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JT Haste

Mrs. Vanschenck


Senior Project Proposal

A. Abstract
The title of my paper and project is Campaign Finance and Money and its Influence on

Elections. My overarching topic would be elections and campaign finance, and my specific

topic would be how the large sums of money and the tactics used to fund campaigns affect

election results in the US and abroad. I have selected this topic in particular because it is an issue

that interests me and that I would like to learn more about. The following questions will guide

my research: How does the financing of campaigns influence election results in a negative way?

Have there or could there be instances where election results would have been different had there

been more or different restrictions on the ways that elections can be funded? How are elections

generally different in countries with stricter laws versus more laissez-faire laws? What are both

the advantages and disadvantages in the different ways that governments legislate campaign and

election finance? For the project portion, I will teach a class at a middle school including a mock

election simulation where I will show that the candidate with the most money isnt always the

most qualified for the position. I will also teach the students how to be an informed voter. The

success of my project could be evaluated by looking at the results of the mock election

simulation to see if the audience was successfully persuaded by expensive campaigning versus

qualifications. Also I would try to gauge if the students in general learned something. Mrs.

Lingua will consult me on the project. A computer will be the most important material I need to
complete my senior project. A computer is necessary to writing the paper and preparing the

materials to complete the project portion.

B. Learning Skills

New Skills-

Video Editing. To complete this project I will need to edit simulation campaign videos to present

to the audience.
Writing lesson plans. A new skill to me will be learning to teach and manage a class.

Enhanced Skills-

Public Speaking. Throughout this project several opportunities will arise for me to better my

public speaking skills, whether it be during the actual class or while presenting to a panel.

Research paper writing. Writing a 15 page paper will definitely challenge me.
Legal Research. The paper will require me to research all different types of law and put them in

the context of my topic.

C. Marketing Plan/Facilities/Audience

The target audience at the class will be a group of middle school students. These are students

who are old enough to understand campaigning and US politics but are likely too young to be

experts on knowing how to be informed voters and ignore deceitful campaign tactics. They are

also nearing the voting age so the information is relevant to them more so than a younger

audience. The audience will benefit simply by learning crucial information about the topic that

they can carry with them throughout their education. I plan on reaching the audience by

contacting a middle school administrator or teacher to get permission to teach the class.
D. Project Steps

Early Preparation Contact a middle school to 8 hours

get permission to use class.
Begin preparation for
teaching class.

Final Preparation Create all materials needed to 6 hours

complete the project.

Class Go to the school and carry out 4 hours


Follow Up Write thank-you note to 2 hours

teachers and administrators.

E. Project Documentation

There would be pictures of the senior project being completed. There would also be the resources

I created, such as worksheets, handouts, presentations, and videos. A middle school teacher

would be able to verify that I completed the project as I said I did. My consultant could also

verify the completion.

F. Project Justification

This project is important because it would give me the opportunities to grow many skills. The

execution of the project would allow me to improve as a public speaker, and the preparation

would make me learn new skills such as video editing. For me this project would be an important

learning opportunity for me and for my audience. I also have an interest in this project and it is

important to me. This project for me is a learning experience in many ways.

G. Project-Paper Connection
The research paper would be about the laws surrounding campaign finance and election law. The

project, on the other hand, would be a class for middle school aged students teaching them about

being an informed voter as well as showing how them how election finance works through an

interactive mock election simulating the effects of campaign finance on an election. These are

connected because the purpose of the class would be to inform and teach in an easy and

digestible way what I found in my research. The common thread is that both the project and

paper are primarily about the influence of money on campaign results.

H. Academic Honesty

Academic honesty would be refraining from any and all dishonesty and illegitimate tactics to

complete the senior project such as plagiarism or any other type of cheating. Plagiarism would be

if I copied from a source such as an academic journal without citing or if I copied a previous

students paper. To plagiarize or take part in any other type of cheating would be a violation of

the honor code and therefore would result in potentially being dismissed from the academy.

I understand that any academic dishonesty by me on any part of the project will result in failure of the

Senior Project and forfeiture of the Legal Studies Seal on my High School diploma.