A public policy paper is a persuasive document
intended to be read by (government) decision makers. The purpose of
such a paper is to recommend a specific course of action in response
to a compelling public issues.
Students will choose a public policy issues in
consultation with faculty.
Step 1: Describe the problem and assess needs. What
problem needs public resolution and government action? What are the
parameters of the problem and the parties affected?
- Write a compelling introduction explaining why the problem
should be addressed. What are the geographic and environmental
Step 2: Research historical/Comparative Background. What
are the causes of the problem? What is the historical and national
- Write 3-4 paragraphs presenting informative background
information -- assessing the problem over time. Past laws and/or
policies might be described.
Step 3: Consider alternatives and their impact. Is there
an alternative course of action?
- Write 2-3 paragraphs describing the most feasible and
desirable alternatives for dealing with the problem.
Step 4: Develop and action plan with recommendations.
Recommend a specific course of action.
- Write 1-2 paragraphs recommending a course of action which
includes one or some combination of the alternatives presented
in Step 3.
- Consider: how will existing laws or policies have to be
changed? Will your recommendations require starting a new
program or government agency? What might be the financial
implications? What parties need to cooperate in order for this
recommendation to have a positive impact?
Step 5: Citation of sources