11.003J | Spring 2016 | Undergraduate
Methods of Policy Analysis

Final Assignment

Weight: 40% of final grade (oral presentation 20%, final paper 20%)

Deadlines: Oral presentation Sessions 23–25; final paper Session 26


  1. Identify a narrow policy issue of your choice (take a look at the materialsprovided for various case studies on the course website if you are having troublepicking a topic);
  2. Present an analysis of the policy issue;
  3. Identify alternative policies;
  4. Evaluate and analyze the policy you are studying using cost-benefit analysis,stake holder analysis, data analysis, and / or analysis of inputs, outputs, andoutcomes;
  5. Apply the correct type(s) of policy analysis to the alternatives;
  6. Present the results of your analysis and the give the best option based on your criteria; and
  7. Make suggestions for implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the policy.

Total paper length: 12–15 pages (1.15-, 1.25-, or 1.5-spaced)

Suggested outline (if you need it):

  1. Introduction / Background (including explicit problem statement / thesis at thebeginning or end of this section)
  2. Specific policy being analyzed
  3. Methodology
  4. Results / Analysis
  5. Discussion / Conclusion / Recommendations

Students should consult sources of information discussed in class including academic articles, government data, interviews with public administrators, and / or public hearings and meetings.

For the case study presentation, on the assigned date, each student will make a formal presentation of their analysis and findings to the entire class. Presentations will occur over the course of three classes. The presentation should include a thorough analysis of the case study, complete with findings and recommendations. Students should generate output, charts, and other relevant graphical displays. The quality of the presentation will also count, such as team coordination, speaking ability, use of audiovisual or other presentation materials, ability to answer questions, and materials provided to the rest of the class.