Public Policy Paper

Objective:

      The objective of this paper is to give you an in-depth understanding of one of the major public policy issues facing our country today. You will be given the opportunity to select an issue from topics provided or choose one of your own that relates to federal domestic policy. You will then be assigned a current member of the House of Representatives for whom you will write this paper. You will then research this issue from the perspective of one of their staff persons.  This is not an opinion piece or an analysis of the politician's personal views, but a thorough analysis of the issue at hand with an exploration of the pros and cons of the options available. 

Content Checklist:

  • Describe and analyze the issue in detail; including, its relevant historical background, and who it affects.
  • Explain the views on the issue of both political parties and at least two special interest groups/government institutions.
  • Provide evidence and analysis of the views of the assigned congressional district on this issue using polling data.
  • Provide the pros and cons to at least two proposed bills to address this issue that includes who would support and oppose each option, relevant public opinion data, views of the politician’s political party, and potential outcomes. 

Structure Checklist:

  • It must be at least 10 full typed pages in length, in Times New Roman font size 12, double spaced, excluding bibliography, graphics, charts, etc. 
  • Paper formatting must follow proper Chicago Style formatting.
  • It must contain a bibliography with a minimum of 8 sources. 
  • Statistics, quotes, original ideas, and references must be footnoted. You should have at minimum of 8 footnotes, with at least one for each of the eight sources at a minimum.

Process

I have broken down the steps to writing this paper into smaller assignments to help you do the research based upon the required content standards. Each assignment will provided the necessary information to build a complete outline that you will use to write the final paper. The graphic below gives you a visual representation of how they will all fit together. After completing each assignment, you will add the research from those assignments to your initial outline. If you are diligent in updating your initial outline after each assignment, you will have a completed outline to turn in for Assignment #6 and can begin writing the final paper. 

Stage 

Resources

Due Date                 

Points

Assignment #1

Initial Outline 

Assigned topics and assigned congressional districts can be found in the Assigned Topics List in Google Classroom once assigned. You are responsible for finding the current politician for your assigned district.

Initial Outline Template 

Initial Outline Example

Video Explanation 

 

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan1 

10

Assignment #2

Issue Summary

Issue Summary Overview

Issue Summary Example

Video Explanation

Add details and sources to your initial outline.

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 1

10 

Assignment #3

Public Opinion

Public Opinion Overview 

Public Opinion Example

Video Explanation

Add details and sources to your initial outline.

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 3

10

Assignment #4

Party Positions/Interest Groups

Positions Overview

Positions Example

Video Explanation

Add details and sources to your initial outline.

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 3

10

Assignment #5

Legislation

Legislation Overview

Legislation Example

Video Explanation

Database of current and past legislation in Congress

Add details and sources to your initial outline.

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 4

10

Assignment #6

 Outline

Outline Overview

Outline Template  This is ONLY a guide to give you an idea of what to include.

Outline Example The completed outline should look like this. 

Video Explanation

If details and sources were added to the outline from each step, the outline should be complete and ready to turn in. The process of writing the actual paper should begin after this point.

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 4

10

Assignment #7

1st Draft

Research Paper Example #1

Citation Machine 

Video- Adding footnotes in Google Docs

Peer Editing Worksheet – Another student will use this worksheet to evaluate your rough draft. The completed worksheet will be turned in with the final draft.

Credit is given for participating in the peer editing, not the rough draft. You may not participate in the peer editing unless you have a rough draft.

 

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 4

10

 

Assignment #8

2nd Draft

 

Peer Editing Worksheet – Another student will use this worksheet to evaluate your rough draft. The completed worksheet will be turned in with the final draft.

Credit is given for participating in the peer editing, not the rough draft. You may not participate in the peer editing unless you have a rough draft.

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 4

10

 

Final Draft

Research Paper Grading Rubric

Examples provided are not necessarily of perfect papers, but provided as an opportunity to review a finished paper. Please consult the grading rubric and format examples to ensure all requirements are met.

Research Paper Example #1

Research Paper Example #2

See Google Classroom

Unit Plan 4

 

60

  Students who fail to turn in the paper may not receive a grade of C- or higher for not achieving this A-G standard.  
  Total     140 pts

                                                                                A-G Standards

The 10 page policy paper is the main standard that makes this an A-G class and is an essential skill to success in college. I have created a great deal of support to introduce you to the process of doing a paper of this type successfully.  You need to put in effort at each step of this process to be successful and if you do, by the end it will seem easy. If you don't, it will feel like a tsunami of anxiety when the final due date of the paper approaches. This project is already broken down into smaller assignments with due date bench marks with detailed instructions and examples for each step to facilitate learning the process of writing a major paper. Any further modifications or extensions of due dates greatly increases the chances of failure instead of providing support for students with learning disabilities.