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SOWK 322: Social Welfare Policy & Program I : Policy Analysis Project

A resource guide for the Fall 2022 class taught by Robin Ebright Zehr

The Assignment

Policy Analysis Project 

  • Identify and describe the social problem (racism, poverty, family violence, environment, immigration, etc.) the policy attempts to address.
  • Describe the historical roots of this problem and governmental efforts to address the problem. Consider why the policy came about at this specific time and any pollical ideology that was influential?
  • Describe the effect of the problem on individuals, families and larger social systems such as the community and society.
  • Outline the stated goals and objectives of the policy and describe the specific programs through which the policy is (or will be) implemented.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the policy in alleviating the problem.  What are its particular strengths and weaknesses?  If the policy is proposed but not yet implemented (e.g., national health care), you should present an analysis of the policy’s potential for success, based on its strengths and limitations.
  • A 10 -12 page research paper (excluding the references page), critiquing a major US social policy, either existing or proposed (if sufficient research sources). An explanation of the policy chosen, an outline, a preliminary reference list, the paper, and a presentation on your policy are all required components of this assignment. See the grading rubric for full details. Please thoroughly address the content listed below.

Required components

Paper topic: Explain in 300-500 words the social problem and policy you plan to address. The policy can be a currently enacted policy or a currently proposed policy. Explain why you are choosing this policy and what you hope to learn, discover or address through this analysis process.

Preliminary reference list: Start with your working title and topic sentence. Provide accurate, APA-formatted citations for a minimum of 10 current, scholarly sources.

Outline: Create a complete outline for your policy analysis paper starting with your working title and topic sentence. Complete sentences are helpful; partial sentences can also be used as long as they make sense.

Policy analysis paper: A 10-12-page research paper (not including reference list) that addresses the required content, incorporates professor feedback, and utilizes APA format for citations.

Presentation: A 5-8-minute presentation on the policy your researched and analyzed. Do NOT simply read your paper. Be prepared to answer questions from the class following your 5-8 minute presentation.

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