Policy Paper

A policy paper consists of five parts: [1] identification of the policy issue, including evidence of its importance, relevancy, and immediacy; [2] a history of the actions taken or legislation dealing with the issue; [3] the presentation of alternative solutions to the problem, either proposed by an identified authority or already in operation elsewhere; [4] a weighing of the relative political, social, moral, and economic costs and benefits of these solutions, employing relevant data; and [5] the selection of one alternative based upon the aforementioned criteria plus the transparent application of core values. In brief, a policy paper essentially formalizes the critical thinking process, underscores the core values in play, and requires the author to make a decision, even though the decision may not be acted upon.
Format: Each student will submit one (2000 word minimum). Papers should be typed, double-spaced, 10-12 point regular font, Times New Roman with one-inch margins. Please number pages. Title page is not numbered. Title page is required for the policy paper only. Create an original title for all of your papers. Despite the fact that these papers are designed to reflect your thinking process, they must cite sources (i.e. external sources (academic websites, scholarly journals and/or your textbook), as these will help you to develop an informed opinion based on facts and not biases. Thus, policy papers must include a works cited page (one page of citations minimum). These sources must be legitimate and fully referenced (i.e. no Wikipedia and no blogs). Students must use MLA or APA citation style for parenthetical in-text documentation and works cited page. Grammar, spelling and punctuation will count. Do not wait until the last minute. Give yourself time to edit and rewrite if necessary. These papers are to be used as proof of your meeting standards and therefore must be thoughtful and meaningful.
Make sure that you have a thesis (a main point that you are making) and develop it thoroughly and coherently. All work must be your own and properly cited when using evidence from other sources.

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