Assignment on Federal Policy

TECON 316 Current Issues in US Public Policy  Spring 2019

Assignment:  Policy Paper 2  Due date:  May 8, 2019 (beginning of class via canvas)

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Assignment.  For this assignment, write a paper designed to persuade someone who may not agree with you to your point of view about some aspect of federal policy toward the poor.  Begin by introducing your subject matter in a way that establishes common ground/common understanding between you and your reader.  This introduction should be objective and factual.  For example, you might report the official poverty rate and trends in it, or the amount spent by the federal government on some program, but not express your own opinion about these things.   Then, state your question and take a position.  After this introduction, explain why you reach the position you reach.  Engage and reflect on the point of view of a smart and thoughtful person who may disagree with you.   Use evidence, facts, statements by experts, to support your position.

Then conclude.

Your primary sources should be course material.  If you need to supplement, that is fine, but please don’t replace course readings with other readings.  Your Works Cited (or Reference) page should only include work cited in your paper.

Paper Topics:  

Option A:  What do you think is wrong/inadequate/misplaced about our current policy toward the poor?

Option B:  “Our safety net is too porous, and leaves too many people ineligible for benefits.  We should all support higher taxes so that we can do more to help the poor.”  Write a paper responding to this sentiment.

Suggested Format

  1. Introduction/Background: Provide some framing for what topic you are addressing and why. If your audience needs some background, provide it.  Include one sentence summarizing what you argue.  1-2 para.\
  2. Description of different opinions on the topic. Why is the topic controversial, and what are some different opinions about the topic?  Note this part should be fairly factual.  1-2 paragraphs
  3. Your analysis: Explain your opinion, and back it up with your reasoning, evidence, and support.  Be sure to include responses to people who disagree with you (2-3 pages).
  4. Conclusion. One paragraph.

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