Policy Research Paper
The Policy Research Paper is a course-long project that allows you the opportunity to examine a current national societal issue that you feel could be properly alleviated, or perhaps even resolved, via public policy making.
This paper is valued at 200 points. This paper will be graded on the quality of the research topic, the quality of the information properly cited within the paper, the analysis and recommendations, grammar, and sentence structure.
As you consider topics, remember that this policy paper should contain a comprehensive assessment of the problem, the proposed policy, and the potential consequences of implementation of that policy. When you write your paper, you should think of yourself as a staff person who must advise a policy maker facing a problem that must be resolved in the near future. As this staff person, adopt one of the perspectives of public administration as discussed in class, and frame your responses around this approach.
The Policy Research Paper should be 8 to 12 pages, double-spaced, size 12 point font. The paper should include a cover page, table of contents, introduction, body of the report, summary or conclusion, and works cited (reference page). The page count is of the content and, thus does not include the cover, table of contents, or reference page(s).
Even though this is not a scientific-type writing assignment, and is mostly creative in nature, references are still very important. At least six authoritative, outside references are required (anonymous authors or web pages are not acceptable). These should be listed on the last page titled “References.”
The paper should follow the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.
Appropriate citations are required.
All DeVry University policies are in effect, including the plagiarism policy.
Papers are due during Week 6 of this course.
Any questions about this paper may be discussed in the Course Q & A Forum.
The paper should include the following components:
Define the Issue Introduce the problem or issue that you are researching. The purpose of this section is to tell the reader what problem you are addressing and why it is important.
Background Describe any historical aspects of the topic, particularly ones that are important to an understanding of the issue. Also important to this section is a discussion of key stakeholders and policy networks. Policy networks include concerned citizen groups, elected officials, and special interest groups.
Identification of Policy Alternatives This is the main section of your paper. In this section, you will describe what is currently being done (if anything) with respect to the problem, and then compare that to what could be done. When you consider possible alternatives that the government could take, remember to include the following:
Description of two to three alternative methods to resolve the issue you presented.
Consequences of each alternative method: For example – who would be affected, what costs might be incurred and by whom, and what benefits might be realized?
Description of evaluation criteria: This should help you compare alternatives across a number of areas. For example, cost could be key criteria for comparing alternatives, but there may be other concerns that are equally important to resolve. You might find an inexpensive alternative, but it might not be politically feasible to implement, for example. Once the criteria are identified, you should establish a way to prioritize the criteria. Which are the most important and why? Think about the discussions in class regarding decision-making and evaluation.
Recommendations Remember that you wrote this paper from the perspective of a staff person presenting this analysis to a policy maker. Now you are ready to make a recommendation on one of these alternatives. In this section, outline which alternative you would recommend to the policy maker, including a brief summary of how you arrived at this conclusion.
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