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CRJ/SOC/WGST 476/576: Inside-Out Prison Exchange

Research Guide for SOC/CRJ/WGST 476/576

Writing Your Position Paper

1. Introduction: summarizes what you will write and puts it into context

  • An overview and background that contextualizes the problem that you want to address and your proposed policy
  • Your introduction should give a real sense of the problem and the context/reason why addressing it is necessary
  • Every piece of information in the rest of your policy paper should clearly and easily connect back to this problem 

2. Defining the Problem

3. Alternative Strategies/Policies to Address the Problem

  • Compare existing policies or programs that address this problem. In what ways aren't these working and why is it necessary to find an alternative? Is there anything they're doing well that could be incorporated into your proposed policy?
  • Discuss constraints, including political, social, and economic constraints. What is possible given these constraints?

4. Recommendation: Proposed Policy

  • Why this policy?
    • Give a detailed description about your proposed policy with details
    • Discuss how your proposed policy would solve the problem and provide rationale for using this specific policy to solve the problem
  • How and how long?
    • Provide a plan for implementation and expected outcomes

5. Conclusion: summarizes what you wrote and what you learned

  • Briefly summarize your problem and your arguments for why its real
  • Briefly summarize your proposed policy and your arguments for why it would help
  • End with a strong, final statement that ties the whole paper together and makes it clear the paper has come to an end

6. References List

7. Appendices (if applicable)

For more writing help, contact the Writing Center and make an online appointment to meet with one of their consultants.

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