320b paper guideline 1.pdf

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University of British Columbia
Political Science
POLI 101
Paul Quirk

Political Science 320B The Politics of Policy P. Quirk, Fall 2013 October 10, 2013: Essay Assignment: A Case Study of Policymaking in Congress Handout 1, Introduction and Getting Started The essay assignment is to write an 8 page (double-spaced) research essay describing the policymaking process, and explaining the policy outcome, on one significant case of legislation in the U.S. Congress. Unlike in typical essays for UBC courses, you will base your analysis on relatively raw information—government documents and contemporaneous news coverage, primarily—conducting a small piece of original research. You may choose from among four issues (each the subject of significant legislation) for which we have collected the relevant materials. The evidence and interpretations in the paper should not be drawn from academic books or articles, or other similar works. Although you may read such works if you can find them and you want to do so, you may not cite them. And your analysis will be assessed on the basis of your thoroughness and accuracy in using the evidence in the sources that we are providing. The assignment is structured in such a way that there should be no benefit, from a grading standpoint, from doing additional research. Questions You will focus your analysis on some of the questions about the influences on policymaking that we discuss in the course. Thus in general terms, the paper should analyze the performance of, or influences on, the policymaking process and policy outcomes. You will choose your own more specific question or questions, depending on your preferences and the evidence you find in the documents. Some options are: 1) How well or poorly does the policymaking process perform? For example, does it produce policies that are responsive to the broad interests or preferences of the public? Does it design and evaluate processes intelligently, using the available information ab
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