Introduction to Research and Writing – PPOG 500

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

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.

Rationale

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (5)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. 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 Turabian style.

In the Discussion: Research Paper: Topic Selection and Objective versus Opinion Writing, 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. The student will then complete an analysis of objective versus opinion writing using the topic they have chosen.
 
In the Discussion: Research Paper: Peer Review, the student will post a thread comprised of his or her Research Paper Initial Draft Thesis/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 read and interact with the textbook within the third party platform, SmartBook. Students must complete each reading and item in the textbook in order to earn the points associated with the assigned reading and prior to completing any Homework Assignment. 

Quiz: Attribution and Formatting

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.

Research Paper: Research 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.

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. The majority of sources must be no older than 10 years. Formatting must follow current Turabian Author-Date style.

Research Paper: Initial Draft Assignment

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 scholarly sources are required. Formatting must follow current Turabian Author-Date style.

Research Paper: Final Draft Assignment

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 scholarly sources are required. Formatting must follow current Turabian Author-Date style.