Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 17

STRUCTURE OF POLICY PAPER

INTRODUCTION: ABSTRACT/ EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: THE ABSTRACT


IS NUMBERED PAGE TWO (2). IT IS NOT PART OF THE PAPER. THE
ABSTRACT DESCRIBES THE PAPER IN THE THIRD PERSON. THE
ABSTRACT SHOULD NOT BE WRITTEN, UNTIL AFTER YOUR PAPER IS
COMPLETED.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------

EXAMPLE FORMAT TEMPLATES


PROBLEM
PURPOSE
SCOPE
METHODS AND PROCESS
FINDINGS
ACTION PLAN

FRONT PAGE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
ISSUES AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS
METHOD CONSIDERATIONS
THEORY AND ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK (PERHAPS HYPOTHESES)
ANALYSIS
CONCLUSION
REFERENCES
APPENDICES, IF ANY
COVER
BODY: THE BODY OF THE PAPER BEGINS ON PAGE NUMBER THREE (3).
THE BODY OF THE PAPER MUST BE DIVIDED INTO THREE SECTIONS.

THE FIRST SECTION MUST STATE, DESCRIBE, AND EXPLAIN THE


AUTHORITY THAT YOUR CHOSEN GROUP HAS TO DO WHAT YOU
SUGGEST.

THE SECOND SECTION MUST CONTAIN A SPECIFIC NUMBER OF


REASONS (COUNT THEM OUT) SUPPORTING YOUR PROPOSAL. THE
PAPER ARGUES THAT THEIR PROPOSED POLICY SHOULD BE ADOPTED
FOR A COUNTED NUMBER OF REASONS. [EACH OF THE REASON IS
OFTEN STATED (AND NUMBERED) IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THIS
SECTION OF THE PAPER.]

THE THIRD SECTION SHALL DISCUSS THE LOGICAL


ALTERNATIVES TO YOUR PROPOSAL AND SHALL DISCUSS WHY
YOUR PROPOSED ACTION IS PREFERABLE TO EACH ALTERNATIVE.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS A DEFENSIBLE PLAN (POLICY PROPOSAL)
FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEM AND FORMULATE WORKABLE
STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN.

===========================================================
======================
OUR STRUCTURE/FORMAT TEMPLATE

****TITLE
YOUR GROUP SHOULD CREATE A TITLE THAT ENGAGES THE
READERS INTEREST AND FOCUSES ON YOUR TOPIC AREA.

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE ISSUE.


THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION IS TO PROVIDE THE READER WITH
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOCIAL ISSUE. QUESTIONS
TO CONSIDER ARE AS FOLLOWS:
HOW DID THE ISSUE ORIGINATE? WHAT IS THE HISTORICAL
BACKGROUND OF THE ISSUE? ARE THERE CRITICAL INCIDENTS
WHICH EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ISSUE?
WHY IS THIS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR SOCIETY AT LARGE AND
POLICY MAKERS TO ADDRESS? WHY SHOULD CITIZENS BE
CONCERNED WITH THIS ISSUE?
WHAT PHILOSOPHICAL OR ETHICAL ISSUES UNDERSCORE THE
IMPORTANCE OF THE ISSUE?

II. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM


THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION IS TO ANALYZE THE SPECIFIC ISSUES
RELATED TO THE PROBLEM YOUR GROUP HAS CHOSEN AND THE
SOCIETAL CONSEQUENCES IF THIS PROBLEM CONTINUES
UNADDRESSED. QUESTIONS TO FOCUS ON IN THIS SECTION ARE AS
FOLLOWS:
WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE SUGGESTING A CHANGE IS POLICY
IS NEEDED?
HOW DOES THE PROBLEM AFFECT CRITICAL POPULATIONS,
GROUPS, AND SOCIETY AT LARGE?
WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC PROBLEM? (DEFINE THE SPECIFIC
PROBLEM.)
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES OF THE PROBLEM?
WHAT ARE THE KEY QUESTIONS, ETHICAL DEBATES, OR
CONTROVERSIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROBLEM?

