Analysis Assignment 2

Write a five to six (5-6) page paper in which you: (Note: Refer to Review Question 8 located at the end of Chapter 3 for criteria 1-3. Select two (2) editorials / essays / columns (by staff or freelance writers) on a current issue of public policy from two (2) different publications (large metropolitan or national newspaper such as Washington Post or the New York Times or national magazines such as Newsweek, Time, and The New Republic.)

Apply the procedures for argumentation analysis (located in Chapter 8) to display contending positions and underlying assumptions for the content of Review Question 8.
Rate the assumptions and plot them according to their plausibility and importance. (Refer to Figure 3.16, “Distribution of warrant by plausibility and importance.”)
Determine which arguments are the most plausible. Provide a rationale for your views.

(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 1 located at the end of Chapter 3 for criteria 4-6. Examine Box 3.0 – Conducting a Stakeholder Analysis. Choose one of the following policy issues in the U.S. gun control, illegal drugs, medical insurance fraud, and environmental protection of waterways, job creation, affordable health care, or Medicare.)

Apply the procedures for stakeholder analysis presented in Box 3.0 “Conducting a Stakeholder Analysis” to generate a list of at least five to ten (5-10) stakeholders who affect or are affected by problems in the issue area chosen for analysis. (Note: Refer to page 111 of the textbook for a step-by-step process on stakeholder analysis.)
After creating a cumulative frequency distribution from the list, discuss new ideas generated by each stakeholder. (Note: The ideas may be objectives, alternatives, outcomes causes, etc.; ideas should not be duplicates.)
Write an analysis of the results of the frequency distribution that answers the following questions: (a) Does the line graph flatten out? (b) If so, after how many stakeholders? (c) What conclusions can be drawn about the policy problems in the issue area? (Note: Compare your work with Case Study 3.1 at the end of the chapter.)
Include at least two (2) peer-reviewed references (no more than five [5] years old) from material outside the textbook to support your views. Note: Appropriate peer-reviewed references include scholarly articles and governmental Websites. Do not use open source Websites such as Wikipedia,,, and similar Websites are not acceptable resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the studentâ€s name, the professorâ€s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Examine the nature, characteristics, models, and / or methods pertinent to the structuring of policy problems.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in policy analysis and program evaluation.
Write clearly and concisely about policy analysis and program evaluation using proper writing mechanics.

BOX 3.0
A stakeholder is a person who speaks for or represents a group that is affected by or affects a policy. Stakeholders include the president of a legislative assembly or parliament, a chairperson of a legislative committee, or an executive director or members of an organized interest or advocacy group such as the National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club, or Human Rights Watch. Policy analysts and their employers are stakeholders, as are clients who commission a policy analysis. Persons or groups who do not have a stake in a policy (e.g., an uninvolved college professor) are not stakeholders.
•Stakeholders are best identified by policy issue area. A policy issue area is a domain in which stakeholders disagree or quarrel about policies Housing, welfare, education, and international securiy are policy issue areas.
•Stakeholders have specific names and titles—for example, State Senator Xanadi; Mr. Young, chairperson of the House Finance Committee; or Ms. Ziegler, a spokesperson for the National Organization of Women (NOW).
•A sociometric or “snowball” sample such as that described next is an effective way to estimate the “population” of stakeholders.


Using Google or a reference book such as The Encyclopedia of Associations, identify and list about ten stakeholders who have taken a public position on a policy. Make the initial list as heterogeneous as possible by sampling opponents as well as supporters.


For each stakeholder, obtain a policy document (e.g., a report, news article, e-mail, or telephone interview) that describes the position of each stakeholder.


Beginning with the first statement of the first stakeholder, list other stakeholders mentioned as opponents or proponents of the policy.


For each remaining statement, list the new stakeholders mentioned. Do not repeat.


Draw a graph that displays statements 1, 2, … n on the horizontal axis. On the vertical axis, display the cumulative frequency of new stakeholders mentioned in the statements. The graph will gradually flatten out, with no new stakeholders mentioned. If this does not occur before reaching the last stakeholder on the initial list, repeat steps 2 to 4. Add to the graph the new statements and the new stakeholders.


Add to the estimate stakeholders who should be included because of their formal positions (organization charts show such positions) or because they are involved in one or more policy-making activities: agenda setting, policy formulation, policy adoption, policy implementation, policy evaluation, and policy adaptation, succession or termination.

Retain the full list for further analysis. You now have an estimate of the “population” of key stakeholders who are affected by and affect the policy, along with a description of their positions on an issue. This is a good basis for structuring the problem. ■

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