Your policy research paper should include all of the following numbered/bolded

questions (you do not need, and may not be able, to answer all the sub-points listed under

each of the main sections – use them as a guide):

1) What is your thesis statement – what is your argument and what do you want

your reader to understand when they are done reading the paper?

   2) What is the social problem? 

How did the problem become recognized or legitimized? 

Who was affected by the problem and how?

Which groups defined or controlled the definition of the problem?  Did this change over

time?

Whose values and interests seemed to be significant?

What was the role of economics in the social problem?                             

How widespread was the problem?

What were the causes of the problem?

How important was this problem historically?

  3) What was the policy / social response / social movement that affected the social

problem?  

When and how did the policy/social response/social movement originate (e.g., law, court

decision, executive order, etc.). 

Who advocated for, supported, the policy / social response / social movement?

Who opposed the policy / social response / social movement?

Why was the policy / social response / social movement created?

How was the policy / social response / social movement intended to work?

Who was covered by the policy / social response / social movement and what were the

inclusion criteria?

What were the intended short and long-term goals and outcomes of the policy / social

response / social movement?

Were there hidden agendas? 

Did the policy / social response / social movement threaten fundamental social values? 

Was the policy / social response / social movement compatible with the

social/political/economic climate of the time?

What was the general public opinion toward the policy / social response / social

movement?

Who benefited from the policy / social response / social movement?

Who (if anyone or any group) was ‘hurt’ by the policy / social response / social

movement?

Did the policy / social response / social movement accomplish its goals? 

Were there any negative consequences related to the policy / social response / social

movement?

Were there alternative policy / social response / social movement that would have been

preferable?

What role did social work play in the development of the policy / social response / social

movement?

  4) What is the current state of this historical social problem?

        Does this social problem still exist?

        What is different about the social problem today?

        Is the population impacted by the social problem different?

        W lol

of the past?

        What are the current policy / social responses / social movements that are related to

this social problem?

  Research Paper Grading Criteria:

– 23% Grammar

   – 23% References/APA format

– 54% Content (did you answer the questions?) and depth of your

argument/analysis

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