Paper on Civic Engagement

For this assignment, you will need to identify a public problem or issue of interest to you (for example, sustainability, global conservation, high stakes assessment in public education, health care reform and its impact on the economy, racial profiling, genetically-modified food, etc.) that is connected to what you will eventually be doing for your Reflective Research Project. For example, if you plan on engaging with Habitat for Humanity for your Community Engagement assignment, then your Analysis might focus on the lack of affordable housing or on homelessness in the Lehigh Valley. Then for your Reflective Research Project might be to design a brochure about resources for homeless people that would educate them about the various sources available to them. This is just an idea—the overall purpose is to take the problem/issue and analyze it so that others can understand its importance.

Please note: This should be an original paper; no previous papers for other courses/school assignments should be submitted. There are sources in the RESOURCES folder that may be of interest to you if you are uncertain about what public problem/issue to pursue for this assignment.

Your written analysis should include the following components:

Identification of the Problem

  • Identify the problem and clearly state why it is a public problem, who it affects, and how it affects the public.
  • Thoroughly research the problem using various research sources (government publications and other resources, research articles, etc.). This part of your analysis should show a literature review of these sources as well as other source information (such as interviews, videos, etc.).

Pros and Cons to Solving the Problem

  • A discussion of different ways/methods for addressing this public problem/issue making sure to include both pro and con viewpoints.

Overall Policy Solution

  • An overall policy solution based on this analysis.


  • Your paper should have at least 3 different sources of information (no Wikipedia) and two of them must be from academic/scholarly journals or books.

 An example of an Analysis paper is included in the assignment folder for your reference.


  • The assignment is worth 20% of your final grade.
  • Your analysis paper should be approximately 4 ½ – 5 pages long (excluding the reference list), double-space using Times New Roman 12 point font.
    • You should begin with a short (one-paragraph) introduction to your entire paper.
    • You need to include the following headings in your paper: Identification of the Problem, Possible Responses, Overall Policy Solution.
  • Please add a header to your paper with your name and the name of the assignment (Analysis of a Public Problem)
  • Please add a footer to your paper with the page number.
  • You should have one direct quote from each of your three sources in your paper.
  • Please add a REFERENCES section at the end of your paper (no need for a separate sheet–just skip down 5 line spaces after your conclusion and add the REFERENCES heading followed by the sources you used in APA format).


Your grade for this assignment will be based on the following equally weighted criteria:

Contentdemonstrates thorough understanding of the issue and is able to convey this understanding to the audience. The writer has referenced at least three research sources.

Organizationthe essay is well organized and the ideas expressed flow in a logical order

Expressionthe writer has command of grammar and the writing is expressive—i.e., the writer’s voice is evident—and persuasive

Mechanicsthe writings are free from punctuation, spelling and typographical errors; and proper APA format is used when quoting material from the readings. 


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