.

Criteria Excellent Average Below Average Unacceptable Points Earned
Content 56 to 60 points

·   Assignment parameters are well met.

·   Focus is clear and coherent.

·   Clear understanding of the subject, and effectively develops the ideas and concepts to answer the questions posed.

·   Any assertions made are supported and/or illustrated with relevant sources.

52 to 55 points

·   Assignment parameters are met but could be improved.

·   Focus is mostly clear and coherent.

·   Understanding of the subject and develops the ideas and concepts to answer the questions posed.

·   Any assertions made are supported and/or illustrated with relevant sources.

48 to 51 points

·   Assignment parameters minimally met.

·   Focus is largely unclear and in-coherent.

·   Not a clear understanding of the subject, and does not effectively develop the ideas and concepts to answer the questions posed.

·   Any assertions made are poorly supported and/or not illustrated with relevant sources.

0 to 47 points

·   Assignment parameters are not met.

·   Focus is unclear and in-coherent.

·   No understanding of the subject, and does not effectively develop the ideas and concepts to answer the questions posed.

·   No assertions made are supported and/or illustrated with relevant sources.

Format and Style 10 to 10 points

·   Overall appearance and style of the paper exceed minimum requirements.

·   Conformity with current Bluebook and other formatting considerations as presented in the instructions are fully met.

8 to 9 points

·   Overall appearance and style of the paper meet most requirements.

·   Conformity with current Bluebook and other formatting considerations as presented in the instructions are met.

6 to 7 points

·   Overall appearance and style of the paper meet minimum requirements.

·   Conformity with current Bluebook and other formatting considerations as presented in the instructions are barely met.

0 to 5 points

·   Overall appearance and style of the paper do not meet requirements.

·   Conformity with current Bluebook and other formatting considerations as presented in the instructions are not met.

Total

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