Public Policy Research and Writing – GOVT 230

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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.


GOVT 200


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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 300 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 100 words.

LearnSmart Exercises (6)

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

Policy Brief

The student will write a 12–15-page research-based public policy brief in current Turabian 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: Segment 1
  2. Policy Brief: Segment 2
  3. Policy Brief: Segment 3
  4. Policy Brief: Segment 4
  5. Policy Brief: Segment 5
  6. Policy Brief: Final Draft

Annotated Bibliography

The student will prepare an Annotated Bibliography in current Turabian 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.

Peer Review Group Forum

The instructor will assign the student to a group forum at the beginning of the course. The student will post a rough draft of his/her policy brief to the group forum. The student must read at least 2 classmates’ policy briefs and provide a peer-review for each using the peer-review assessment form provided in Blackboard.