Final Policy Paper Assignment: Initial Information
This will be a 10 to 12 page (approximate) persuasive paper that argues for a specific policy change (solution) to positively impact your social just issue. Your policy change should be reasonable specific and appropriate for the context you establish within the paper. The paper must be evidence-driven and incorporate credible research, including academic sources. The paper will consist of the following:
1) Introduction: Overview of the social justice issue and insight into why the issue significant. (This might be a good place to use news sources, statistics, anecdotal experiences from your service learning hours, appeals to broad to principles…). The introduction should also specify your proposed policy change and preview the structure of the paper (provide a thesis).
2) Background: This will vary by topic, but you should provide adequate background for a reader who is unfamiliar with your topic to understand both its significance (more depth than in the intro) and its parameters (as you define them). Consider addressing:
a. Historical trends
b. Current statistics to show significance/impact
c. Types of impact
d. Affected populations/areas
e. Comparisons/contrasts among groups/areas/etc.
3) Framing of your parameters: Clearly establish the precise problem you’ll be dealing with. Your background may look at “homelessness” in general and broadly touch upon multiple types of impact, groups, and costs. However, your policy recommendation probably can’t change ALL of that. So, you’ll be focusing on a particular piece of the problem. Perhaps, you’ll focus on homeless youth and access to education. This is where you narrow your discussion and provide further details to help make sure you set the stage for your proposed solution.
4) Proposed policy change/recommendation: Clearly articulate what you propose as a change. Keep it directly tied your parameters. If you have defined your parameters as homeless youth and access to education, then don’t get sidetracked by talking about medical care. You may need to further narrow or confine the solution—maybe homeless youth and access to education needs to be looked at across levels (Counties and States)—so maybe you’ll choose to focus on LA County in particular and do some in-depth research on youth support programs already available in LA. The idea is that you match your solution to the parameters you’ve set up and that you constantly ground your paper in evidence (What do we know? What’s already being done? Who is doing it? Who is paying for it? Who has the power to change it? What would it cost to make these changes?). You won’t have DEFINITE answers to all of these questions—but do your homework.
a. Explain your solution.
b. Explain why your solution is BETTER than the status quo (existing situation).
c. Explain why your solution is worth implementing (despite costs, etc.).
5) Conclusion: Wrap up with a solid “call to action”—remind the reader WHY we care about the issue in general, and why your parameters (in particular) are meaningful. Then reinforce why we should implement your solution.
1) APA format (of course): Title page, no abstract, APA style headings, full APA citation usage both in-text and for references page.
2) Standard paper formatting: 1 inch margins, 12 pt. font, no extra spaces/gaps, stapled
3) A minimum of 10 sources and must include at least 5 scholarly sources
4) 3rd person, formal language
5) Avoid broad claims/appeals and generalizations (in the intro there’s a little more room for this, but not much)