Sunday, April 1, 2012

Final paper

For the final paper, you will produce a policy primer, policy analysis, or position paper that, first of all, argues for a particular policy or for a way of understanding policy. Feel free to adopt a broad understanding of what constitutes public policy. You don't necessarily need to write about economics in the narrowest sense. You could investigate some of the moral or political issues involved in a topic, you could analyze or investigate a case study (a famous musician, company, person, film, etc. etc.) of interest to you, or you could explore the history of a particular concept, notion, cultural trend, etc., that is part of our everyday life. In other words, don't feel overly limited. All that I ask is that you explore your topic in detail, do meticulous research, and examine the significance of the issue you are considering. In short, explore some of the drier, more seemingly abstruse aspects of something that we experience in our day to day lives--the more seemingly boring, reasoned side of life can be interesting in and of itself if we can relate it to things that matter for our daily concerns. Your key task as a policy writer is to be able to translate from the boring to the interesting and back, showing how these two perspectives, which may seem unrelated, ultimately are intimately linked to one another. Any piece that does this is in a broad sense a policy analysis, and these are the important skills that you should take from this course and apply to your future writing. 

Make sure that you are pursuing a topic of interest to you, something that allows you to produce an informative, interesting, and analytically incisive essay: in a relatively short space, it should clarify the most important aspects of an issue, compare some of the different ideas/perspectives on the topic, reveal the merits and demerits of those policies (or the perspectives you are considering on your topic), and most importantly, convincingly establish why we should lean toward a specific policy (or if the paper is less about advocating and more about analyzing, why we should lean toward a specific way of understanding a policy or topic.)

The paper is due Thursday, April 26th, by 5pm. It should be 7-10 pages long, double spaced, in 12 point, Times New Roman font, with 1 inch margins, and it should contain 7+ sources.

No comments:

Post a Comment