III. CURRENT POLICIES


THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION IS TO ANALYZE CURRENT POLICIES
(OR PROGRAMS) THAT DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM. THE QUESTIONS TO
ADDRESS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
WHAT ASPECT OF THE PROBLEM ARE CURRENT POLICIES (OR
PROGRAMS) TRYING TO SOLVE?
HAVE THESE POLICIES SOLVED, ALLEVIATED, EXACERBATED,
OR HAD NO EFFECT ON THE PROBLEM? WHY OR WHY NOT?
WHO SUPPORTS THE CURRENT POLICIES? WHY DO THEY
SUPPORT THEM?
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR FLAWS OR LIMITATIONS OF THE
CURRENT POLICIES?
WHO IS IN FAVOR OF CHANGING THE CURRENT POLICIES? WHY
DO THEY WANT TO CHANGE THEM?(THESE QUESTIONS CAN
SERVE AS A TRANSITION TO THE NEXT SECTION OF THE PAPER.)
IV. ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION IS TO ANALYZE TWO OR THREE
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. IN SELECTING THE
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS, CHOOSE ALTERNATIVES THAT HAVE BEEN
SERIOUSLY PROPOSED BY ADVOCATES OR POLICY MAKERS. YOU DO
NOT HAVE TO ANALYZE EVERY POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE, BUT YOU
SHOULD ANALYZE ALTERNATIVES THAT HAVE BEEN OR ARE BEING
SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED. EXPANDING (OR MODIFYING) CURRENT
POLICIES (OR PROGRAMS) CAN BE TREATED AS ONE OF THE
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS. FOR EACH ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION,
ANALYZE ITS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND DISCUSS WHICH
GROUPS, OPINION LEADERS, OR POLICY MAKERS SUPPORT OR
REJECT IT. ULTIMATELY, KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU MIGHT BE
REJECTING THESE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS OR USING PARTS OF
THEM FOR YOUR OWN POLICY PROPOSAL IN THE NEXT SECTION OF
THE PAPER. THE QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO THE CURRENT POLICIES?
WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF THE
ALTERNATIVES? WHY?
WHO SUPPORTS AND OPPOSES THE ALTERNATIVES? WHY?
WHY HAVEN'T THESE ALTERNATIVES BEEN MADE INTO POLICY?
IS THERE SOME FATAL FLAW INHERENT IN THEM OR IN THE WAY
THAT SOCIETY VIEWS THEM? IS THERE ANOTHER REASON WHY
THESE ALTERNATIVES HAVENT BEEN IMPLEMENTED?

V. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS, FEASIBILITY &


IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES {OR THIS SECTION IS SOMETIMES
CALLED ACTION PLAN (PROACTIVE CONNOTATION)}
THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION IS TO FORMULATE AN EFFECTIVE
POLICY PROPOSAL FOR THE PROBLEM YOU ARE ADDRESSING,
DEMONSTRATE THAT YOUR PROPOSAL IS PRACTICAL AND FEASIBLE,
AND PROVE THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WILL WORK. THE QUESTIONS TO
ADDRESS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS THAT
YOUR GROUP IS PROPOSING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM? WHAT
SPECIFIC ADMINISTRATIVE OR LEGAL GUIDELINES WILL YOUR
POLICY PROVIDE?
HOW DOES YOUR POLICY PROPOSAL SOLVE THE PROBLEM
BETTER THAN CURRENT POLICY OR ANY OF THE
ALTERNATIVES? WHAT EVIDENCE CAN YOU OFFER THAT
DEMONSTRATES YOUR PROPOSAL WILL BE EFFECTIVE? WHAT
REASONING AND/OR EVIDENCE CAN YOU PROVIDE THAT
DEMONSTRATES YOUR PROPOSAL IS FEASIBLE AND
WORKABLE?
WHAT LEGISLATIVE BODY, AGENCY, OR OTHER POLICY-MAKING
GROUP WILL NEED TO APPROVE YOUR PROPOSAL IN ORDER FOR
IT TO BE IMPLEMENTED? WHAT AGENCY OR GROUP WILL BE
RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTERING YOUR PROPOSAL?
HOW MIGHT YOU GO ABOUT INFLUENCING THESE SPECIFIC
GROUPS SO THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WILL BE ADOPTED? WHAT
SPOKESPERSONS OR POLICY MAKERS MIGHT REALISTICALLY
BE INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING YOUR PROPOSAL? WHAT
EVIDENCE CAN YOU PROVIDE WHICH INDICATES THESE PEOPLE
WILL BE LIKELY TO SERVE AS ADVOCATES FOR YOUR
PROPOSAL? WHAT OTHER GROUPS MIGHT YOU ENTICE TO FORM
A COALITION IN SUPPORT OF YOUR PROPOSAL? WHAT OTHER
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES MIGHT YOU USE TO GAIN
SUPPORT FOR YOUR PROPOSAL?
WHAT ARE THE MOST CRITICAL OBSTACLES (FINANCIAL,
LEGAL, ETHICAL, OR POLITICAL) YOU ANTICIPATE IN
IMPLEMENTING YOUR POLICY PROPOSAL? HOW DO YOU PLAN
TO OVERCOME THESE OBSTACLES? WHAT POLICY-MAKERS OR
GROUPS MIGHT BE OPPOSED TO YOUR PROPOSAL? WHY WOULD
THEY BE OPPOSED TO YOUR PROPOSAL? HOW WILL YOU
COUNTERACT THE INFLUENCE OF THESE POLICY-MAKERS AND
GROUPS?
ARE THERE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OR ADVANTAGES OF YOUR
PROPOSAL? IF YOUR POLICY PROPOSAL IS ADOPTED, HOW SOON
MIGHT WE SEE RESULTS? WHAT CHANGES CAN WE EXPECT TO
SEE RIGHT AWAY? FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?

