Public Policy Research and Writing – GOVT 230

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/09/2021

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the strategies, methods and practices of research and writing relevant to public policy analysis, formulation and decision making.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


An integral part of the public policy process, documentation includes articulation of a perceived policy problem, identification of the strengths and weaknesses of prospective solutions, explanation and defense of a chosen solution, and dissemination of information to the public in a dynamic policy-making environment. The focus of the course will be on the most common written work within the discipline, the policy brief, and associated research.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Conduct public policy research using the university resources and electronic databases.
  2. Engage in informed reading, research, analysis, and discussion of public policy topics.
  3. Identify the elements of effective public policy writing.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency at writing a persuasive public policy paper.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

Homework Assignments (6)

The student will complete exercises through the Connect Composition Essentials Access Code. These assignments will provide the student with an opportunity to practice skills in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, writing, research, reasoning, argument, style, and word choice.

Policy Brief Assignment

The student will write a 12–15-page research-based public policy brief in current APA format that focuses on a chosen current public policy problem. The paper must include at least 10 references in addition to the Bible. The student will write segments of the brief throughout the course.

  1. Policy Brief: Problem Articulation
  2. Policy Brief: Legislative History
  3. Policy Brief: Policy Alternatives
  4. Policy Brief: Proposed Solution
  5. Policy Brief: Executive Summary
  6. Policy Brief: Final Draft

Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will prepare an Annotated Bibliography in current APA format that focuses on his/her chosen public policy problem for the policy brief. The annotated bibliography must include a minimum of 4 sources. The student will write 1-paragraph annotations for each source.