What is the best argument against what you are proposing?

Policy Solutions Paper


Length: 1000 words (± 10%). Your bibliography is not part of your final word count.

Minimum Sources: 6 (all different from your previous assignment)


You have defined the problem you wanted to tackle and described your policy alternatives in your previous assignments. Given your problem definition and your policy alternatives, explain which of the alternatives you described (including the status quo) is more likely to successfully address your chosen problem. Use evidence to convince the reader. Your evidence will include previous research (policy briefs & reports, academic papers), publicly available data, and historical data.


  • Use reliable data to support your choice. Remember: advocacy organizations and other highly partisan sources are more likely to select data to support their favorite arguments. Explain your choice of data/evidence.
  • Address the most powerful opposition to your choice. What is the best argument against what you are proposing?
  • Address second-order effects. What are the possible side effects of your recommended policy change?
  • Explain the political coalition necessary to support your policy. Which stakeholders are more likely to support your policy? Which ones are the most likely to oppose it? How would it be possible to gather support for your choice?
  • Briefly remind the reader about the trade-offs of your favorite policy alternative (you should have explored them into detail in your previous assignment).


  • Do not rely only on data coming from advocacy organization or highly partisan sources.
  • Do not underestimate how hard change can be: if your preferred policy alternative is so awesome, how come it’s not been tried before? Why is it hard to enact change in the policy area you are dealing with?
  • Do not forget about history: has this been tried before? Did it work?


Text: you are free to choose your font, spacing and other features of formatting. Your only constraint is a one-inch margin minimum throughout your document.

Bibliography: you are free to choose whichever bibliographic format you prefer (APA, MLA, etc.) as long as you include all the relevant information. That includes author, year, title, source, web link (when applicable). A simple list of links is NOT an acceptable bibliography.

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