Topic Paper (20%)
Each student will select a public administration topic covered in the course that fits her/his
research interests. An in-depth analysis of the topic will result in a topic paper 5-6 pages in
length, one-inch margins, double-spaced, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Garamond font (size
12). Your reference page/section does not count toward the number of pages.
To perform the analysis, the weekly reading will serve as a point of departure. This paper
should not be a summary of the reading. Rather, the student should find a theme or important
question in the readings as a basis for the paper and utilize at least three additional sources to
construct an argument about a particular topic of your choosing. Citations must follow APA
Students are required to have their topic and the direction of their paper approved by the
instructor in advance by giving me a one-page prospectus of your topic, the problem you want to
address, and the sources you intend to use by week 4. If you do not obtain approval, not only
will points be deducted, but if the instructor finds your theme or question inadequate, you will
receive a low grade on the paper. For example, if you are interested in managing human
resources and select Chapter 3 as the basis for your topic paper, you would read Chapter 3 in
advance, brainstorm topics, and obtain feedback from the instructor prior to writing and
submitting your paper. The basic strategy for your paper should consider:
A brief summary of the issue you are targeting
o What is the issue/concern/problem?
o Why is this a public administration problem?
An explanation why this issue is significant in public administration today.
o Who are the key stakeholders?
o What are the competing interests?
o What challenges do you see in solving this public administration problem?
Based on your research, make a recommendation?
o You need to learn to use reputable academic journals to make your
recommendations. You may include relevant personal experiences (i.e. job or
military) but you must carefully explain how they fit.
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