Research Paper Guidelines

Each student will select a current issue in Public Administration or Policy for in depth research.
There are a multitude of topics, which a student could research within the scope of this course.
For ideas, look ahead in the readings. The individual research project will consist of a written
paper that is due on November 17, 2019.
Each paper must be 10-15 pages in length and must include:
1. A description of the current controversies or challenges regarding the issue (why it is
relevant for the study of public administration)
2. A review of the literature, which includes, at a minimum:
a. An explanation of the history of this issue (major laws or regulations, milestone
events, corresponding and competing values)
b. A discussion of some comparative perspectives on the issue (how is the issue
different in the public, private and nonprofit sectors; how is the issue different at
the local, state or national level of government or in different regions of the
country; OR how is the issue different in the United States and in other countries).
c. A review of best practices regarding this issue (describe how this issue is handled
in a high-performance organization or in a progressive jurisdiction).
Not included in the 15-20 pages are the following components:
1. A Title Page
2. An Abstract
3. Tables and Figures
4. References
For this assignment, students should use books, peer-reviewed journal articles, professional
association publications, and electronic sources, and possibly interviews and organizational
documents as reference materials. Your writing should reflect the style, tone and approach of
professional journals in our discipline, such as Public Administration Review, The Review of
Public Personnel Administration, The American Review of Public Administration, and Public
Personnel Management.
Students must have their topics approved by the instructor. In selecting a topic, students are
encouraged to select a topic that addresses some component of one or more of the major public
administration or policy issues. Within these broad issue areas, students should narrowly focus
their attention to avoid the pitfalls of inadequate detail and superficial analysis.

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