Writing & Communication Center
This guide will help you locate resources in law, economics, news, and policy for your research paper. Use the links on the left for suggestions on topic development and links to subject specific material.
"For this project you will identify a current and specific policy crisis (criminal justice, environmental, economic, housing, natural disaster, etc.) and write a 7-8 page double-spaced research paper examining the legal, economic and policy implications and potential responses to the specific crisis. There are no shortage of potential crisis topics these days, but if you are interested in narrowing down, one way to identify a possible "crisis" is to look at a reputable newspaper's headlines for a week or two and see if there are op-eds suggesting various actions (often these actions will be urged to respond to something perceived as a crisis). For example, the coronavirus or police brutality would both be too broad to allow you to do a focused research paper in just 7-8 pages, but the impact of health care costs or unemployment benefit access on people's willingness to get tested could be an example of a narrower crisis. Similarly, the distribution of military weaponry to local police departments in the past few decades and the policy implications of that distribution on their actions could be a narrower focus. Other examples of narrow/specific crises might be the impact of the Flint water crisis on food security in the area or the coronavirus’s effect on California’s agricultural economy or Airbnb's impact on rental prices in New York City. We will explore potential sources during the library workshop, and you are encouraged to look for the connective tissue linking your topic through law and policy (i.e., you may be researching climate crisis and specifically natural disasters, but as you research you should be connecting your paper to the current climate-based court case being brought by many young people against the government, in connection with natural disasters). You will share your topic, bibliography, outline and draft with your seminar group throughout the quarter, and will turn in your final paper during the last week of class.
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