Policy Analysis Paper

Due: March 24 in tutorial (hard copy) and on March 23 no later than 11:59 pm on the Moodle site (turn-it-in link)

Grade value: 15% of final grade

Length: 8 double spaced pages, 12 pt. font and standard margins plus bibliography

The research paper will incorporate and build on the material from the essay proposal. The final product must reflect a conscious effort to address the issues identified in the proposal by the TA; it has to demonstrate that you have seriously put an effort in doing all the previous writing phases. The essay should have a clearly enunciated thesis, cogently articulated intermediate units (where you develop your argument) and a final section. Before submitting the paper, please re-read it and ask yourself some questions. Is my thesis clear? Do I provide evidence to support my main arguments or do I make unsubstantiated claims? Have I incorporated into the paper distinct points of view about the theme in question, pointing out their advantages and disadvantages? In making my main argument, am I showing that one can convincingly rule out alternative patterns of explanation? Last but not least, have I corrected any spelling or grammar mistakes?

Requirements and Evaluation

  • Develop a coherent and concise argument, using empirical evidence to support your argument
  • Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria
    • Quality of argument and writing (grammar, structure, spelling)
    • Strength and depth of evidence used to support
    • Facility with key terms, concepts, vocabulary
    • Ability to address opposing points of view
    • Use of standard form of academic documentation (citation of sources, bibliography)

Senate Policy on Academic Honesty

Academic honesty requires that persons do not falsely claim credit for the ideas, writing or other intellectual property of others, either by presenting such works as their own or through impersonation.   Similarly, academic honesty requires that persons do not cheat (attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic evaluation), nor attempt or actually alter, suppress, falsify or fabricate any research data or results, official academic record, application or document.

Suspected breaches of academic honesty will be investigated, and charges shall be laid if reasonable and probable grounds exist.  A student who is charged with a breach of academic honesty shall be presumed innocent until, based upon clear and compelling evidence, a committee determines the student has violated the academic honesty standards of the university.   A finding of academic misconduct will lead to the range of penalties described in the guidelines which accompany this policy.  In some cases the University regulations on non-academic discipline may apply.  A lack of familiarity with the Senate Policy and Guidelines on Academic Honesty on the part of a student does not constitute a defense against their application.   Some academic offenses constitute offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada; a student charged under University regulations may also be subject to criminal charges.   Charges may also be laid against York University students for matters which arise at other educational institutions.

Penalties for Late Assignments and Information regarding Submission of Work:

Essays submitted late but within one week of the due date will receive a penalty deduction of 5% per day (e.g. if the essay merits 70, it will receive 65 the first late day, 60 the second day, etc.). Late essays will not be accepted after 14 days past the due date. Penalties may be waived under exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the tutorial leader. Submit your essay on the turn-it-in link on the course Moodle site.  Faxed or e-mailed essays or disks will not be accepted.  You are required to keep a copy of the final version of your essay as well as your rough notes.

  1. Policy Analysis Paper

Students are required to prepare a policy analysis paper on a specific policy in one of the following policy topic areas:

  • The transformation of health care policy (example policies: creation of Medicare, Canada Health Act)
  • Indigenous policy (example policies: Nunavut Agreement, Indian Act, Land Claims policies, Inherent Right of Self-government policy)
  • Gender policies (example policies: employment equity, recruitment policies of political parties)
  • Immigration policy (example policies: Immigration Act, refugee policies, undocumented migrants)
  • Fiscal federalism (example: equalization payments)

Students will do the following:

  • Consider the context of the policy.
  • Evaluate the political and/or economic and/or social goals of the policy.
  • Assess any positive/negative outcomes.

(In other words: who designed the policy? What did it intend to do? Did it accomplish its goals? Where/who was it meant for/applied to? When did it occur? What was/is the significance of the policy and how does it improve/not improve the conditions of citizenship?)

Support your argument/position/analysis with research (facts and data) and good sources.

Assignment Guidelines

Writing a successful academic essay is a process that requires several elements and steps.

  • Choose a topic from the list provided.
  • Clearly define the topic/question you are looking to address.
  • Research the topic using relevant scholarly and reputable sources.
  • Develop a Research Proposal in which you will outline your topic, some preliminary research, and an outline of how you intend to structure the essay.
  • Using feedback from your TA and peers, restructure and find additional sources as necessary.
  • Write your first draft, edit, re-edit, spell-check, have someone else read it, and submit it.

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