social policy

The Summary is a short paper assignment the purpose of which is to help you learn to critically evaluate and present social policy readings. This includes at the introductory level being able to succinctly summarize the important ideas and at a more advanced level to assess the merits and logic of those ideas. This is a difficult skill, but a very useful and important one, that we hope you will hone over the course of the semester. The summary paper should be a maximum of 4 double spaced pages, font size 12 and is due on Wednesday at 10AM in the week we cover that topic in class. (Late papers are not accepted.) Summary Step back and think about what are the key ideas that emerge from the reading(s). If there is more than one assigned reading, or more than one chapter, think about and describe what you learned from all of them collectively first (in a paragraph), and then highlight the unique contributions of each one, respectively. Focus on the big picture – not each and every detail. Limit the entire summary to no more than 2 pages. Critique This may be the most challenging part of the short paper assignment. Think critically about the ideas in the reading(s) as opposed to how you feel about what the authors say (i.e. policy or programs discussed), the style or structure of their writing, and whether it is “interesting.” Is the thinking in the reading(s) logical and reasonable? Why or why not? What are the strengths of the arguments? Where do you see flaws, weaknesses or aspects that are not convincing? What would be a better way to think about the issue or topic? What is lacking or overlooked? What are your own innovative and well-reasoned ideas about the issue or topic at hand? What are your own innovative and well-reasoned ideas about the issue or topic at hand? If there is more than one reading, try to evaluate the readings as a whole initially (in a paragraph or two), and then move on to critique each one individually. You do not have to answer all of the questions in this paragraph. These are designed to help you think about how to constructively and thoughtfully interact with the ideas the author(s) present. Focus on 1 or at most 2 ideas. This part of the paper should not exceed 2 pages.