VI. SUMMATION AND CONCLUSION


THIS SECTION IS THE CAPSTONE OF YOUR POLICY PAPER, AND, AS
SUCH, SHOULD BRIEFLY SUMMARIZE THE ARGUMENT YOU HAVE
MADE. THIS SECTION SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE A FINAL PERSUASIVE
APPEAL TO YOU READER(S).

VII. WORKS CITED OR REFERENCE PAGE


THIS SECTION CONTAINS THE WORKS CITED PAGE (FOR MLA) OR
REFERENCE PAGE (FOR APA). ONLY LIST REFERENCES CITED IN THE
TEXT OF THE PAPER. FOLLOW APA/MLA PROCEDURES WHEN
FORMATTING EACH REFERENCE.

EX: CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING THE QUALITY OF HEALTH


INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET - POLICY PAPER

{{[1] AIMS TO IDENTIFY KEY POLICY ISSUES; [2] APPLY THE


BEST AND MOST UP-TO-DATE RESEARCH TO HELP UNDERSTAND
THESE ISSUES; AND TO [3] EXPLORE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS
RESEARCH FOR THE DESIGN AND CONDUCT OF POLICY}}

{{THIS POLICY PAPER PRESENTS A SET OF SEVEN CRITERIA


DEVELOPED FOR USE IN EVALUATING THE QUALITY OF HEALTH
INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE INTERNET. IT IS HOPED THAT
ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WILL BECOME INVOLVED IN
THIS IMPORTANT EFFORT AT SOME LEVEL, (1) WHETHER IT BE
SUPPORTING AND/OR ENDORSING THE POLICY PAPER,
(2) ADOPTING THE USE OF THE SET OF CRITERIA,
(3) JOINING THE HEALTH SUMMIT WORKING GROUP, OR
(4) EDUCATING OTHERS ON THIS TOPIC.}}
...

CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING INTERNET HEALTH


INFORMATION

1. CREDIBILITY: INCLUDES THE SOURCE, CURRENCY,


RELEVANCE/UTILITY, AND EDITORIAL REVIEW PROCESS FOR
THE INFORMATION.
2. CONTENT: MUST BE ACCURATE AND COMPLETE, AND AN
APPROPRIATE DISCLAIMER PROVIDED.
3. DISCLOSURE: INCLUDES INFORMING THE USER OF THE
PURPOSE OF THE SITE, AS WELL AS ANY PROFILING OR
COLLECTION OF INFORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH USING THE
SITE.
4. LINKS: EVALUATED ACCORDING TO SELECTION,
ARCHITECTURE, CONTENT, AND BACK LINKAGES.
5. DESIGN: ENCOMPASSES ACCESSIBILITY, LOGICAL
ORGANIZATION (NAVIGABILITY), AND INTERNAL SEARCH
CAPABILITY.
6. INTERACTIVITY: INCLUDES FEEDBACK MECHANISMS AND
MEANS FOR EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AMONG USERS.
7. CAVEATS: CLARIFICATION OF WHETHER SITE FUNCTION IS TO
MARKET PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OR IS A PRIMARY
INFORMATION CONTENT PROVIDER. {SEE MISCELLANEOUS
FOR EXTENDED VERSION}

__________________________________________________________________
_______________________

{MY ISSUE}: YOUTH CRIME AND NEW THE YOUTH CRIMINAL


JUSTICE ACT

[[ ONE MAIN FOCUS OF NEW ACT IS TO EXPLORE ALTERNATIVES TO


INCARCERATION; AND MEASURES OUTSIDE THE FORMAL COURT
PROCESS; PARTICULARLY FOR MINOR OFFENCES; THEREFORE THE
FEDS HAVE DEVELOPED A YOUTH JUSTICE STRATEGY:

A NEW APPROACH THAT SEEKS

FLEXIBILITY FOR THE PROVINCES


TREATING VIOLENT AND NON-VIOLENT CRIMES
DIFFERENTLY
A COOPERATIVE, INTEGRATED APPROACH TO YOUTH
CRIME
CHILDREN AS A NATIONAL PRIORITY

[[[THE POLICY PAPER CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING YOUTH


OFFENDER TEAMS (YOUNG PEOPLE, POLICE, COMMUNITIES,
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, AND SCHOOLS) AS A CRIME
REDUCTION/COMMUNITY SAFETY STRATEGY.

