Discussion Paper – Format: Research report- ( Topic: Youth Homelessness in Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand)
Discussion Paper –
Format: Research report-
( Topic: Youth Homelessness in Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand)
Length: 3,000 words maximum
The major task for this capstone unit is a discussion paper. Widely used in the public sector and social science workplaces, discussion papers are in-depth reports that canvass the current state of affairs and evidence on an issue, policy or proposal for reform. Discussion papers often precede public and parliamentary inquiries, as well as major reviews or public campaigns. There is no single approach or format for writing discussion papers, but they are designed to stimulate discussion among stakeholders on the issue, review evidence, chart out options for reform and garner feedback.
You are required to write a discussion paper about the social policy issue identified in the scoping paper and featuring in your work-in-progress presentation. Your discussion paper can take a perspective, but should still provide a balanced account of the social policy issue. Your discussion paper should identify the current state of affairs of the issue (in Australia), review relevant policy and theoretical debates, discuss the merits and challenges of adopting other countries’ approaches to the social issue, and, based on this theoretical and comparative analysis, draw out and explain which key areas are in need of reform. You are also asked to develop key questions for stakeholders to help guide debate. Given the focus and location of the course, your paper should dedicate considerable space to critically comparing and contrasting the approaches of multiple countries.
While there is no single way to write a discussion paper, your discussion paper for this course should be structured with the following sections:
* abstract (150 words)
* policy environment and the case for reform
* theoretical discussion of the policy issue
* international comparisons and evaluation of existing practices
* explain key priorities for reform
* identify questions for stakeholders
* reference list
The abstract and reference list do not have to be included in the word count. You are also welcome to use appendices. For instance, you might provide more detailed statistical evidence from the Australian Bureau of Statistics or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to further support your claims or to contrast the policy context in Australia with that of other countries. But, keep in mind that appendices do not ‘speak for themself’ and need to be introduced in the main text of your paper where relevant.