Synthesis paper about the topic is No Child Left Behind Act

            of the six (6) evaluations of the chosen policy or program; 45% of the grade)

  • Microsoft Word document;
  • name of student;
  • title with name of discussed program and the term “synthesis;”
  • ten pages minimum, thirty pages maximum;
  • double spaced;
  • 12 pt. font;
  • document page numbers;
  • direct quotes need a page number; if there are no page numbers state “n.p;”
  • references in reference section in alphabetical order by last name;
  • American Psychological Association (APA) 7, author/year of publication style https://www.apastyle.org/;

I am copying and pasting the content of slides 22, 30, and 31 below. you may want to consult the student papers from previous semester. I attached it.

Slide 22: do you have the current structure in your paper? I am unable to find this structure in your paper.

  • Final paper (i.e., program evaluation synthesis with
  • Data (required; discussed by data set);
  • Data set #1 (SNAP administrative data set)
  • Data set #2 (American Community Survey ACS)
  • Data set #3 (Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement)
  • Methods (required; discussed by method);
  • Method #1 (descriptive statistics)
  • Method #2 (difference-in-difference method)
  • Method #3 (regression analysis)

Slides 30 and 31: does your current paper answer most of these questions? I have been unable to find answers in your paper.

  • Quantitative data:
  • What is the formal, specific name of the data set? (example: “U.S. Census data” is unspecific; “American Community Survey of the U.S. Bureau of the Census” is specific)
  • Is it a primary or secondary data set?
  • Since when has the data set existed?
  • What triggered the data collection in the first place?
  • Who collected the data?
  • How often is the data set collected?
  • Where is the data set housed?
  • Who funds the data set?
  • What is the dependent variable? [as you may have regressions in your methods section]
  • What are the independent variables? [paraphrase if there are many]
  • What is the response rate?
  • What is n?
  • Qualitative data:
  • What is the formal, specific name of the data set (example: “qualitative data” is unspecific; “expert interviews conducted by Katrin Anacker in Columbus, Ohio in October 2013” is specific)?
  • Is it a primary or secondary data set?
  • Since when has the data set existed?
  • What triggered the data collection in the first place?
  • Who collected the data?
  • How often is the data set collected?
  • Where is the data set housed?
  • Who funds the data set?
  • What type of survey is this (mail? Phone? Internet? Something else?)
  • What is the response rate?
  • What is n?
  • Program evaluation synthesis of a (a) federal, (b) state, (c) county, or (d) municipal program based on the student’s choice.
  • One program only (more than five years old, details below).
  • Six evaluations (details below).
  •  
  • Final Paper:
    What are acceptable evaluations?
  • Program or policy evaluations (oftentimes labeled as such) published by the GAO, an evaluation “shop” (examples: Westat, Mathematica, Abt Associates, Impaq, ICF, etc.), or by academics;
  • Peer-reviewed academic journal articles or working papers that evaluate a program or policy  (examples: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Housing Policy Debate, NBER, etc.)

Final Paper:
What are not evaluations?

  • Tweets;
  • Posts on Facebook;
  • Blog posts;
  • Opinions (labels: “Opinion,” or “Perspective”);
  • Policy briefs;
  • Newspaper articles (example: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc.);
  • Magazine articles (examples: Time, Newsweek, Salon, The Atlantic, etc.);
  • Non-peer reviewed journal articles (examples: National Journal, Planning, etc.);
  • Book chapters in edited volumes.

Final Paper: What are required sections of the final paper?

  1. Introduction (required!)
  2. Literature Review (required!)
    1. required!)
    1. required!)
  3. Data (required!)
  4. Methods (required!)
  5. Public policy (optional)
  6. Results (required!)
    1. same as in Literature Review
    1. same as in Literature Review
    1. same as in Literature Review
  7. Conclusion (required! — not a summary)

Appendix: Tables – see below (required)

  • First draft of the introduction of the synthesis of six (6) evaluations of the chosen policy or program (15% of grade);
  • Second draft of the introduction and first draft of the data and methods sections of the synthesis of six (6) evaluations of the chosen policy or program (15% of grade);
  • Final paper (i.e., program evaluation synthesis with
    • required) [based on 6 evaluations, other sources];
    • required) [a synthesized background/literature review of the 6 evaluations structured by theme/subtopic; not 6 “stand-alone” summaries of the 6 evaluations];
    • required) [by data set, based on 6 evaluations];
    • required) [by method, based on 6 evaluations];
    • required) [by theme/subtopic, based on 6 evaluations];
    • required) [based on 6 evaluations, other sources; 45% of grade);
    • required): Tables – see below (required)
  • Final paper (i.e., program evaluation synthesis with
    • required; topic: impact of SNAP on….);
    • required);
    • a synthesized background/literature review of the 6 evaluations structured by theme/subtopic; not 6 “stand-alone” summaries of the 6 evaluations]
  • Final paper (i.e., program evaluation synthesis with
    • required; discussed by data set);
    • required; discussed by method);
  • Final paper (i.e., program evaluation synthesis with
    • required; results of the evaluation – same topics/subthemes in the background/literature review);
    • required);

Appendix (required): Tables – see below.

  • Introduction;
  • Literature review (at least two subtopics; a synthesized background/literature review of the 6 evaluations structured by theme/subtopic; not 6 “stand-alone” summaries of the 6 evaluations);
  • Data (discussed by data set);
  • Methods (discussed by method);
  • Results (at least two subtopics, discussed by theme/subtopic);
  • Public policy (optional)
  • Conclusion (not a Summary).

Appendix (Tables – see below)

  • provides an interesting concept and presentation;
  • is clear and complete;
  • discusses the history and evolution of the program to “set the stage;”
  • quickly discusses the two or three themes or subthemes;
  • provides the outline of the paper (introduction, literature review, data, methods, results, (public policy), conclusion);
  • see the examples from previous semesters on Blackboard.

Matrix: What are the elements of a well-written data section?

  • Challenge:

Matrix: What are the elements of a well-written data section?
grouped by data set, not by evaluation!

  • Quantitative data:
  • Qualitative data:

Matrix: What are the elements of a well-written results section?

  • presents program evaluations in a clear, concise, synthesized, and thorough  fashion;
  • focuses on results grouped by theme/subtopic, not by evaluation;
  • makes good use of insights provided by the literature review;
  • makes good use of insights provided by data and methods sections
  • see the student papers from previous semesters on Blackboard.

Matrix: What is included in a well-written conclusion section

  • accurately summarizes the final paper;
  • makes clear and logical evaluation or policy recommendations, based on the synthesis;
  • conclusions and recommendations are adequate and supported by the synthesis;
  • provides plausible program and public policy recommendations;
  • discusses the limitations;
  • see the examples from previous semesters on Blackboard.

Matrix: What is included in a well-written reference section?

  • https://www.apastyle.org/ (APA 7)
  • In-text citations, not footnotes.
  • Author-year style
  • Example: “In the U.S., many communities lack affordable housing (Anacker, 2018).”

Matrix: What are common writing pitfalls?

  • Chaining direct quotes is NOT writing;
  • Use only direct quotes when the original sentence is “earth-shattering” and almost impossible to paraphrase;
  • Writing does NOT have flow, i.e., sentences are not connected;
  • One sentence = one paragraph;
  • Each sentence starts the same (The study…. The study…. The study….);
  • Reference unclear (“This”, “They,” [insert a noun]);
  • Fillers that can be left out (and do not change anything)
  • Repeated and redundant statements throughout the paper;

Matrix: What are common formatting pitfalls?

  • Not providing your name on the paper;
  • Not using 12 pt. font;
  • Not using double spacing;
  • Not inserting page numbers;
  • Not providing direct quotes with a reference, including a page number.

Matrix: What are common reference pitfalls?

  • References do not follow APA 7 style;
  • Having references in footnotes;
  • Having references in footnotes that are website links only (instead, use author-year style);
  • Not providing references to substantiate statements;
  • References do not follow “author/year” format (example: bla bla bla (Anacker, 2020).)
  • References are not in alphabetical order;
  • References are by first name;
  • References are incomplete;
  • References have journal titles in caps.

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