Introduction to Writing, Research and Turabian – PPOG 500

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

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of current research techniques in the field of public policy. Students will also hone and apply professional writing skills by completing a final research paper fully incorporating techniques as outlined by Turabian.




Effective graduate-level writing skills are essential to both the study and practice of public policy. Students entering the MAPP program come from a variety of backgrounds and educational experiences that impact their respective communication skill levels. This course plays the important role of orienting and preparing the new graduate student to conduct effective research and write well in the public policy environment.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply methods of sound reasoning and analysis in research writing.
  2. Conduct introductory-level research related to the fields of public policy and political science.
  3. Apply biblical principles in analyses of contemporary public policy issues.
  4. Identify common errors in composition and attribution.
  5. Implement current Turabian paper formatting and citation style within written works.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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 (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–350 words and address all aspects of the assignment instructions. Any sources used must follow current Turabian style.

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.

Public Policy Research Project

The student will complete a 6-part Public Policy Research Project, beginning with a preliminary Topic Selection (Part 1), Thesis Statement/Outline (Part 2), and Annotated Bibliography (Part 3). After these preliminary assignments have been completed, the student will complete the Research Paper Initial Draft (Part 4), a Group Discussion Board Peer Review (Part 5), and the Research Paper Final Draft (Part 6).

Part 1: Topic Selection

The student will select a contemporary public policy research topic from a set of given topics and submit a 1-sentence statement of this selection.

Part 2: Thesis Statement/Outline

The student will compose a 1-2 sentence Thesis Statement that concisely aligns with the research topic and propose a 1-page projected Outline of the research paper. The outline must include a minimum of 5 key points essential to exploring and/or supporting the thesis statement and must identify at least 3 germane scholarly sources.

Part 3: Annotated Bibliography

The student will prepare an Annotated Bibliography related to the policy issue chosen for the Public Policy Research Project. The Annotated Bibliography must summarize and/or describe 8–10 prospective scholarly sources for use in the research paper and must be 3–5 pages. The majority of sources must be no older than 10 years. Formatting must follow current Turabian Author-Date style.

Part 4: Research Paper Initial Draft

The student will write a draft of a comprehensive research paper that synthesizes the skills and knowledge developed in the course. The initial draft will include a title page, introduction and body paragraphs, and a reference list. The body of the draft must be 7–9 pages, excluding any tables and figures the student may choose to include. A minimum of 10 sources are required. Formatting must follow current Turabian Author-Date style.

Part 5: Peer Review Group Discussion Board

The student will post his/her initial draft of the Public Policy Research Paper to the File Exchange within the Group Discussion Forum for review by his/her classmates. Using a set of criteria provided within the assignment instructions, the student will review at least 2 classmates’ drafts. Reviews must be posted as threads within the Group Discussion Forum. Each review must be 400–500 words and address all aspects of the assignment instructions.

Part 6: Research Paper Final Draft

The student will write the final draft of a comprehensive research paper that synthesizes the skills and knowledge developed in the course. The final draft will include an abstract and a conclusion paragraph, in addition to the components required in the initial draft. All weaknesses in composition and content identified in grading feedback for the initial draft must be addressed. The final draft must be 8–10 pages not including title and reference pages. A minimum of 10 sources are required. Formatting must follow current Turabian Author-Date style.

Attribution and Formatting Test

The student will complete 3 short-answer, 2 essay, 3 true/false, and 12 multiple-choice questions on attribution and biblical principles related to honesty and integrity. Each essay question must be answered with a minimum of 200 words and address all aspects of the question at hand. Sources used must be included within the answer(s). The student will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete this test.