550: Unit 4

History 550: Politics and Public Policy, Winter 2023

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Part IV: Research projects on public policy issues. 

Links: List of policy issues; my current events guide;  page of recent articles on politics and policy; Citation Guide.

29. Meet in the library. It's important that you read the following guidelines and follow them carefully.  Your grade will depend largely on how well you follow these directions.  For ideas of policy topics, take a look at THIS PAGE (link), where I've posted readings on various political and policy issues.  Political articles are on top; scroll down for policy articles(Also, familiarize yourself with the LibGuide for HIS550).

Today we will also go over how to evaluate the reliability and political slant of stuff found on the web, by going over this page on this website. 

29. Research Time

Check in at the library. 

30. Research time.

Check in at the library.

31.  Research time.

Check in at the library.

32. Research Time. 

33. Release time/more research time.  

34. Thursday. Policy presentations: We will meet in the Meyer Auditorium for the first few final presentations.  Please consult the Google Doc to know who is presenting when.  

35. Friday. Policy Presentations: Meet again in Meyer. 

36. Tuesday during the finals schedule. Policy Presentations. 

SCHEDULE for A and B formats, 2023

Thursday: Connor/Morgan, Meredith/Emilia

Friday: Luca, Grady/Abby

Final block: Dissandou, Ariana/Riyah, Sophie/Jane

Thursday: Leo, Tanner, Carter, Andy

Friday: Leela, Emi, Anna

Final block: Hillary, Nataly, Jacob, Aliyana


 (5-8 minutes): THE PARTICULARS.  Please read carefully. To do well on this project you need to follow the guidelines. 

Research: Be sure to include a variety of sources in your research. You may use journalistic sources (newspapers, news magazines, and online journalism like Reuters or Propublica), policial publications (like New Republic, Jacobin, National Review); make sure you use our excellent library resources.  That includes e-reference sources like CQ Quarterly and Issues and Controveries and the book series "Opposing Viewpoints." The librarians have created a special "libguide" just for this course. In-depth sources: books in the library stacks or scholarly journals in the library databases. Data sources, like opinion polls (Pew, Gallup), or employment (Labor department).  

Also, consult the links on my Current Events Guide, to political opinion journals and the "various and sundry links." Dot-gov sources, think tanks, or online versions of well known periodicals are generally preferable to random blogs or dot-com sites, the source of which is unknown.  Use websites of advocacy groups to understand their positions, but not for the facts.  Use Wikipedia to chose a topic and find relevant sources, but do not use it for research.  See this page for tips on how to asses the slant and reliability of web pages.

If you chose to work in pairs, I will expect to see twice as much research done.

Annotated Bibliography: You need to include a bibliography listing the sources you used in your research. Look at this Citation Guide and make sure you have proper bibliographical formatting (use Turabian/Chicago style, not MLA). When you cite Internet sources, be sure to list the sponsoring organization as well as the web address and the author and title.  A BRIEF Annotation (one to three sentences) should tell me which kind of source among the different recommended types (see "Research" above), and the ideological slant. Never trust an internet site you are not familiar with.  See my Research the Web guide for useful tips on how to evaluate Internet sources.  I'm looking for you to demonstrate some savvy about the media and to have a well-balanced view of your topic.

Potential topics: Policy areas include but are not limited to tax policy, environment, energy, drugs, crime, health, food, agriculture, welfare, social security, education (federal, state, local; early childhood, primary, secondary, college), housing.  As you think about topics, be careful not to choose something that is so big and complicated that you can't possibly do justice to it in a 5-8-minute presentation.  E.G.  Instead of anti-terrorism policies, I had a  student do a presentation one year on the question of whether to create a national ID card.  He was able to do this topic very thoroughly in the time allotted.  Instead of the whole federal tax code, you might do a presentation on the progressive income tax and marginal tax rates.

PRESENTATION GUIDELINES (a really clear roadmap of how to do well on this project)

Note: This is a set of performances. It's not just a matter of presenting ideas. You are also responsible to your audience and fellow presenters in the same way that actors on a stage are. That means there should be a certain amount of rehearsal and attention to timing, blocking, transitions. 

Citation guidelines.docx