THIS IS AN INITIATIVE TAKEN TO DEVELOP CRIME PREVENTION


SCHEMES IN ENGLAND FORMED PARTNERSHIPS THAT CAN
STRENGTHEN INITIATIVES FOR PREVENTING YOUTH CRIME
INVOLVING YOUNG PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES AND SCHOOLS THROUGH
LOCAL PROGRAMMES, BASED ON SCHOOLS, TO REDUCE THE DRIFT
TO STREET AND OTHER FORMS OF CRIME AND ANTI-SOCIAL
BEHAVIOUR A NETWORK FOR THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION
AND DEVELOPMENT OF BEST PRACTICE, IDENTIFYING WHAT WORKS
AND SOURCES OF FINANCE, WILL BE CREATED INCLUDING A NEW
WEB-SITE, NEWSLETTER, SEMINARS AND OTHER LINKS BETWEEN
COMMUNITIES BUILDING ON THE CRIME REDUCTION
PARTNERSHIPS (TO GO ALONG WITH DRUG ACTION TEAMS;
EDUCATION AWARENESS INITIATIVES; OTHER CRIME
REDUCTION/COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVES.)

IN CANADA YOUTH REFERRAL PILOT PROGRAM [THE NEW ACT


PROVIDES A MODEL FOR EXTRAJUDICIAL MEASURES TO DEAL
EFFECTIVELY WITH LESS SERIOUS OFFENDERS FOR LESS SERIOUS
YOUTH CRIMES, MOST OF WHICH ARE COMMITTED BY FIRST-TIME
OFFENDERS] SPRINGBOARD'S EMPLOYMENT RESOURCE ROOM
FOR AT-RISK SCARBOROUGH YOUTH, SERVES AS HOME BASE FOR
THE ATTENDANCE PROGRAM EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
EDUCATIONAL AND LITERACY, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, ANGER
MANAGEMENT, COGNITIVE TRAINING, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, LIFE
SKILLS, GANG INTERVENTION, ANTI-RACISM, HOMEWORK
SUPPORTS, ACCESS TO FAMILY AND PERSONAL COUNSELING,
HOUSING OR OTHER NEEDED SERVICES.
__________________________________________________________________
_______________________

APPENDICES

GROUP POLICY PAPER

YOUR GROUP WILL WRITE A POLICY PAPER ON THE TOPIC YOUR


GROUP HAS SELECTED. TO COMPLETE THIS ASSIGNMENT, YOUR
GROUP WILL NEED TO REFINE AND EXPAND ON THE IDEAS
DISCUSSED IN YOUR BACKGROUND PAPERS, CURRENT
POLICIES/ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS PAPERS, AND EXERCISES
RELATED TO IMPLEMENTING YOUR PROPOSAL. YOUR GROUP ALSO
WILL NEED TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOP A DEFENSIBLE PLAN
(POLICY PROPOSAL) FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEM AND FORMULATE
WORKABLE STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN. YOUR
PAPER SHOULD BE 25 TO 30 PAGES LONG, INCLUDING A WORKS CITED
OR REFERENCE LIST. THE SEVEN SECTIONS OF THE PAPER ARE
DESCRIBED BELOW. USE SECTION HEADINGS FOR THE MAJOR
SECTIONS OF THE PAPER. (FOR INFORMATION ON SECTION
HEADINGS, SEE KEYS FOR WRITERS, PP. 181, 223).

REMEMBER, EACH GROUP NEEDS TO SUBMIT TWO COPIES OF THE


FINAL DRAFT OF THE POLICY PAPER. THE SECOND COPY WILL BE
USED FOR PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
ANALYZING A CURRENT SOCIAL ISSUE.
CONDUCTING EFFECTIVE RESEARCH ON A POLICY PROPOSAL.
WORKING EFFECTIVELY AS A GROUP IN DEVELOPING AND WRITING
A POLICY PROPOSAL.
WRITING A COHERENT AND DEFENSIBLE POLICY PROPOSAL.

SECTIONS OF THE POLICY PAPER.


