(Answered) CCJ 4497 RVAA – THE STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS OF THE CAPSTONE RESEARCH POLICY REPORT (Report – action-oriented, advocacy end of the continuum)

Political Science

(Answered) CCJ 4497 RVAA – THE STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS OF THE CAPSTONE RESEARCH POLICY REPORT (Report – action-oriented, advocacy end of the continuum)

Policy reports directly reflect the different roles that the policy analyst commonly plays, i.e. from researcher to advocate. The type of report that you are writing is one from the more action-oriented, advocacy end of the continuum (but that is nevertheless based purely on evidence and not your opinion). Although there is much variation even at this end of the scale, the most common elements of the policy brief are as follows:

  • Title of the Policy Report
  • Executive Summary
  • Context and Importance of the Problem (also called the ‘Introduction’)
  • Pre-Existing Policies, Policy Options, and Research
  • Conclusion
  • Policy Recommendations
  • Reference Page

The following is a description of each of the elements required in your policy report (and note that these should be subheadings in your policy report):

Need a custom paper based on these instructions? Get it here –

  • Title of the Policy Report—The title aims to catch the attention of the reader and compel him/her to read on and so needs to be descriptive, punchy, and relevant.
  • Executive Summary—The executive summary aims to convince the reader further that the brief is worth in-depth investigation. It is especially important for an audience that is short of time to clearly see the relevance and importance of the report in reading the summary. As such, a 1 to 2 paragraph executive summary commonly includes: A description of the problem addressed; a statement on why the current approach/policy option needs to be changed; and your recommendations for action.
  • Context and importance of the problem (i.e. Introduction)—The purpose of this element of the report is to convince the target audience that a current and urgent problem exists which requires them to take action. The context and importance of the problem is both the introductory and first building block of the brief. As such, it usually includes the following: A clear statement of the problem or issue in focus; a short overview of the root causes of the problem; and a clear statement of the policy implications of the problem which clearly establishes the current importance and policy relevance of the issue. It is worth noting that the length of the problem description may vary considerably from report to report depending on the stage on the policy process in focus, e.g. there may be a need to have a much more extensive problem description for policy at the evaluation stage than for one at the option choosing stage.
  • Pre-Existing Policies, Policy Options, and Research—The aim of this element is to detail shortcomings of the current approach or options being implemented and therefore, illustrate both the need for change and focus of where change needs to occur. It also should detail the evidence about what will likely work better (or not suffer from the shortcomings). In doing so, the critique of policy options usually includes the following: A short overview of the policy option(s) in focus and the evidence illustrating why and how the current approach is failing and why and how another option is not failing (and is hopefully ‘working’). It is also important for the sake of credibility to recognize all opinions in the debate of the issue.
  • Conclusion—you need to summarize briefly what the readers should take away from your research review.
  • Policy recommendations—The aim of the policy recommendations element is to provide a detailed and convincing proposal of how the failings of the current policy approach need to change. As such this is achieved by including: A breakdown of the specific practical steps or measures that need to be implemented. You may also include a closing paragraph reemphasizing the importance of action. The recommendations should follow the conclusion.
  • Reference Page—Since your policy report is research-driven and evidence-based, you should include a reference page that includes all the journal articles, book chapters, books, and reputable reports that you used to inform your policy report. You should have at least 8, but likely more. Also, you must have in-text cites throughout your policy brief report. Remember, this is not original research by you, thus you should have a copious amount of in-text cites. By way of example, here is a decent illustration of in-text citing:

The swelling of the US system over the last 40 years is due, almost entirely, to an increased rate of incarceration for people of color, mainly for drug-related offenses (Alexander, 2010; Currie,

2013; Sentencing Project, 2010; Tonry, 2011). For young men of color with little education, the prison has become a normal social experience, statistically speaking (Western, 2006). Mass incarceration appears to be with us for years to come as well: while the US prison population recently experienced a slight downtick, estimates suggest that the US carceral system will be larger in 2018 than today (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2014). This means that, for the foreseeable future, a prison term will serve as a common rite of passage for poor young men of color (Comfort, 2012), an experience that forever dims their life prospects and curtails those of their neighbors, partners, brothers, sisters and children, perhaps for generations to come (Clear, 2007; Wakefield and Wildeman, 2011).

