Introduction to Research and Writing – PPOG 500

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

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 appropriate research and citation techniques.

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


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.

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. With the exception of the Peer Review discussion described below, each thread must be at least 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 at least 250 words and address all aspects of the assignment instructions. Citations for any sources used must follow current APA style.

In the Discussion: Research Paper Peer Review, the student will post a thread comprised of his or her Research Paper Purpose Statement and Analysis discussion to the Discussion: Peer Review (750 words). Using a set of criteria provided within the Discussion prompt, the student will reply to 2 classmates’ threads, providing a peer review of each thread. Each review must be at least 350 words and address all aspects of the assignment instructions.

Read & Interact Textbook Assignments (6)

Within this course, students will be required to complete online interactive assignments using a textbook within a third party platform, SmartBook. Assignments are fully interactive and do not require the completion of readings prior to completing the Homework Assignments. 

Quizzes (2)

The student will complete 2 quizzes in the course. The Quiz: Meeting Attribution & Formatting Standards will contain 3 short-answer, 2 essay, 3 true/false, and 12 multiple-choice questions on source attribution, paper formatting, 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. The Quiz: Avoiding Basic Writing Errors (BWEs) wlll contain 25 multiple-choiice questions related to Basic Writing Errors.

Research Paper Purpose Statement/Outline Assignment

The student will compose a 1-2 sentence Research Purpose Statement that concisely aligns with the research topic and propose a 500-word (1-2 pages) Outline of the research paper. The outline must include a minimum of 5 key points essential to exploring and/or supporting the research purpose statement and must identify at least 3 germane scholarly sources. Formatting must follow current APA style.

Research Paper Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will prepare an Annotated Bibliography related to the policy issue chosen for the Research Paper. 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. Sources must represent diverse perspectives and approaches to understanding the policy issue. The majority of sources must be no older than 10 years. Formatting must follow current APA style.

Research Paper Assignment

The student will write a comprehensive research paper that synthesizes the skills and knowledge developed in the course. The paper will include a title page, introduction and body paragraphs, conclusion, and a reference list. The body of the paper must be 8–10 pages, excluding any tables and figures the student may choose to include. A minimum of 10 scholarly sources are required. Formatting must follow current APA style.

Research Paper Revisions Assignment

The student will revise and resubmit the Research Paper, responding to grading feedback and implementing proofreading edits. The revised paper will include a 1-page Abstract between the title page and first written page. All weaknesses in composition and content identified in grading feedback for the Research Paper must be addressed. The revised paper must be 8–10 pages not including title page, Abstract, and reference pages. A minimum of 10 scholarly sources are required. Formatting must follow current APA style.