THE INITIAL SECTIONS OF THE PAPER ESTABLISH THE BACKGROUND
AND NEED FOR YOUR POLICY PROPOSAL WHEREAS THE LAST
SECTION DISCUSSES YOUR PLAN FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEM AND
THE PRACTICALITY OF THE PLAN. USE THE QUESTIONS LISTED
UNDER EACH SECTION BELOW TO DIRECT YOUR THINKING. THEY
ARE NOT INTENDED AS A LOCK-STEP OUTLINE. YOU MAY RE-ORDER
THE SUB-TOPICS ADDRESSED IN THE QUESTIONS TO PROVIDE THE
MOST SENSIBLE ORGANIZATION FOR YOUR PAPER.

TYPICALLY, ONE PERSON IN YOUR GROUP WILL BE IN CHARGE OF


ONE SECTION. HOWEVER, KEEP IN MIND THAT THE ENTIRE PAPER
MUST READ AS A COHERENT PAPER. IN OTHER WORDS, THE GROUP
MUST SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE AND DEVELOP IDEAS AND
ARGUMENTS WHICH LOGICALLY AND DIRECTLY SUPPORT THE
POLICY PROPOSAL. THE PAPER WILL BE EVALUATED ON HOW
COGENTLY AND THOUGHTFULLY YOUR GROUP ANALYZES THE TOPIC,
HOW ACCURATELY YOUR GROUP INTERPRETS AND INCORPORATES
EVIDENCE, HOW JUDICIOUSLY YOUR GROUP USES NON-FALLACIOUS
REASONING, AND HOW EFFECTIVELY THE PAPER INCORPORATES A
VARIETY OF CREDIBLE SOURCES. IN ADDITION, THE PAPER WILL BE
EVALUATED ON RICHNESS OF VOCABULARY, MECHANICS OF
WRITING, AND ADHERENCE TO PROPER DOCUMENTATION
PROCEDURES.

__________________________________________________________________
_____________________

INTRODUCTION

YOUR INTRODUCTION SHOULD CONTAIN A THESIS STATEMENT THAT


IS PERHAPS IN THE FORM OF A PREDICTED OUTCOME OF SOME
REFORM PROPOSAL. THIS SECTION SHOULD ALSO IDENTIFY THE
ISSUE. DONT CONFUSE ISSUE WITH THESIS. YOUR THESIS MIGHT BE
THAT A PARTICULAR DEFENSE REORGANIZATION PROPOSAL WOULD
FAIL DUE TO SERVICE RESISTANCE; BUT THE ISSUE IS DEFENSE
REORGANIZATION.

YOU PROBABLY CANNOT WRITE THE THESIS STATEMENT BEFORE


YOU CONDUCT YOUR STUDY. TAKE A STAB AT IT IN THE BEGINNING,
AND THEN RETURN WHEN YOUVE FINISHED YOUR
CONCLUSION. YOURE NOT WRITING A MYSTERY NOVEL. THE
READER SHOULDNT HAVE TO GUESS WHERE YOURE GOING.
WHEN YOURE FINALLY READY TO WRITE THE INTRODUCTION,
CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOUVE MET THE FOLLOWING
REQUIREMENTS. THE ISSUE MUST BE CLEAR. YOUR THESIS MUST BE
CLEAR. THE READER MUST UNDERSTAND THAT YOURE TALKING
ABOUT AN IMPORTANT PROBLEM AND THAT YOU HAVE A
MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTION TO MAKE.

SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT

THIS SECTION SHOULD MAP OUT THE LOGIC OF CAUSE AND


EFFECT RELATING TO THE CHOSEN ISSUE. BY CONDUCTING
SCHOLARLY RESEARCH, YOU WILL FIND THAT RESPECTED SCHOLARS
AND AUTHORITIES DIFFER ON HOW TO APPROACH YOUR CHOSEN
ISSUE. IF THERE IS NO SCHOLARLY CONTROVERSY, THERE IS NO
REASON FOR DOING SCHOLARLY RESEARCH. THERE SHOULD BE AT
LEAST TWO DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. FOR AND
AGAINST A PROPOSAL ARE NOT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. THE
READER ISNT INTERESTED IN YOUR OPINION HERE. THIS ISNT
INTENDED FOR THE EDITORIAL PAGE. HONESTLY AND EVEN-
HANDEDLY DESCRIBE THE MAJOR SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT.

ONE OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT


SECTION IS TO PROVE TO YOUR AUDIENCE (YOUR THESIS
COMMITTEE) THAT YOUVE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK. ANOTHER
REQUIREMENT IS THAT YOU MUST SET THE STAGE FOR YOUR
CONTRIBUTION; YOU MIGHT REFUTE OR CONFIRM SOME ELEMENTS
OF ONE OF THE SCHOOLS. REMEMBER, YOUR THESIS MUST ADD TO
THE EXISTING BASE OF KNOWLEDGE.

