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A comprehensive assessment of the problem, the proposed (or actual) policy, and the potential (or actual) consequences of implementation of that policy.

Policy papers typically have one main agenda: address a current issue or policy and propose/evaluate alternative policies, which seek to improve the current state. Your paper should focus on organization, thoroughness, and execution. This paper should contain a comprehensive assessment of the problem, the proposed (or actual) policy, and the potential (or actual) consequences of implementation of that policy. When you write your paper, you should think of yourself as a staff person who must advise a policy maker facing a problem. As this staff person, adopt a current public policy issue and present your findings to a Member of Congress or other legislative branch.

 

The structure of public policy papers is different from typical papers and requires certain elements and sections in addition to the traditional thesis, introduction, and conclusion. When writing your public policy paper, make sure to include the following sections: Executive Summary Introduction Research and Annotative Bibliography Criteria Alternatives Projected Outcomes and Tradeoffs Recommendation and Discussion Reference Page Appendices (if needed) Your paper should include a title page, header on every page, restatement of the title on the top line above the introduction heading, and other current APA standards for research papers. The length of this paper should be 10-12 double-spaced pages (excluding the title and reference pages and any appendices used in your paper).

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