As we’ll discuss in class on Thursday, your second short paper is due in two weeks on Tuesday, October 3rd.
The Problem Identification Paper is the prelude to your policy memo. The idea is that you’re picking the problem that you would like your policy memo (your “big” paper for the class, at least in terms of credit) to address, and the idea behind this short paper is to prompt you to go ahead and do some of the research necessary to write the policy memo. In other words, doing this paper now makes writing the policy memo suck less later on…
Here you are picking a SPECIFIC problem with current policy in the US. This can be at the federal, the state, or even the local level. I would strongly prefer that you focus on an energy policy issue in the US UNLESS you are from outside the US (in which case I encourage you to evaluate an energy problem within your own country). Why? Mostly because you are likely to be familiar with/understand the political context of the country in which you reside. In other words, it’s hard to write effectively about policy changes in a country unless you’re quite familiar with the political workings of that country.
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Ok, your paper should address:
What is the Problem? At what level should this be addressed, ideally (Federal, State, or local)?
Why is this a problem? Describe why it sucks in a comprehensive manner.
What solutions have been proposed? In your policy memo you will be advocating for a SPECIFIC ACTION or change, but before you pick this, I want you to be familiar with existing proposals for how to fix this problem. Thus, you should read widely, including perhaps from sources you don’t particularly like. You don’t have to advocate for that solution, but I want you to be aware of what others have proposed and why. This will save you time on your policy memo, and it will allow you to make an effective counterargument!
3-5 pages double spaced, in-text citations and bibliography required.