WHILE YOU ARE RESEARCHING YOUR ISSUE, YOU WILL


UNDOUBTEDLY FIND THESE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. MAKE A POINT
TO BE LOOKING FOR THEM WHENEVER YOU ARE READING. WHEN
YOU ENCOUNTER ONE, RUSH TO YOUR WORD PROCESSOR AND MAKE
A SUBSECTION WITH A FOOTNOTE TO THE SOURCE YOU ARE
READING.1 GIVE THE HEADING A NAME THAT YOU CAN
REMEMBER. THEN CAPTURE THE ELEMENTS OF THIS SCHOOLS
THINKING. YOULL HATE YOURSELF IF YOU HAVE TO GO BACK AND
READ A COUPLE OF HUNDRED PAGES TRYING TO FIND A SCHOOL OF
THOUGHT YOU ONCE STUMBLED OVER. BY CAPTURING THIS
MATERIAL IN THIS FASHION, YOU AUTOMATICALLY WILL BE
BUILDING YOUR THESIS.

ISSUE HISTORY

CONTINUING WITH THE DEFENSE REORGANIZATION EXAMPLE,


THE ISSUE HISTORY WOULD PROBABLY BE A LEGISLATIVE
HISTORY. CONGRESS HAS PLAYED A STRONG ROLE IN THIS
AREA. TELL THAT STORY. MAJOR LEGISLATION WAS PASSED IN 1947,
1949, AND EVERY FEW YEARS AFTER UNTIL THE MOST RECENT
ROUND OF LEGISLATION IN 1986. EVENTS IN INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS, EVEN WARS, MAY HAVE PRECIPITATED LEGISLATIVE
RESPONSE. CAPTURE THAT STORY AS WELL.

IF YOU ISSUE IS A SINGLE LEGISLATIVE ACT, YOU MAY WANT TO


CAPTURE PREVIOUS LEGISLATIVE ATTEMPTS, THE EVENTS THAT
MAKE THE LEGISLATION RIPE NOW, THE DATES STEPS ALONG THE
LEGISLATIVE PATH WERE TAKEN, AND ANY SERENDIPITOUS EVENTS
ALONG THE WAY.

IF YOU CANT FIND A HISTORY FOR YOUR ISSUE, YOU PROBABLY


HAVENT IDENTIFIED AN ISSUE RICH ENOUGH FOR A MASTERS
THESIS. THIS SECTION, TOO, SERVES TO DEMONSTRATE TO YOUR
READER THAT YOUVE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK.

AS IN YOUR SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT SECTION, YOU WILL


UNDOUBTEDLY ENCOUNTER ELEMENTS OF ISSUE HISTORY AS YOU
READ BOOKS AND JOURNAL ARTICLES. DONT MAKE THE MISTAKE
OF NODDING YOUR HEAD UP AND DOWN SAYING THATS
INTERESTING, I MUST REMEMBER THIS WHEN I START TO WRITE MY
THESIS.? WRITE IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY. MAKE FOOTNOTES TO THE
REFERENCE. CAPTURE PAGE NUMBERS. YOUR THESIS IS WRITING
ITSELF AS YOU READ. THE KEY IS TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
ISSUE HISTORY.

STAKEHOLDERS, PLAYERS, PROCESS


STAKEHOLDERS ARE THOSE PARTIES WHO HAVE SOMETHING TO
WIN OR LOSE FROM THE REFORM PROPOSAL. THERE MAY BE OTHER
PLAYERS OR DECISION-MAKERS WHO HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE OR
WIN BUT WILL PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN LEGISLATING OR
IMPLEMENTING THE REFORM. AND, THERE IS A PROCESS THROUGH
WHICH THE REFORM WILL BE DECIDED, E.G., AUTHORIZATION
LEGISLATION, APPROPRIATIONS, OR NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
DELIBERATIONS. THERE MAY BE A SEPARATE PROCESS FOR
IMPLEMENTING THE POLICY. A PLAYER IN ONE MIGHT BE A
STAKEHOLDER IN THE OTHER.

