Political Science Policy Issue

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Policy Issue /Position paper must be 4pgs not including the cover page.

The purpose of a policy issue or position paper is to generate support on an issue or policy. It describes a position on an issue or policy and the rational for that position. The issue or position paper is based on facts that provide a solid foundation for your argument. In the paper you should:

  • Use evidence to support your position, such as statistical evidence or dates and events.
  • Validate your position with authoritative references or primary source quotations.
  • Examine the strengths and weaknesses of your position.
  • Evaluate possible solutions and suggest course of action.

Choose an issue or policy where there is a clear division of opinion and which is arguable with facts and inductive reasoning. You may choose an issue or policy on which you have already formed an opinion. However, in writing about this issue or policy you must examine your opinion of the issue or policy critically. Prior to writing your paper, define and limit your issue carefully. Social issues are complex with multiple solutions. Narrow the topic of your paper to something that is manageable. Research your issue or policy thoroughly, consulting experts and obtaining primary documents. Consider feasibility, cost-effectiveness and political/social climate when evaluating possible solutions and courses of action. The following structure is typical of a policy issue or position paper:

  • An introduction
    • Identification of the issue or policy
    • Statement of the position
  • The body
    • Background information
    • Supporting evidence or facts
    • A discussion of both sides of the issue
  • A conclusion
    • Suggested courses of action
    • Possible solutions

The introduction should clearly identify the issue and state the author’s position. It should be written in a way that catches the reader’s attention.

The body of the policy or position paper may contain several paragraphs. Each paragraph should present an idea or main concept that clarifies a portion of the policy or position statement and is supported by evidence or facts. Evidence can be primary source quotations, statistical data, interviews with experts, and indisputable dates or events. Evidence should lead, through inductive reasoning, to the main concept or idea presented in the paragraph. The body may begin with some background information and should incorporate a discussion of both sides of the issue.

The conclusion should summarize the main concepts and ideas and reinforce, without repeating, the introduction or body of the paper. It could include suggested courses of action and possible solutions.

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