Assignment Suicide Prevention Final Project

Assignment Suicide Prevention Final Project

Assignment Suicide Prevention Final Project

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Question Description

There are 2 parts to this assignment:

First: Final Project Abstract. Submit to your Instructor a 2- to 3-page outline of:

(a) 3 or 4 alternative ways to tackle the public policy problem you selected;
(b) 10–12 scholarly resources that will inform and support your recommendations;
(c) your chosen recommendation to the decision-maker.
Here is the information for the first part and what the final paper will focus on:

Policy Question or problem: How can we decrease or prevent gun deaths by suicide?

It will focus on policy or policies that may decrease the number of suicides by gun, such as universal background checks, child prevention access laws, minimum age requirements, and possibly restriction for those with a dangerous mental illness.

Second Final Project (15–18 pages). Your Policy Analysis Paper should include the following:

Executive Summary: Describe the public policy problem of interest to you, the scope of the problem, and a capsule summary of your recommended course of action. (1–2 paragraphs)
Introduction and Problem Definition: Explain why the problem is important. Why should the decision-maker care about this issue? (1–2 pages)
Issue Analysis: Explain in detail, supported by scholarly resources, the scope of the public policy issue. You should describe the stakeholders (e.g., branches of government, interest groups, nonprofit organizations, media, the bureaucracy, etc.) connected to the problem. (3–4 pages)
Proposed Solutions: You are not expected to detail every possible approach to the issue you selected. However, based on your research, select 3 or 4 potential solutions that directly address the public policy problem you selected. It is important that you explain which stakeholders would be proponents and which would be opponents of each policy alternative you identify, and why, and the implications of their being for or against the alternative(s). You should make clear to the decision-maker the complexities involved with each proposed solution you analyze. (6–8 pages)
Policy Recommendation: Choose one of the alternatives to the public policy problem you selected and explain, based on scholarly materials you have examined, why it is best suited to address the problem. Be sure to address opportunities and challenges of implementing your recommendation given any relevant political, social, economic, or cultural considerations. Additionally, explain what, if any, social justice and/or ethical issues are impacted by your recommended policy alternative. (2–4 pages)
You will need access to both of these books for this:

Anderson, J. E. (2015). Public policymaking: An introduction (8th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Bardach, E., Patashnik, E. M. (2016). A practical guide for policy analysis: The eightfold path to more effective problem solving (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press

Notes from the Instructor that will help with this assignment:

1. A policy analysis project is not the same as a research report. At this point (Week 3), you should take the time to look ahead to the assignment for Week 10. Reporting on immigration policy, or foster care policy, or environmental policy, or health care policy, is a part of doing a policy analysis. However, the main idea of a policy analysis is to analyze the effectiveness of an existing or a proposed policy. Go beyond reporting and analyze a policy problem

2. Remember that in academic writing, researching sources and citing sources are of major importance. There are three main errors students make in academic writing. The first is they lay out all kinds of factual information without any citations of sources. That is a big no-no. The second is they list sources they do not use. Equally a no-no. The third is they write an essay that amounts to their opinion. Well, your opinion is as valid as mine. In many endeavors, stating your opinion is useful. That is because your opinion is based on experience and knowledge. But in academic writing, it is not enough. Academic writing needs to show research and analysis. How well do you integrate your opinion and analysis with what the literature has to say?

3. Now is a good time to review the Bardach and Patashnik (2016) text and look at the eight steps in what they call the “eightfold path.” Caveat: The format for the Week 10 project is not the same as the Bardach process, but this is a way of thinking. Let me summarize each of these steps with my own paraphrase on what they mean:

a. Step One: Define the Problem. How you define the policy problem is going to influence how you analyze it. If you say “I want to write about Social Security,” my question to you is “what particular policy problem does Social Security present?” I use that example because there have been and continue to be numerous definitions of various policy problems associated with Social Security. The point is just simply stating a policy area is not the same as stating a policy problem.

b. Step Two: Assemble some Evidence. Some would say this is the same as doing research. For our purposes, it is not worth fighting over the difference between research and evidence. The point is that for your analysis, you do need to do research into the evidence that both supports or refutes your policy position. I reviewed all of your papers, and I am highly confident that each of you can assemble a great deal of evidence for your policy problems. But remember, use scholarly sources in addition to journalistic sources.

c. Step Three: Construct the Alternatives. What this tells you is that there is more than one approach to the policy problem. This also takes you back to Step One, where you developed a coherent problem. Every problem each of you proposed has several alternatives.

d. Step Four: Select the Criteria. If you say you are looking at a policy problem alternatives in terms of cost, then I will be looking for some kind of cost analysis or cost-benefit analysis. If you say you are evaluating alternatives in terms of equity, then you must have some criteria by which you judge all the alternatives for equity. Saying “I like alternative A as opposed to alternative B” is not useful unless you can show your criteria by which you are judging. In your Week 10 assignment, you are asked to explain why the recommended course of action you select is the best. What that means is you need a reason why (or a basis of comparing options…what is that basis?)

e. Step Five: Project the Outcomes. What happens if we adopt alternative A versus alternative B? To a large extent, this is exactly what the Congressional Budget Office does when it “scores” legislation. However, that is fairly complicated. Take a simpler example. What happens if our town has a choice between building a full swimming pool versus a splash pad? How would you project the outcomes?

f. Step Six: Confront the Tradeoffs. There are benefits to each alternative. When you choose one alternative, you are giving up some benefits. You do the same in your everyday life. Imagine you have a two-week vacation (rare, I know). Let’s say you have $4,000 that you scraped together for a couple of years for a nice vacation. Your choices are driving to Disneyworld in Florida, camping in Yellowstone National Park, or working on a Habitat for Humanity project in West Virginia (you are responsible for transportation and lodging). Well, there are some tradeoffs. If tradeoffs were always giving up something bad for something good, they would be easy. More often, tradeoffs are giving up something good for something good.

g. Step Seven: Stop, Focus, Narrow, Deepen, Decide. This means pretty much what it says. All of your research and analysis of alternatives still gives you a policy decision to make. This is what happens in Congress, state legislatures, and city councils all the time. How did they come up with those decisions? It is easy to say that “they are not responsive to the People” but is that really the case? Do elected leaders just flip coins or come up with random solutions?

h. Step Eight: Tell Your Story. Okay, here again look at the Week 10 assignment instructions. There is a specific way we want you to tell this policy story. Before you get there, the eightfold path is your thought guide. But at the end of it all, you are analyzing policy.

4. Please make sure your Week 10 project is organized in accordance with the Assignment instructions. I know I am being repetitive here.

5. Now, if you read the instructions for Week 10, you know that the paper is not aligned perfectly with Bardach’s eight steps. However, the eightfold path is a way of thinking through the approach, and if you use it, I promise it will help you write the papers for Weeks 8 and 10.

Assignment Suicide Prevention Final Project

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and…