IF THERE ARE TWO MAJOR PLAYERS, EACH WITH A VESTED


INTEREST, YOU MIGHT EXPECT THAT THEY HAVE ARTICULATED A
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT TO SUPPORT THEIR INTERESTS. UNDER THESE
CONDITIONS, THIS SECTION MIGHT MERGE WITH THE SCHOOLS OF
THOUGHT SECTION. ALTERNATIVELY, YOU MAY FIND THAT YOUR
ISSUE HAS BEEN THROUGH A PROCESS SEVERAL TIMES AND, THUS,
THIS SECTION MIGHT BE BETTER ADDRESSED IN THE ISSUE HISTORY
SECTION.

THIS SECTION DEMONSTRATES TO THE READER THAT YOU HAVE A


GRASP OF THE PRAGMATICS OF THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS AND
THAT YOU ARE QUALIFIED TO DRAW CONCLUSIONS AND MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS. THIS IS A STRONGER REQUIREMENT IN A
POLICY RELEVANT THESIS THAN IN A PURELY SCHOLARLY RESEARCH
THESIS.

RESEARCH DESIGN

AT THIS POINT, YOUVE SET UP THE PROBLEM FOR THE


READER. THEY BELIEVE YOU UNDERSTAND WHATS GONE ON
BEFORE. NOW YOURE SHIFTING TO WHAT WILL BECOME YOUR
ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION. THE REQUIREMENT IS TO DESCRIBE
PRECISELY WHAT YOUR RESEARCH SEEKS TO SHOW, AND HOW YOU
HAVE PROCEEDED TO GATHER INFORMATION IN A WAY THAT
SUGGESTS THE RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY OF YOUR
CONCLUSIONS. DONT BE AFRAID TO IDENTIFY YOUR
WEAKNESSES. THIS SECTION IS OFTEN TITLED SIMPLY ?
METHODOLOGY.?
IF, AS IS SUGGESTED IN THE METHODS OF SOCIAL INQUIRY CLASS,
YOU TOOK THE TIME TO CREATE A PROJECT PROSPECTUS OR
RESEARCH PLAN, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO PLUG IT IN HERE AS A FIRST
CUT. NO DOUBT YOUR RESEARCH PLAN WILL FAIL YOU IN SOME
WAY. THINGS NEVER WORK OUT THE WAY WE PLAN. BRING THIS
SECTION IN LINE WITH THE RESEARCH, DATA COLLECTION, AND
ANALYSIS THAT YOU ACTUALLY DID.

DATA AND ANALYSIS

IN A FULL THESIS, DATA MIGHT BE BEST PRESENTED IN AN


APPENDIX. MAKE A JUDGEMENT CALL. EITHER PUT IT HERE OR PUT
IT IN AN APPENDIX AND SUMMARIZE IT HERE. THE ANALYSIS MIGHT
BE HIGHLY QUANTITATIVE OR JUST PURE DEDUCTIVE
LOGIC. ANALYSIS MIGHT ALSO BE CONDUCTED THROUGH SEVERAL
CASE STUDIES.

YOU MAY FIND THAT THE EVIDENCE GATHERED SUPPORTS ONE


SCHOOL OF THOUGHT AND REFUTES ANOTHER. SINCE POLICY
ISSUES TEND TO BE QUITE COMPLEX, ANOTHER COMMON OUTCOME
OF ANALYSIS IS THAT THE EVIDENCE IS INCONSISTENT,
CONTRADICTORY, AND INCONCLUSIVE. SAY SO.

CLOSING SECTION

YOUR CONCLUSIONS SHOULD FOLLOW DIRECTLY FROM YOUR


ANALYSIS. RESTATE YOU THESIS, RECALL YOUR EVIDENCE, AND
SUMMARIZE YOUR LOGICAL ARGUMENT. IF YOU CAN WRITE THE
CONCLUSION BEFORE DOING THE RESEARCH, YOU ARE NOT WRITING
A SCHOLARLY THESIS, YOU ARE WRITING A LARGE EDITORIAL.

I OFTEN FIND IT CONVENIENT TO SEPARATE WHAT I LEARN IN


RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS INTO THREE CATEGORIES: FINDINGS,
CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS. IF IT HELPS, USE IT, BUT
DONT FEEL COMPELLED TO LEAVE THE STRUCTURE IN YOUR FINAL
THESIS.
FINDINGS

SOME THINGS ARE FINDINGS OF FACT. NO READER SHOULD BE


ABLE TO ARGUE WITH FINDINGS OF FACT. THEY MAY NOT LIKE
THEM, BUT YOULL HAVE ALL OF YOUR SOURCES IDENTIFIED, AND
YOUR DISAPPROVING READER WILL HAVE TO ATTACK SOMEONE
ELSE. MAKE SURE YOUR SOURCES ARE GOOD ONES.

