Brief Weekly Response Papers
The weekly response papers are designed to initiate online discussions and encourage you to consider the readings carefully in light of what they add to our understanding of the policy process. You might critically examine an author’s theoretical framework, methodological approach, arguments, evidence, or conclusions. You could consider the main themes, puzzles, or questions addressed in the readings, or suggest additional research that would help us understand the topic, subjects, or theoretical questions raised in readings. You also may identify concepts or theories that you would like to discuss further. Another option is to focus on current policy developments as explicated in media coverage. These papers will not be acceptable if they simply summarize readings; you should assume that your audience already has read the material carefully. This component of the course assignments will introduce you to the process of addressing policy issues, options, and consequences. Detailed instructions will be posted on Canvas.
Here is the rubric for grading the weekly response papers:
● A maximum of 20 points will be awarded for each paper, using the following rubric:
● Exemplary (17-20 points)—Eloquently articulates principles and views relevant to the paper; displays broad-based knowledge of topic; insightfully and completely critiques, summarizes, and interprets findings; employs sophisticated analysis; reveals a thorough understanding of policy implementation.
● Proficient (13-16 points)—Articulates principles and views relevant to the paper; displays basic knowledge of topic; critiques, summarizes, and interprets findings; employs standard analysis appropriately; reveals basic understanding of policy implementation.
● Adequate (9-12 points)—Inconsistently articulates principles and views relevant to the paper; displays some knowledge of topic; critiques, summarizes, and interprets findings inconsistently; employs some standard methods of analysis appropriately; needs some guidance to demonstrate understanding of policy implementation.
● Marginal (5-8 points)—Refers to principles and views relevant to the paper; explanations are not clear, broad-based, or cohesive; critiques, summarizes, and interprets findings, but work is uneven and readers gain few insights; for the most part, employs standard analysis but use may not always be appropriate; needs substantial guidance to demonstrate understanding of policy implementation.
● Unacceptable (0-4 points)—Articulates poorly principles and views relevant to the paper; displays a sketchy knowledge of the topic; unable to critique findings using knowledge of research methodology; employs inappropriate methods of analysis; employs principles and skills of policy implementation ineffectively, revealing little understanding.
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