As stated in the class syllabus a research paper is required. The assignment will take the form of a “policy position paper”.
A policy position paper is a brief research report written for lawmakers or government officials. It addresses an issue of public concern, the issue’s history, and recommendations for the most appropriate course of action by the government. Such papers are written by experts or by those directly affected by the issue and are typically narrowly focused. Lawmakers are inundated every day with information. As such, they rely on policy position papers to give them a succinct overview of complex problems.
The final draft of your paper is due on Wednesday, April 6th. In addition to turning in the paper on this day, I will require regular updates in order to monitor your progress and help you craft the best paper possible. The paper is worth 60 points; I will be helping you toward that goal.
Describe the issue you have identified. Summarize the history of the issue.
Are there any laws or government programs in place designed to address or solve this issue?
What solution do you propose?
? Locate 10 media, industry, government, or academic articles related to your policy topic. Include article title, author, date. Your list of articles will become your endnotes. Summarize each article in a few sentences. If the article advocates a certain position or is a critique, be sure to include that in the article summary. You can’t have 5 articles from one journal and 5 from another. You must have a reasonable variety of sources.
? Is there is any numerical data that supports your opinion? (financial trends/demographics/charts/graphs). If so, include that as well. [Tip: your professor likes data]
? List and summarize major court cases and/or laws that are relevant to your issue/policy.
Based on the information you’ve found so far, develop 3 viable policy options
Collect everything you’ve done so far. Combine all previous steps into one document. Re-write so it reads as a coherent, unified paper. In your final draft, answer the following:
? If you wanted to influence the US Congress, state legislature, or city Council, which committees would most likely be the best to submit your recommendations to?
? In the process of you research, were your assumptions challenged? Did you change your mind on any aspect of the issue?
? If asked, are you familiar enough with the issue that you could advocate for the opposite position from the stance you have taken?
? Of the three policy options you identified in Step 4, choose one as your recommended course of action. Explain why it is better than the other options.
? The final draft is due on Wednesday, April 6th.
? The final draft will be a minimum of five (5) pages in length; double spaced; Times New Roman, font size 11 (not 11.5 or 12); 1 inch margins
? line spacing should be 0 points before and after each line (ask me if you don’t know what this is).
? I will take off points for bad use of commas and apostrophes. Know the difference between a possessive noun, a plural noun, and which ones get apostrophes.
? If you want to use tables of data or graphs, include those after the text in separate pages. They will not count towards your 5 page minimum.
? The format of your citations should be consistent as well. Some teachers prefer a certain “style” such as MLA, Chicago, APA, etc. I don’t care for one over the other. Example: https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
? Two excellent places to start your research: Congressional Research Service & Library of Congress
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