Policy Paper

In a 1000-word (4-5 page) research paper, describe a current domestic or foreign policy problemand propose a specific reform of your choice, explaining how it would help to alleviate theproblem you describe. Your paper should advocate a specific policy reform, not argue in supportof the status quo. For instance, do not write a paper in support of legalizing recreationalmarijuana in California.
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Pols 15B
Policy Paper Prompt
Spring 2018
The policy paper is worth 100 points and is due on Thursday, May 10th (note date change) at
8pm. Late papers will be penalized one letter grade per day. The late period begins at 8:01pm
May 10th. This prompt has several questions you must address in your paper. Each section is
worth points listed. Specific formatting requirements are also described below.
Submit both hard copies of your paper and via Canvas (.doc, .docx, or PDF format only). Be
certain your final versions of the hard copy and electronic copy are identical.
General Information
In a 1000-word (4-5 page) research paper, describe a current domestic or foreign policy problem
and propose a specific reform of your choice, explaining how it would help to alleviate the
problem you describe. Your paper should advocate a specific policy reform, not argue in support
of the status quo. For instance, do not write a paper in support of legalizing recreational
marijuana in California.
This policy paper will be constructed as follows:
Introduction. (10 points) (About ¾ page). Briefly introduce the policy problem. Why is this
problem important? Very briefly introduce your specific public policy recommendation.
Include your thesisâ??your central argument. In your thesis, be clear about the policy proposal.
Background on the policy. (15 points) (About ¾ page). Offer more in-depth explanation of
the problem the policy is aimed at addressing. What is the current policy, if any?
Policy Reform. (50 points) (About 1 ½-2 pages). Begin defending your policy reform here.
Introduce your reform again (restate your central argument) and then offer evidence to back up
your argument. Use academic peer-reviewed research to support your claims. Your arguments
are as strong as the evidence you use to back them up. This is the most important section of
your paper. Use at least 3 academic peer-reviewed sources to support your arguments. Feel
free to use additional (not counted in the first three required sources) academic sources and other
sources (news, government, and interest groups). Papers that fail to cite at least one academic
(peer-reviewed) source will receive a failing grade. If you need assistance finding research for
this paper, please see me.
Discussion. (10 points). (About ½ page). Sort out the political implications. Who would be the
biggest political supporters and political opponents of your policy reform and why?
Formatting (15 points)
1. Double-space and use 12-point font. Use Times New Roman font and one-inch margins.
2. Staple your paper and number your pages.
3. Do not place your paper in a report cover.
4. You may use subheadings, but do not add extra spaces between paragraphs.
5. Use APA format for citations and References. See Canvas for a link to the MLK Library
Citation Guides. Papers not in APA format (References and citations) will receive at least a one
letter grade penalty. Failure to cite sources will result in a â??0â? on this paper as this constitutes
plagiarism.
6. Include a title page (not included in page count) which includes ALL of the following:
â?¢ Your name
â?¢ Your paper title
â?¢ Pols 15B, section #
â?¢ Spring 2018
â?¢ The APA guide you consulted (in APA format)
For example:
Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., &
Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
Political Science Department Writing Policy
Students of political science should develop the ability to write in clear, grammatical English.
Spelling and grammar count! Students must take care that appropriate citations are used. Direct
quotations must be so indicated with quotation marks. Ideas from others must also be referenced.
Failure to cite your sources constitutes academic misconduct, which carries with it serious
sanctions. A tutorial on citations is available at http://libguides.sjsu.edu/writeandcite.
The SJSU Writing Center is located in Clark Hall, Suite 126. All Writing Specialists have gone
through a rigorous hiring process, and they are well trained to assist all students at all levels
within all disciplines to become better writers. In addition to one-on-one tutoring services, the
Writing Center also offers workshops every semester on a variety of writing topics. To make an
appointment or to refer to the numerous online resources offered through the Writing Center
visit http://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter/.
Drafts
I will read drafts in office hours or by appointment. I will not read drafts by email. We must sit
down and meet to review a draft of your paper. Please consult with the Writing Center for
assistance with grammar, sentence structure, and other writing help. I am happy to offer
suggestions on the content of your paper.
Policy Reform Ideasâ??feel free to use one of these.
Term limit for members of the U.S. Congress
Abolishing the minimum wage
Amnesty program for undocumented immigrants
Abolishing the income tax (state, federal, or all)
Abolishing the Electoral College
Federal law requiring background checks on gun purchases at gun shows
Abolishing the CA assault weapons ban

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