PLCY 850 Introduction to Social Policy

This course requires students to research the basic contours of academic research in social policy. Students will work with their faculty member to understand the scope, history, controversial issues, and methods associated with academic research in this cognate. This research will serve as a stepping-stone to conducting a comprehensive literature review for their dissertation and provide the needed context to ensure that the student’s chosen dissertation topic is focused and appropriate.

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

Course Guide

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This course is a necessary first step in the research required for the dissertation process.


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

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 450-500 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 200-250 words. Each thread and reply must utilize at least 3 scholarly sources (7–8 for the threads for Discussion: Rights and Social Welfare and Discussion: What is Poverty?).

The student will write a one-paragraph dissertation abstract in current APA format that offers a clear and concise summary of their planned research project

The student will write a one- or two-paragraph research question in current APA format that defines a clear, feasible, significant, and ethical research proposal.

The student will write a 10-12 page literature review in current APA format, based on the literature included in their annotated bibliography, that explores existing literature related to the student’s proposed research topic, identifying the central insights, themes, and/or gaps that support the student’s research proposal.

The student will write a 4-6 page paper in current APA format explaining their research design, including an explanation and theoretical justification for their selected research method.

The student will write a 3-5 page paper in current APA format explaining the data on which their research will be based, including issues related to the method, manner, and feasibility of data collection; the population(s), data set(s) or other location(s) from which the data will be collected; and the coding of data and/or definitions of key terms.

The student will prepare a research paper in current APA format that consists of a compilation of revised versions of their: 1) Problem Statement Assignment; 2) Literature Review Assignment; 3) Research Question Assignment; 4) Research Design Assignment; 5) Data Collection and Interpretation Assignment. The final research concept paper should incorporate feedback given to the student in all previous assignments and should blend each of the components of paper into an intellectually coherent whole. The completed research concept paper should be approximately 19-25 pages. 


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