Policy Paper (1200 - 1500 words; excl. references)

Policy paper is a type of document which either evaluates impacts of a policy on a given actor, say a state, region or industry or alternatively calls for a policy to be adopted to resolve an existing problem.

First, the paper needs to identify what is the problem.

Example: The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement is negatively affecting UK fishing business!

Second, what is the policy and what is its impact?

Example: The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) effectively removed UK from both the common market as well as the customs union; while there are no trade tariffs imposed, the UK fishermen and exporters are suddenly faced with a wall of “non-tariff barriers” to trade resulting from EU food health and safety regulations as part of the common agricultural and common fisheries policies. They have to document now, that they comply with the EU rules.

Third, what is the context?

Example: Based on comparison of January 2020 and January 2021 data – British fish export to EU has dropped by X percent. British fishermen export XY percent of catch to EU common market, specifically X% to France, Y% to Germany and Z% to Poland. The industry employs so and so many workers and generates 0.01% of British GDP. Fishing business is typically medium sized with only a small percentage of companies employing more than 200 workers… As a renegotiation of the WA is not likely in the near future, the fishing industry will be impacted for the foreseeable future.

Fourth, what do you recommend to alleviate or resolve that problem? Pros and cons?

Example: State support for fishing industry (can we afford it? For how long?). Administrative help by the state (training for clerical workers? How feasible?). Expectations of fishermen moving to a different industry? Can UK help to create any new jobs? Would Conservative government even consider something like this? Can fishermen diversify markets (where? Trying to export fish to Norway is like bringing owls to Athens...). Or just do it and relocate company to EU (as advised by government).

Conclude.

 

A policy paper is a “practical” paper (not an academic paper) so it does not include theory. This however does not mean references are omitted – they point the reader to used data/statistics or legal documents.

Suggestions where to get inspired: https://politicalscienceguide.com/home/policy-paper/

…or in the many think tanks listed on page 2 of this syllabus

 

Assessed area

Percentage

Structure: identification of a problem, identification of impact, identification of local context, recommendation, conclusion.

5%

Impact: how is the (lack of) policy affected the sector?

10%

Context: national, regional, citizen or industry environment hit by a policy (needing a policy)

15%

Recommendations: pros and cons

15%

Sources need to be properly referenced.

5%

TOTAL

= 50%

 

Cheating, copy pasting stuff without proper reference will not be tolerated, seriously! See section on plagiarism below.

Submitted papers will be processed via Turn It In originality check software.

 

To prevent any misunderstanding PLAGIARISM is defined as:

 

the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.”

- Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition,

                                                                                  Random House, New York, 1993

 

Turnitin’s White Paper ‘The Plagiarism Spectrum’[1] identifies 10 types of plagiarism ordered from most to least severe:

 

1.  CLONE: An act of submitting another’s work, word-for-word, as one’s own.

2.  CTRL-C: A written piece that contains significant portions of text from a single source without alterations.

3.  FIND–REPLACE: The act of changing key words and phrases but retaining the essential content of the source in a paper.

4.  REMIX: An act of paraphrasing from other sources and making the content fit together seamlessly.

5.  RECYCLE: The act of borrowing generously from one’s own previous work without citation; to self-plagiarize.

6.  HYBRID: The act of combining perfectly cited sources with copied passages—without citation—in one paper.

7.  MASHUP: A paper that represents a mix of copied material from several different sources without proper citation.

8.  404 ERROR: A written piece that includes citations to non-existent or inaccurate information about sources

9.  AGGREGATOR: The “Aggregator” includes proper citation, but the paper contains almost no original work.

10. RE-TWEET: This paper includes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text’s original wording and/or structure.

 

For more on plagiarism and its consequences, see university policy: https://fsv.cuni.cz/deans-provision-no-18/2015.

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