Issue Analysis Paper
(30% of Course Grade)
7 pages double-spaced.
Select a current public policy issue at the state or national level.
Your analysis should examine these questions:
• What is the issue? What makes it a public policy issue?
• What are the important historical, political, or other contextual considerations that influenced the issue and discussions on the issue?
• Who are the key policy actors involved? What do they want? Why? What is the nature of their influence?
• Who is not involved in discussions on the issue? Why?
• Who is or could be impacted by the issue?
• How is the policy problem and solutions framed? By whom?
The analysis should include a substantive and balanced discussion of diverse perspectives on the policy issue. Feel free to take a critical eye to those diverse perspectives on the issue to identify strengths and weaknesses in their arguments. However, this is not a position paper in which you are arguing for your views on the issue.
You should reference and cite at least 4 sources from the assigned reading to inform your analysis. The application of assigned readings to your analysis should be substantive not superficial.
In addition, draw on resources you collect. Be discriminating in your use of additional resources. As you are determining sources to reference, as yourself: why are these sources useful to include? Do I trust these sources? Why? For what purpose do these sources help me understand
the issue? Examples of resources might include newspaper accounts, governmental documents, and position papers of interest groups and legislators.
Provide references for all sources cited. Remember that if you use language from another source that is verbatim you need to put quote marks around the verbatim language (a phrase, a sentence) and include a page number in addition to the author and year. If you are not using
verbatim language but are referencing an idea from a source, you should cite the author and year but do not need quotation marks. (For details about plagiarism, see the course syllabus.)
This is a formal academic paper. (This is not a reflection paper.) Begin the paper with an overview of what the paper will be about i.e., the issue and your key points. The body of the paper addresses your main points. The conclusion will summarize your main points. Make sure
the structure of the paper is clear. Headings and subheadings can help.
Avoid using informal language including contractions (“isn’t” etc.).
Make sure to proofread for grammatical errors and typos.
Use APA style.
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