What makes a good question Achievable?

AIP230 Policy Analysis
Guidelines and Instructions 2015To conduct their Policy Analysis, students are to choose one policy and one method (from the four covered in this unit) with which to analyse the policy. You have considerable discretion in the choice of questions to explore. This should make it possible for you in research and writing that is of genuine interest to you.
This assessment task involves two steps. First, the Proposal is due in week 5. This is an opportunity for students to undertake preliminary thinking and research for the Policy Analysis, which is due in week 12.
The Proposal
This is an opportunity for students to undertake preliminary thinking and research for their Policy Analysisand to receive early feedback to help complete the Policy Analysis. There are three steps to this task.
1. Choose a policy or policy area that interests you. It may be one of the topics covered in this unit as 1 What is public policy? , 2 Making Public Policy: Theory and Practice in the Australian Context , 3 Policy Analysis: Four Methods , 4 Economic policy , 5 Welfare Policy , 6 Environmental policy , 7 Health policy , 8 Education policy , 9 Asylum Policy ,and 10 Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Policy
, or something different. Remember, for the purposes of this unit, a policy may be a specific law, a government policy with a name, or a general government approach.
2. Choose a policy analysis method from the four covered in this unit. Think carefully about which method you choose, and some methods will be better suited to some policies.
3. Provide an annotated bibliography. This is a list of references, followed by one or two sentences explaining what this reference does and why it will be useful for your analysis. Note: the sentences explaining the usefulness of the reference is what makes an annotated bibliography different from a reference list.
The Proposal should be 500 words long. It is worth 10%.
Give your topic a title.
Clearly outline the policy that you have chosen.
You may want to identify the parameters (such as geography or time) for your analysis.
Identify a key question that will guide your analysis.
Name your method of analysis, and explain why you have chosen this method to evaluate your chosen policy. Identify five key references on this policy area. These may be books, journal articles, policy documents, or policy analysis from a reputable source. Your references should contain both policy documents (usually found online on government websites), and more scholarly source material.
Reference these correctly using the Harvard referencing style.
In two or three sentences for each reference, explain why these references will be useful for your assignment.
Marking Criteria
When marking the Proposal, assessors will look for the following:
Has the student followed instructions and guidelines?
Has the student demonstrated a thoughtful approach to the task, including consideration when choosing a policy and an appropriate method?
Has the student chosen appropriate references (both policy and scholarly references), applied the Harvard referencing style, and completed an annotated bibliography correctly?
Does the student display good written communication skills, including spelling, grammar and presentation?Policy Analysis
This task builds on the preliminary work already undertaken in the Proposal, and takes on board any comments and feedback made in the assessment of that task.
It should be 2000 words long (excluding references), and is worth 50%.
The Policy Analysis should have a title, with page numbers and a header with your name and student number.
The Analysis should be presented in the form of an essay, with an introduction, a body that outlines your argument, and a conclusion. The paragraph immediately following the introduction should outline the chosen method, and explain why this method is appropriate and useful for the policy you wish to analyse.
You may use sub-headings if you think this improves the structure of your argument.
The reference list should be in the Harvard (in-text citation) style, and is not included in the word count. You must refer to at least ten references. These references should include a combination of academic references (books and journal articles), policy documents (from government and think-tanks), Hansard (if appropriate), and other sources, including media articles. Demonstrate good judgment when choosing your reference material (no Wikipedia).
For good examples of Policy Analyses produced by students in previous years, please refer to the 2013 and 2014 editions of PublicusConsilium: Deakin Public Policy Review. Hard and digital copies can be found in the library, and you can also download them from the ClouIDeakin site.
Marking Criteria
When marking the Policy Analysis, assessors will look for the following:
Has the student followed instructions and guidelines?
Has the student chosen an appropriate policy, and an appropriate method of policy analysis to match their choice of policy?
Does the student ask a good question?
Does the Policy Analysis have a good title, and if sub-headings are used, are they appropriate?
Does the student demonstrate a good understanding of the chosen policy and the method of analysis?
Has the policy been analysed well? Is the argument clear? Are the conclusions sound?
Has the student chosen appropriate references (both policy and scholarly references), applied the Harvard referencing style, and completed the reference list correctly?
Does the student write clearly and succinctly, with correct spelling and grammar and with a professional tone? Is the analysis presented well?FAQ
Q: Can I choose any policy?
A: Almost! Remember that this unit is about public policy, so there are some topics that are not appropriate. Foreign policy is not public policy, for example. If you are unsure about whether your policy is a public policy it is best to speak with your tutor or the Unit Chair early.
Q: What happens if I want to change my topic or question to something different from what I wrote in my Proposal?
A: It is a common experience for researchers that their topic and questions will change slightly the more they read and learn about a particular issue. Sometimes youll realise that the most important or interesting questions are actually slightly different from what you originally proposed. Thats fine, and if this happens to you, feel free to amend your question and topic slightly when it comes to writing your final Analysis. However, try not to deviate too far from your original Proposal after all, you have already invested time, energy and ideas into this project.
Q: What makes a good question?
Achievable.

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