For this class, you will write a 10- to 15-page research paper on one of the topics approved by your instructor. The purpose of the paper is to provide the reader with a synopsis of the policys or programs history, purpose, goals, target population, and activities or elements; thus, you must include the following information in your paper:
a description or definition of the program or policy, including a brief discussion of the scope of the problem (e.g., statistics) that the policy or program is trying to address;
a discussion of the history of the program or policy, including why, where, and when it was created;
a discussion of the purpose(s) or goal(s) of the program or policy (i.e., what it is designed to accomplish, who or what it is targeting); and
a discussion of the elements of the program, including activities or actions designed to accomplish the programs goals.
In addition, you should summarize empirical studies that have evaluated how effective the program or policy has been in achieving its goals. For each study, you may, but are not required to, include the following information:
a summary of the research question examined,
a summary of the population examined,
a summary of how the data were obtained (i.e., the type of information collected),
a summary of the findings as they relate to the thesis statement (e.g., evidence the author[s] found that supports it), and a brief discussion of any significant limitations to the findings.
All information contained in the paper must come from academic sources unless your instructor tells you otherwise. In addition, you should not rely on your own knowledge about the topic. Moreover, you must use a minimum of 10 academic sources when writing your paper. Your paper must be written in APA format and must include citations written in APA format. Failure to include citations constitutes plagiarism. Your paper must include a title page as well as a reference page. Points will be deducted from papers that do not meet the page requirement or that do not incorporate eight academic sources.
Structural Elements of the Capstone Research Report
Policy reports directly reflect the different roles that the policy analyst commonly plays, i.e. from researcher to advocate. The type of report that you are writing is one from the more action-oriented, advocacy end of the continuum (but that is nevertheless based purely on evidence and not your opinion). Although there is much variation even at this end of the scale, the most common elements of the policy brief are as follows:
Title of the Policy Report
Context and Importance of the Problem (also called the Introduction)
Pre-existing Policies, Policy Options, and Research
Note: All research papers will be checked for plagiarism via Turnitin
Draft the thesis statement for your research paper. Failure to provide a thesis statement will result in a 5-point deduction from your grade.
Locate three academic sources that you will use for your capstone research paper.
1.One source should describe or explain the history, purpose(s), goal(s) or effects of a specific policy or broader set of policies such as, the ‘War on Drugs’, the ‘Tough on Crime’ movement, or ‘Mass Incarceration.’
2.One source must address the scope of the problem that your policy or program is trying to fix (this might be similar to source #1); and
3.One source must be an empirical study that supports your thesis statement or is related to the policy area that you are investigating (for example, policing, sentencing, courts, corrections, or reentry).
For each academic source, paste the abstract in a Word file and below the abstract write 1 to 3 sentences describing how you might utilize the source for your capstone research paper. Upload the Word or PDF file
1.Create a detailed outline of your paper, which lays out a summary of the information you will present in your final paper. At the end of Unit 4 on pages 83-87 there is a sample outline for you to generally follow, but I want you to build an outline that conforms with the headings of a policy report. Below I have listed the headings that must be included in your policy report. Following each heading, I listed the corresponding roman numerals from the sample outline (starting on page 83) that correspond to the sections of your research policy report.
Title of the Policy Report
Context and Importance of the Problem (I – III)
Pre-Existing Policies, Policy Options, and Research (IV – IX)
For writing assignment #2, you should include all 7 headings in the document that you submit, but you only need to construct in outline form the sections Context and Importance of the Problem, Pre-Existing Policies, Policy Options, and the Conclusion.
2.For each subsection head in your outline, write the last name(s) of the author(s) and year of publication of the article(s) that you are relying on to create those subsections. Also list alphabetically the sources that you use under the Reference Page heading (properly cited in APA or MLA). It’s easier to keep track of them now instead of having to go back later.
3.Below the Reference Page, insert all of the abstracts that you used in your outline.
Create a reference list for your research report; in other words, begin constructing the Reference Page. For this assignment, make sure that the list includes a minimum of six (6) sources and that it is presented in APA style, consistent with the Publication Manual, 6th edition (see pages 179-181 in the book Write & Wrong). Under each source, describe in 3-4 sentences what the source is about and how it will be used by you in your capstone research paper. Failure to write these sentences will result in a 4-point deduction per missing description.
Importantly, the 3-4 sentence description should not be included in the Reference Page of your final capstone research report. The reference page in your final report should look like the list on page 181 in the book Write & Wrong. Furthermore, your capstone research paper will need a minimum of ten (10) sources, so be sure to continue your library research and locate at least four (4) additional sources.
Submit the final draft of the section Context and Importance of the Problem, otherwise known as the Introduction. Your Introduction should include about four paragraphs. It should include (1) a description of the problem; (2) the effects of the problem; (3) an introduction of your topic of investigation and description of how this area of crime policy should help solve the problem and achieve the goals outlined in the prompt; and (4) a road map paragraph that details what the rest of the paper will do and how it will be structured. The Introduction is usually 2 full pages in length.
The purpose of the Context and Importance of the Problem section is to convince the target audience that a current and urgent problem exists which requires them to take action. The Context and Importance of the Problem is both the introductory and the first building blocks of the policy brief/policy report. As such, it usually includes the following: a clear statement of the problem or issue; a short overview of the root causes of the problem; and a statement of the policy implications of the problem that establishes the need for a policy change.
I will evaluate your grade based on three factors: (1) Is the Introduction strategically focused on achieving the intended goal of convincing the target audience the need for change; (2) Does it provide an adequately comprehensive but targeted argument within a limited space; and (3) Is it succinct and give the reader a good understanding of what the rest of the paper will be about.
Research Paper Draft:
Research Paper Final: