The final paper will be expected to be 2000 words and should demonstrate the ability to apply the material learned in this course plus the use of relevant secondary literature to analyze a topic related to health policy. Marks will be deducted if the paper is either shorter than 1850 words or longer than 2150 words. The word count is only for the text. It does include in text citations but it does not include the reference list. For each 50 words or part thereof outside this limit 5 marks (out of 100) will be deducted, e.g., if the essay is 2190 words 5 marks will be deducted, if the essay is 2230 words 10 marks will be deducted.
If you want to submit a copy of your essay in advance I will read it and give you detailed comments. You can then use those comments to make changes to your essay. However, in this case I will not give you comments on the final essay. You will only get the grade.
Analytic papers are not just a description of what is in a policy. They are an analysis of the reasons why a policy exists and its strengths and weaknesses.
HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW TO STRUCTURE AN ESSAY:
• The essay has to deal with a current health policy question or a health policy issue and it has to be a Canadian question or issue.
• A health policy question could be something like what is the best way of ensuring that people are able to receive the medications that they need. A health policy issue could look at the same question from a different perspective, e.g., why are provincial drug plans structured differently from province to province.
• Structure for a health policy question essay:
o Start off by stating what is the question that the essay will address, e.g., “This essay will look at whether Canada should have a national pharmacare plan.”
o The essay would then describe the policy or policies that have been developed about pharmacare, e.g., should everyone be covered for all drug costs by a national plan, what should we do about very expensive drugs, should such a plan pay for all drugs or just those that are life saving.
o Next would be a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals or policies.
o Finally, in the conclusion you should give your assessment about whether or not the policy that has been developed has been successful, a failure, partly successful, etc. and why you have come to that conclusion or whether or not the proposals are likely to be successful, etc. and why you have come to that conclusion.
If you use too many direct quotes, even if these quotes are properly attributed (see ACADEMIC HONESTY below) it will be hard to evaluate your writing style and whether or not you understand the material you are quoting. Too many direct quotes will therefore lead to a lower mark on your essay. In a 5 page essay there should not be more than a total of about one-half page of direct quotes.
Your essay MUST contain a minimum of 5 academic references. Newspaper and magazine articles may also be used but they are not considered academic material. Wikipedia is not considered an academic source.
• Use subheadings
• All papers must be submitted to TURNITIN. Instructions on how to do this will be given during the class
• Title page with the following 1) title of the paper; 2) your name; 3) my name; 4) course title; 5) date of submission; 6) word count
• Printed on 8.5 x 11 inch paper
• 12 point font
• Double spaced
• 1 inch margins
PAPERS THAT DO NOT CONFORM TO THESE GUIDELINES WILL AUTOMATICALLY LOSE 5 MARKS
Marking System for essays:
1. Style (20 marks)
1. Writing style:
? Fluent writing, sentence structure, syntax
? Awkward writing, diction, idion
? Under (more than 500 words less than required)
? Difficult to follow
5. Reference style
? Correct use of APA or other recognized reference style
? Incorrect use of APA or other recognized reference style
2. Organization (20 marks)
1. Paragraph structure
? Coherent construction, logical progression
? Incoherent, doesn’t finish thoughts in paragraph
2. Development of argument
? Argument logically developed
? Lacks continuity, clarity, unity, flow
? References properly inserted in text to support points made
3. Originality of thinking (20 marks)
1. Overall analysis of issue
? Goes beyond simple presentation of material to synthesizing what has been presented
? Simply repeats conclusions of others
2. Integration of source material
? Integrates source material into coherent whole
? Source material presented as isolated facts
4. Content (40 marks)
1. Acknowledgement of sources
? Adequate acknowledgement of sources
? Inadequate acknowledgement of sources
2. Use of secondary sources
? Secondary material from multiple sources (books, journals, web sites)
? Secondary material from single source
3. Examination of topic
? Amount of content permits in depth examination of topic
? Amount of content permits superficial examination of topic
TIPS FOR WRITNG AN ACADEMIC ESSAY
1. Start your essay by saying what the topic is.
2. Around the end of the first paragraph you should say what specific areas related to your topic that you want to cover in your essay.
3. If you are using non-Canadian material make sure you say why you think that it’s relevant to Canada.
4. If you are using older material (generally more than 10 years old) make sure you say why you think that it’s still relevant today.
5. If you are not confident in your writing ability then have a friend (or someone in your family) who you think is a good writer read over your essay before you hand it in.
6. If you don’t know anyone who is a good writer then use the writing centre. Remember it gets busy late in the term and you’ll need to make an appointment early.
7. Don’t write page long paragraphs. Each paragraph should be about one idea. If you switch ideas start a new paragraph.
8. Essays do NOT contain long bullet point lists. Essays are written in paragraph form.
9. In general no more than about 10% of your essay should be direct quotes. Too many direct quotes make it difficult to know if you understand the material and your writing style can’t be evaluated. Too many quotes will lose you marks.
10. If you are writing an essay about a policy issue then it’s not enough just to describe a problem. You need to critically assess why this is an important issue and what can be done about it.
11. If you are searching databases, phrases more than about 3 or 4 words are very unlikely to return many, if any, results. Instead of one long phrase break it up; e.g., instead of “the effects of public-private partnerships on hospitals costs” use “public-private partnerships” AND “hospital costs”. If this combination of terms doesn’t give you what you want then you can substitute something for “hospital costs”, e.g., “hospital expenditures”.
12. Be clear about what types of words and phrases need to start with a capital letter.
13. Word processing programs such as Microsoft Word don’t catch all types of spelling mistakes. For example, if you type “there” when you mean “their” Microsoft Word won’t identify this as a spelling mistake. READ OVER YOUR ESSAY FOR SPELLING.
14. Essays always look great right after you finish them. Put your essay aside for a couple of days and reread it to make sure it still looks great.
15. Make sure that you understand what an academic reference is. Academic references are generally academic books, chapters in academic books, journal articles and material from official web sites, e.g., the Health Canada web site. Newspaper and magazine articles are not academic references. Wikipedia is not an academic reference.
16. Use references for the points that you make. You don’t need a reference if you say something that is common knowledge, e.g., it is 4000 km from Toronto to Vancouver. However, if you say that 51% of the population in Toronto is female compared to 52% in Vancouver you’d need to cite a reference. Any ideas that you get from material you have read need to be referenced.
17. If you don’t know how to correctly cite references then look it up the correct style. Don’t make up your own style.
18. READ THE PLAGIARISM SECTION IN THE COURSE OUTLINE AND DON’T PLAGIARIZE.