Need a custom paper based on these instructions? Get it here –


Content Knowledge RubricLevel of Achievement Evaluators assign a one (0) to any measure that does not meet Beginning (cell one) level performance
Beginning/ Unsatisfactory 1Developing   2Competent/ Satisfactory 3Advanced 4
SubjectStudent does notStudent isStudent displays solidKnowledge base
have grasp of basic information.uncomfortable with information and lacks awareness of how various issues affect the CJS. Prerequisite learning is evident although inaccurate or incomplete.knowledge of important issues in criminology and criminal justice and possesses limited awareness of how these issues affect the CJS. Student is able to explain relevant issues, as well as, assess issues and derive conclusions.displays scope, thoroughness, and quality.  Student displays extensive knowledge of important issues in criminology and criminal justice and how these issues affect the CJS. Student clearly articulates relevant issues, critically examines the issues, and derives logical conclusions.
ExaminationStudent fails toStudent possessesStudent possessesStudent effectively
cite important or relevant scholarship. Student does not address gaps in the understanding of relevant literature.general understanding of relevant literature and draws upon knowledge from multiple disciplines.synthesizes and critiques literature from multiple disciplines and addresses the gaps therein. Student discusses policy implications.
of Literature
Content Knowledge Rubric
Student’s PositionSpecific position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis) is stated, but is simplistic and obvious.Specific position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis) acknowledges different sides of an issue.Specific position takes into account the complexities of an issue. Others’ points of view are acknowledged within position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis).Depth of content reflects thorough understanding of topic; main points well supported with timely, relevant and sufficient support; provided precise explanation of key concepts.
Student’s Position
Critical Thinking RubricLevel of Achievement Evaluators assign a one (0) to any measure that does not meet Beginning (cell one) level performance
Beginning/ Unsatisfactory 1Developing   2Competent/ Satisfactory 3Advanced 4
Explanation ofIssue/problem toIssue/problem to beIssue/problem to beIssue/problem to be
be considered critically is stated without clarification or description.considered critically is stated, but description leaves some terms undefined, ambiguities unexplored, and/or backgrounds unknown.considered critically is stated, described, and clarified so that understanding is not seriously impeded by omissions.considered critically is stated clearly and described systematically, delivering all relevant information necessary for full understanding.
Sources and Evidence Selecting and using information to investigate a point of view or conclusionInformation is taken from source(s) without any interpretation or evaluation.Information is taken from source(s) with some interpretation/evaluation, but not enough to develop a coherent analysis.Information is taken from source(s) with enough interpretation/evaluation to develop a coherent analysis or synthesis.Information is taken from source(s) with enough interpretation/evaluation to develop a widespread analysis or synthesis.
Critical Thinking Rubric
Influence ofShows an emergingQuestions someIdentifies own andThoroughly
awareness of present assumptionsassumptions. Identifies several relevant contextsothers’ assumptions and several relevant contexts when(systematically and methodically) analyzes own and
Context and Assumptions
Considers where(sometimes labelswhen presenting apresenting a position.others’ assumptions
appropriate theassertions asposition. May be more and carefully
disciplinary,assumptions).aware of others’ evaluates the
cultural, social,Demonstratesassumptions than relevance of contexts
minimal attentionone’s own (or vice when presenting a
to context.versa). position.
ethical, political, or 
personal context    
ConclusionsConclusion isConclusion is logicallyConclusion is logicallyConclusions and
inconsistently tied to some of the informationtied to information (because information is chosen to fit thetied to a range of information, including opposing viewpoints;related outcomes (consequences and implications) are