CONCLUSIONS

SOLID, CLEAR LOGIC IS USED TO WEAVE TOGETHER FINDINGS TO


PRODUCE CONCLUSIONS. ONE MIGHT EXPECT ANOTHER TO ARRIVE
AT A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION, BUT YOUR LOGIC SHOULD BE
SUPPORTABLE. THOSE INCLINED TO PUT ASIDE THEIR
PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS SHOULD FIND YOUR CONCLUSIONS
REASONABLE. IF ANOTHER READER CAN REFUTE YOUR
CONCLUSIONS, THATS JUST FINE. THATS WHAT SCHOLARLY WORK
IS ABOUT. THESIS, ANTITHESIS, SYNTHESIS, AS HEGEL WOULD SAY.

RECOMMENDATIONS

BASED ON FINDINGS OF FACT, LOGICALLY DERIVED


CONCLUSIONS, CREDIBLE CAUSAL RELATIONSHIPS, YOU MAY BE
ABLE TO MOVE INTO THE WORLD OF THE PREDICTIVE THESIS. THAT
IS, BASED ON EVERYTHING YOUVE PRESENTED SO FAR, YOU CAN
PREDICT A CERTAIN OUTCOME, E.G., THE EVENTUAL COLLAPSE OF
THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND. THEN THE TITLE OF THIS
SUBSECTION WOULDNT BE RECOMMENDATIONS BUT SOMETHING
ELSE.

IF YOUR WORK JUSTIFIES IT, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO PRODUCE A


PRESCRIPTIVE THESIS. THAT IS, YOU CAN PRESCRIBE A COURSE OF
ACTION THAT WILL ACHIEVE A DESIRED SOCIAL OUTCOME, E.G.,
WHAT POLICY ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN NOW TO PREVENT THE
COLLAPSE OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND.
YOUR VIEW

YOU HAVE NOW EARNED THE RIGHT TO SAY WHATS ON YOUR


MIND. IF YOUR ANALYSIS SAYS THE REFORM WILL FAIL, BUT YOU
CAN MAKE AN ARGUMENT WHY IT SHOULD PASS IN THE INTEREST OF
NATIONAL SECURITY, THIS IS THE PLACE TO SAY IT.

NOW GO BACK AND WRITE YOUR INTRODUCTION, THE PART I


ALWAYS STRUGGLE WITH THE MOST.

DO NOT ASSUME THAT THIS OUTLINE AND THESE HEADING TITLES


WILL BE RIGHT FOR YOUR FINAL PRODUCT. IT IS OFFERED AS A
POINT OF DEPARTURE. AS INDICATED ABOVE, SOME OF THESE
SECTIONS MIGHT PROFITABLY BE COMBINED AND REORDERED. YOU
WONT BE ABLE TO TELL HOW TO COMMUNICATE YOUR RESULTS
UNTIL FAIRLY LATE IN THE PROCESS. YOU CAN, HOWEVER, BE
CONFIDENT THAT THE ORDER YOU FOLLOWED CONDUCTING
RESEARCH IS THE WRONG ORDER FOR FINAL EXPOSITION. THE
FINAL PRODUCT MUST BE STRUCTURED FOR THE CONSUMER, NOT
THE PRODUCER.

__________________________________________________________________
_______________________

A GOOD POLICY ANALYSIS PAPER COVERS EACH OF THE


FOLLOWING AREAS (THE WEIGHTING GIVEN TO EACH SECTION
WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE TOPIC):

ISSUE DEFINITION: THE POLICY DECISION IS ARTICULATED AND ITS


SIGNIFICANCE IS ESTABLISHED.
BACKGROUND: ALL BACKGROUND INFORMATION (TECHNICAL,
POLITICAL, ETC.) NECESSARY TO PLACE THE DECISION IN ITS PROPER
CONTEXT IS GIVEN.

POLICY OPTIONS: THE VARIOUS POLICY OPTIONS THAT THE


DECISION-MAKER MUST DECIDE BETWEEN ARE PRESENTED AND
DESCRIBED.
POLICY ANALYSIS: THE PROS AND CONS OF EACH OPTION ARE
EXPLAINED. THE VALUE TRADE-OFFS IMPLICIT IN CHOOSING ONE
OPTION OVER ANOTHER ARE EXPLAINED.

RECOMMENDATION: BASED ON THE ANALYSIS, A RECOMMENDATION


IS MADE. THE BIASES AND JUDGMENT FACTORS THAT WENT INTO
THE RECOMMENDATION SHOULD BE EXPLAINED. YOU SHOULD
SUMMARIZE YOUR RECOMMENDATION CONCISELY AT THE VERY
START OF YOUR PAPER.