Resource Proposals

More on Resource Proposals:

Post them to the blog by the end of classes. Use the correct category.  RP-Biz, RP-Gov, RP-Soc.

The proposals will ideally enable you to look at the same issue from multiple perspectives.  To this end, each one should rely on and be in dialogue with a particular type of information resources (business, government, and society).  I realize you will each will (and should) follow your own research process, so the order that you do these in is up to you.  You may also find your topic shifting as you do these.  That is fine and appropriate.

A proposal is no more than two pages (2!). It should be at around a page long (about four-5 paragraphs on the blog).  The proposal will work best for you if you use it to develop your ideas for your topic.  For each you will want to find the relevant kind of information resource.  You will respond and engage with your resource(s).

To develop your idea and to discover sources from varying perspectives, you will produce three proposals.  These are graded separately from the white paper and are done on a pass-fail basis to encourage you to be less risk averse.  The purpose of the proposals is to develop your ideas while writing in response to a particular type of research source; namely, these will be one each from a business, government, and “society” perspective.  For example, you want to examine wage inequality.  You might do one proposal reporting on wage inequality research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Federal Reserve (or some other government body).  You would do a second on the policy positions of a firm or association of firms.  In this case, the US chamber of Commerce may have written editorials or reports attacking minimum wage or living wage laws.  Finally, you look into the research done by a think tank that claims to be non-partisan and tries to provide clear answers about the causes of wage inequality.  This third proposal may also include the research from a university-based research center on the economy.

Sample proposal for the blog post.

  • State problem/ policy area of interest
  • Summarize current thinking or ideas about this area.
  • Summarize what your resource(s) add or change or challenge to prevailing thinking.
  • Discuss how 2 and 3 relate to your topic and ideas. Do they help you develop your ideas?  Are you arguing against this research?  How do these contribute to your larger goal?
  • How reliable is the information? If it comes from a more biased or interested perspective, are there ways to assess its value despite those origins?

Overview of types of sources.

Business: knowledge produced BY the business.  For example, shareholder reports, media releases, policy papers by the company, if relevant, op-ed pieces written BY a businessperson but published in a newspaper.  For example, here is Goldman-Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in the Wall Street Journal.

Government: Congressional reports, GAO reports, court rulings, research by the Fed, by the NBER, by other agencies, and so on.  The government produces HUGE amounts of information.

Society:  This is knowledge produced by actors who have an interest or agenda that meets broadly defined “social” criteria, like institutional logics.  So, all scholarship done by academics, think tanks, advocacy groups, NGOs, think tanks, research centers, and so on.

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