and Related Outcomes
Implications anddiscussed; relateddesired conclusion);related outcomeslogical and reflect
consequencesoutcomes (consequences and implications) are oversimplified.some related outcomes (consequences and implications) are identified clearly.(consequences and implications) are identified clearly.student’s informed evaluation and ability to place evidence and perspectives discussed in priority order.
Critical Thinking Rubric
  Written Communication RubricLevel of Achievement Evaluators assign a one (0) to any measure that does not meet Beginning (cell one) level performance
Beginning/ Unsatisfactory 1Developing   2Competent/ Satisfactory 3Advanced 4
ContentMain thesis is notMain thesis is poorlyMain thesis is evident.Main thesis is clearly stated
clearly developed. Uses appropriate anddeveloped. Uses appropriate andUses appropriate, relevant, andand present throughout the paper. Uses appropriate,
Thesis and ideas.relevant content torelevant content tocompelling content torelevant, & compelling
 develop simple ideasdevelop and exploreexplore ideas withincontent to illustrate mastery
 in only some parts ofideas through most ofthe context of theof the subject, conveying the
 the work. Minimallythe work. Shows somediscipline and shapewriter’s understanding, and
 accomplishes goalssigns of accomplishingthe whole work.shaping the whole work.
 of the assignment.the goals of theGenerally accomplishesCompletely accomplishes the
  assignment.goals of thegoals of the assignment.
  Written Communication Rubric
OrganizationUnclear organizationSome signs of logicalOrganization supportsFully & imaginatively supports
or organizational plan is inappropriateorganization. May have abrupt orthesis and purpose. Transitions are mostlythesis & purpose. Sequence of ideas is effective. Transitions
Disciplinaryto thesis. Noillogical shifts &appropriate. Sequenceare effective. Demonstrates
Conventions Clear & consistent organizational pattern; follows rulestransitions. Shows little awareness of criminal justice conventions.ineffective flow of ideas. Follows criminal justice expectations at a basic level ofof ideas could be improved. Uses criminal justice conventionssuccessful execution of criminal justice conventions.
of criminal justice  
Mechanics &Abundant spellingSome frequent,Occasional lapses inVery few spelling errors,
errors, non-existent or incorrectincorrect punctuation, significant errors inspelling, punctuation, grammar, but notcorrect punctuation, and grammatically correct, leading
Spelling,punctuation, and/orgrammar causingenough to seriouslyto clear understanding of
capitalization,severe errors ininterference withdistract the reader.content.
punctuation,grammar thatunderstanding in  
grammar, generalinterfere withsome parts of the  
Control ofUses language thatUses language thatUses straightforwardUses graceful language that
sometimes impedes meaning because ofgenerally conveys meaning to readerslanguage that generally conveys meaning toskillfully communicates meaning to readers with
Language, word
errors in usage.with clarity, althoughreaders. The languageclarity and fluency, and is has
choice, andRepetitive words andwriting may includein the portfolio has fewvery few errors in language,
sentence varietysentence types.some errors in language, word choice, and sentence types.errors in language, word choice, and sentence types.word choice, and sentence types.
Sources andNeglects importantUses relevant sourcesUses sources toUses sources to support,
sources. Overuse of quotations or paraphrase tobut lacks in variety of sources and/or the skillful combination ofsupport, extend, and inform, but not substitute writer’s ownextend, and inform, but not substitute writer’s own development of idea. Doesn’t
Referencing Documentation
and referencing of
substitute writer’ssources. Quotations &development of idea.overuse quotes. Conforms to
criminology andown ideas. Possiblyparaphrases may beDoes not overuserequired referencing style.
criminal justiceuses source materialtoo long orquotes, but may not 
researchwithout acknowledgement.inconsistently referenced.always conform to required style manual. 
  Written Communication Rubric

Need a custom paper based on these instructions? Get it here –

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *