Final Policy Proposals by Author (ENG 101 SP 16)

Assignment #3: “Mr. & Mrs. Smith go to Washington” (50%)


Policy Proposal Guidelines


The Affirmative/Propositional position argues for a change in status quo. Thus, you may not support the continuation of a policy as it now stands—you must propose a change to the status quo.


Your proposition must be a change in current United States or Global Policy. However, that policy need not be at the federal level. If the specific focus of your interest and research is specific to or manifest on the State, County, or municipal level such that policies enacted by such bodies can be solvent, feel free.

Also, you cannot have the same proposition as another student in this class.—Similar topics are FINE so long as yawl’s Policy Proposal/[plantext is not the same. (i.e. 2 or 3 or even 6 students could chose gun control as a topic. So long as they don’t propose the same change to the status quo its fine. If 3 want to reduce federal restrictions on ownership, and 3 want to increase regulations its fine. Also remember, your proposal can either be a change of existing policy, an elimination of a policy, or the genuinely new creation of policy ex nihilo.


Your paper must include a discussion of what are commonly referred to as “Stock Issues”:

  • Inherency: What is the status quo (the existing policy) and why does it exist?
  • Harm: How does the current policy produce SIGNIFICANT HARMS for someone or something?
    • [This is the CORE of your Policy Proposal Paper – You must make a formal PROPOSAL of how to change the status quo].
  • Solvency: How do you plan on FIXING these harms?
  • +
  • Advantages: How will your proposed policy be more advantageous than the status quo?


All of these elements must be backed up with VALID, SOURCED, CITED, AND QUOTED RESEARCH.


Your Policy Proposal Assignment will have 5 steps & total 50% of your grade


Step 1: Find a proposition (5%)

Step 2: Complete the Policy Brainstorming worksheet (5%)

Step 3: Research and complete 6 Evidence Shell Sheets (2.5% Each)

Step 4: Compose your Persuasive Policy Outline (5%)

Step 5: Write your paper (20%)










You will draft a policy proposal using one or more of Emory’s library databases to extensively research your proposed topic.

Before getting too far into your preparation, make sure your chosen report is complete enough to give you the amount of information you will need. You should begin by reading about your topic so that you have a solid understanding of the issues involved. You should be able to answer in detail the following questions:


What is the current situation?

What policies currently govern the situation?

What problems are there currently?

What role do current policies play in these problems?

What aspects of the current policies are positive and need to be retained?

How will the change I am proposing improve the situation?


Once you can answer these questions, began to gather data to support your proposal. You need a minimum of six excellent pieces of data to support your proposal. Complete a Source Worksheet for each piece of evidence.


















                Policy Proposal Paper Worksheet: Inherency 



Once you have a proposition of policy, respond to the following questions in complete sentences, explaining HOW and WHY. You must show me this page to me before you move on to the next step.




  1. A policy I would like to see changed is: ________________________________


  1. Does the status quo produce HARMS for someone or something? What are the harms?



  1. Are these harms produced in the status quo SIGNIFICANT enough for a change? Why?



  1. Great, I hope you answered “Yes” to the first two questions.

—If not, don’t proceed until you can answer, “Yes” to both the above questions.

_Great, you’ve answered “Yes: to both questions! Now, it’s time to construct a proposition.



Policy Proposal – RESOLVED: The United States government ____________________








  1. Will adoption of the proposition really SOLVE the problems?






III. What is your detailed plan?



  1. Will the plan be free from serious workability problems (funding, enforcement jurisdiction, vagueness, over specificity) and disadvantages?


After considering your responses to these questions concerning STOCK ISSUES, you are now ready to construct your CLAIMS. Claims are researched and unified logically consistent arguments. They are reasons supporting your need for a change in the status quo.




Policy Proposal Paper Worksheet: Evidence



Policy Proposal Evidence Sheet       Name                                                             

Write, type or paste all information onto the form. Use one sheet for each piece of data.



  1. Proposition: (New Policy You Are Suggesting) This policy should be the same on each evidence sheet.



  1. Supporting Claim: In your own words, state the claim you are making to develop your argument. This claim must be specifically supported by data you are citing here. (You may have multiple pieces of data supporting the same claim; however, you must have at least four different claims in your paper.)



  1. Data: Examples, statistics, or testimony from your research that support the above claim.



  1. Warrant: Explain the connection between the claim and data. This step is critical in the development of your argument!



  1. Source: Who is responsible for this data? (What is the name of the person or group who did the study, gave the quote, etc.)




  1. Expertise/Reliability of the source: Why is this source reliable? Credentials?




  1. What Organization backs this report? (Name, not URL) Where did the database researcher find this information? A newspaper? journal? an organization? Check the citations/footnotes.





  1. a) MLA Bibliographic Entry:



  1. b) In-text citation:



 How did you find this information? Search technique, database used, and URL (if online):



Name: __________________


Policy Proposal Paper Outline / Format


Directions: You will follow this format for presenting your persuasive policy. The language in quotations is just a SUGGESTION of how to lead into each section. You can alter the language if you would like.









  1. Attention Getter:

“Did you know that” OR “Imagine this”….(attention grabber)





  1. Justification of the existing HARMS:

“The problem is”….(here you concisely justify the problem – you will go more in depth later)








  1. Major Claim/Proposition:

“I PROPOSE that”…(here you state how you want to fix the problem)









  1. Preview of Supporting Claims:

“There are three main reasons why we need to change this policy. They are”… (here give a preview of your 2-3 claims













  1. First Supporting Claim:

“My first CONTENTION to this policy is…” (here you restate your first claim)


  1. First piece of supporting Evidence:

“So what, you say? Why should I care? I’ll explain” ……… (here you give a piece of evidence)


  • If it is a quote, say “according to Mrs. Lovi, English teacher at Barrington High school,…”

(note: it is more effective to give the source before the quote)

  • Speak the quotation marks….say quote“……………”end quote
  • Explain the source of statistics. Example: “Barrington High School did a survey of graduating seniors in 2009 and found the following:…”
  • If using an example, explain the source of the example: “I, myself, experienced this when…” or “In the CQ Researcher article, “Title” from April, 2008, they included the following example:…” etc.
  • If you are using multiple pieces of data for one claim, make clear transitions between them to help the listener follow the development of the argument.


  1. Warrant (Explanation of your Evidence):

“This information demonstrates that”…(Make and explain the connection between the data and the claim, and then also tie it back to the actual proposal. You cannot assume the listeners will draw the conclusions that you want them to! You need to clearly explain HOW and WHY your argument is valid. This step is critically important for a strong speech!


  1. Second piece of supporting evidence

“So what, you say? Why should I care? I’ll explain” ………


  1. Warrant

“This information demonstrates that”…


  1. Second Supporting Claim

My second CONTENTION is…


  1. First Piece of Supporting Evidence

“So what, you say? Why should I care? I’ll explain” ………


  1. Warrant

“This information demonstrates that”…


  1. Second Piece of Supporting Evidence

“So what, you say? Why should I care? I’ll explain” ………


  1. Warrant

“This information demonstrates that”…


  1. Third Supporting Claim

My final CONTENTION is…


  1. First Piece of Supporting Evidence

“So what, you say? Why should I care? I’ll explain” ………


  1. Warrant

“This information demonstrates that”…


  1. Second Piece of Supporting Evidence

“So what, you say? Why should I care? I’ll explain” ………


  1. Warrant

“This information demonstrates that”…





  1. Proposed Solution

“Now I’ve shown you what the problem is, how big it is, and that I’m not alone in my concern. Next, I wish to propose a solution to this serious problem. I feel that we must”……(here you give a general statement of your proposal).




  1. Details for Solution to be put into action:

“Let me explain in detail how this should work”…..






  1. Benefits from Proposed Solution:

“What good will that do, you ask? My solution will benefit (society, BHS, sports, the American people, etc…) by”…(Here you emphasize the overall benefit of your solution).



  1. Conclusion
  1. Review of Proposition:



“To conclude, the existing policy of _______________ MUST be revised.”









  1. Review of Supporting Claims:

“I presented three contentions for why this policy must be changed” – and then review them. Again, don’t repeat exactly if you can help it.










  1. Review of Solution/Closing

We can change this policy by… Your job here is to persuade your listeners to support your appeal for a change in policy – try to end with a strong plea for that support. “Your support for this change will mean…” or “Your support will allow…” or “Without this change…” etc. Don’t just fade off into the sunset!