You will follow several policy issues in the news and choose one to write a 5–10 page research paper analyzing policy options for that issue. One day a week in most weeks is set aside to work on this project in our online government course.
- Collect at least 25 news articles that discuss US policy, political events, policy formulation, political action, funding, or any subject discussed in the course in regard to the issue topics listed below.
- Pick five topics from the list below (or other topics after teacher approval) and find at least three articles on each topic chosen. Choose at least one local topic, and feel free to suggest, for teacher approval, additional categories that might interest you.
- Obtain a loose-leaf notebook/binder and divide it into five of the following sections with dividers. You can use even post-it note type dividers if you want.
- Keep reprints of articles you have read.
- Choose a topic and write a 5–10 page argumentative or analytical research paper on one chosen public policy topic. You should narrow your topic down enough so that you can thoroughly analyze it in 5–10 pages.
Possible Topic Areas
- Health Care
- Energy Policy
- Gun Control
- Campaign Financing
- Federal Budget/Government Spending
- Social Security
- Military Spending/Veteran’s Issues
- Immigration and Border
- Infrastructure Funding
- Environmental Policy
- Government Regulation (of a particular industry)
- Mass Transit (trains, buses, trolleys, etc.)
- Legalized Gambling (as a revenue source for education or other public service)
- Property Rights (including eminent domain)
- Jobs Creation
- Wage Regulation (including minimum wage and salary caps)
- Income Inequality
- Student Loans
- Any topic that is generating public protests or interest
You should use some sort of writer’s guide for writing a research paper. You may already be using a suitable resource. If you need a resource, one free resource is the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (often called the Purdue OWL). This link will take you to their portion for writing a research paper. You will be referred to particular areas throughout this project.
Before you begin collecting your final five articles, be sure to read about analytical and argumentative research papers and choosing a topic.