Issue Paper Assignment:
Issue-papers are short analyses of controversial issues in public policy. Issue Papers provide you practical experience in critically analyzing policy issues and preparing concise, yet thorough, summaries for busy policy makers.
Each student will select a unique public policy issue for the analysis and explain the policy issue. The issues may be primarily federal, state or local, but should have fairly broad appeal. In other words, an issue that is entirely specific to your employer or locality would not be appropriate for this assignment.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to issues related to criminal justice, health and welfare, education, economic policy, taxation, international trade and immigration, environmental protection, civil rights, federalism, national defense or other issues of social justice. Through the writing and research process, you will develop a critical understanding of individual and social behavior through the concepts, theories, and methods of the social sciences.
By the first week, each student should provide me with a short description of the specific issue he or she has selected (I must approve the topic before you start writing the Issue Paper). The description should include the proposal or policy problem to be analyzed. If you have difficulty finding an issue, I will guide you. The summary allows me to give you individual feedback.
The paper itself should be written as though you were preparing it for a policy maker (or group of policy makers) with only superficial knowledge of the issue. Final papers must be 11 full pages in length minimum (not including title page, bibliography, and any supplementary material) and should follow the format below. (Include the following headings in the issue paper: Introduction, Background, Alternatives, and Recommendations.)
In this section you should specifically identify and define the issue or problem you are studying and outline its importance. Describe the analytic model/theory used to explain your policy issue. Explain how your issue-paper will promote equity and social justice. You can also use this section to limit the issue (i.e., describe the aspects of the issue that you will not touch upon).
In this section you should briefly describe the history of the issue, literature review, trends and its current status. You can also provide context by describing relevant developments in other localities, states or countries. Using the literature, identify and define the principles and strategies of your issue-topic that can create more compassionate interpersonal relationships and social institutions based on equity and social justice.
This section should describe various policy options that are available to address the issue. In some cases there may be essentially two options (“yes, we should do this”, and “no, we should not”). With each alternative you must also specifically describe advantages and disadvantages of the proposed alternative.
In this section you should weigh the evidence and recommend (one or more) of the alternatives described in section III. You must be specific about how you reached your conclusions and on what evidence you based your recommendation. In this section, you can apply other analytic models/theories to explain issue recommendations.
Support all information with academically qualified references; however, emphasis should also be placed on original thought. The goal of the paper is to provide a practical exercise that integrates public policy theory with practical application, and to give you the experience of identifying and defining the principles and strategies that can create more compassionate interpersonal relationships and social institutions based on equity and social justice.
The paper must be 10-12 pages in length, with standard font and font size. Full citation is expected, with a minimum of 4 academic sources, one of which can be your textbook. The Barry online library is an excellent source for academic sources. (A general Google search and Wikipedia are not academic sources.) Cite all references using the APA citation style. This paper should reflect college-level work in content, appearance, organization, grammar, and effort.