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Each student selects a public policy from the list provided (or receives approval from professor for alternative topic). The assignment should attempt to address the following issues if appropriate. However, not all issues can be addressed for all policies. For example, not all policies are subjected to a federal court decision.


Introduction: Briefly describe the policy problem, context of the problem, and any historical information that may add to the understanding of the problem.

Describe how the policy has gone through the policy process from agenda setting to policy evaluation and change:



Agenda Setting

Problem identification (discuss indicators & statistics, crisis or focusing events, etc. that led to the recognition of the problem).

Identify the key policy actors instrumental in pushing the problem forward and onto the agenda – identify their policy positions.

Policy Formulation

Identify some of the solutions created to solve the problem.

Identify where these solutions came from (state or local governments, policy think tanks, bureaucrats, academia, etc.).

Identify any challenges or constraints to the solutions (potential costs? Potential political acceptability problems? Lack of bipartisanship?Other challenges?).

Who are the key actors primarily involved in policy formulation (iron triangle, policy subsystem, presidential task force, etc.)?

Policy Adoption

Was the adoption a bipartisan effort?How difficult was the passage of the policy statement?

What was the roll call vote in both chambers of Congress?

Policy Implementation

Who are the implementers (identify the bureaucracy(s) involved in implementation)?

Were there criticisms by those implementing?

What specific programs were created to solve the problem or meet the goals of the policy?

Identify any challenges and constraints to implementing the policy.

Were there federal court challenges? If so, how did the federal court rule and why?

Policy Evaluation

Did the program(s) created as a result of the policy solve the problem or produce positive results?Were policy goals met? Did the evaluations lead to policy change?

Policy Change

How has the policy changed over time? New law? Amendments to existing law? Changes to existing programs? Termination of programs?


Summarize main points



Format for research project:


The policy project should be 5-6 pages in length. The assignment should be written in narrative form with a title centered at the top of the first page. The assignment should contain an introduction, headings for each of the policy stages, a brief conclusion summarizing the main points of the report, and a reference page. It should be typed, double-spaced with a 12-point font, 1-inch margins, with each page numbered.


Six outside sources are required for this project.

All sources used in the assignment must be documented on a separate reference page at the end of the paper.Also, direct quotes, close paraphrases, and statistics in the body of the text should be given proper citation using parenthetical references. Any questions on the proper citation of sources should be directed to the professor.

Failure to properly cite sources could lead to charges of plagiarism.



A reference list should be alphabetized by author last name or name of organization.Each reference should be single-spaced with a double space between references. All sources retrieved on-line should contain an “accessed on” date as well as the URL address.


Various resources can be used for this project.Scholarly journals, books, newspapers, news magazines or websites from policy research organizations and professional organizations.Only reputable sources should be used. What are reputable sources?


NO Wikipedia!

Books-Go to the library!

Peer-reviewed scholarly journals: A peer-reviewed scholarly journal

refers only to those journals where the author submits her manuscript to several other scholars, experts, or academics (peers) in the field for review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published.

What to look for:


Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article.

Scholarly journals


cite their sources in the form of parenthetical references, footnotes, and a reference page.

Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article—universities and research institutions.

The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some technical background on the part of the reader.

The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.


Here are some examples of peer-reviewed scholarly journals in public administration and public policy:


Public Administration Review

State and Local Government Review

American Review of Public Administration

Policy Studies Journal

Public Budgeting and Finance

Publius: The Journal of Federalism

my topic is Violent crime control and law enforcement act of 1994

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