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SOCECOL 183 UCI Maintain Free and Open Border Essay

Policy Options Section

After clearly describing the problem at hand, your policy brief will analyze different options for resolving the problem. While the problem description section draws heavily on descriptive writing (painting a picture of the problem at hand and explaining why it’s important), the policy options section draws heavily on persuasive writing. Here, you’ll be making a clear and coherent argument about the pros and cons of different approaches to resolve the problem you’ve described.

For the purpose of this assignment, you should present two policy alternatives. Both policy alternatives should be realistic—please do not posit “straw man” options that would not be considered viable by anyone familiar with your case.

As emphasized by Young and Quinn, the policy options section should:

  • Specifically describe the policy alternatives. After reading this section, your audience should clearly understand how the two distinct policies could be implemented.
  • Evaluate the two policy alternatives based on chosen criteria (eg, cost-effectiveness, feasibility, timeliness, scale of impact, etc.). You’ll describe why your chosen criteria are important and discuss how effectively each policy satisfies the criteria (eg, Policy A costs a lot, but it can produce immediate change. Policy B is inexpensive, but will take a long time to produce any change).
  • Provide a convincing argument for the preferred policy alternative. By the end of this section, the reader should know which policy is preferred and why it’s the better one. The preferred option should be your second option.

Young and Quinn (p. 68) provide a series of questions that offer a helpful guide for the policy options section:

  • What is your overall evaluation of each policy option?
  • You’ve selected one preferred policy alternative. Why is it your preferred alternative? What’s lacking in the other policy alternative(s)?
  • How did you base your decision on which policy alternative is the best?
  • What are the limitations to your preferred option?

Your policy options section should be between 900-1200 words.


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