Your name ___________________
Name of the author of the paper _________________
Politics 124 Spring 2005
State the argument of this paper in one sentence.
What specific problem does the proposed policy address? Is the problem clearly identified and is there a clear connection between the problem identified and the policy proposed? Specify what you see as that connection.
What is the strongest argument the author makes in favor of his or her policy proposal? What makes the argument the strongest? Is it well supported by evidence or data, or is just intuitively plausible or appealing?
What is the weakest argument the author makes in favor of his or her policy proposal? What makes the argument weak? Is it lacking in evidence? Is it unclear or undeveloped? Is it that the author ignores evidence on the other side of the argument? How could the author make the argument more persuasive. Be specific in your suggestions.
Does the paper anticipate possible objections to the proposed policy, or possible obstacles to its implementation? Does the author persuade you that these objections or obstacles can be overcome? Be specific; a "yes" or "no" answer is not sufficient.
Does the proposal anticipate alternative ways of addressing the same problem? And does the author demonstrate why his or her proposal is superior to these alternative solutions? Again, a simple "yes" or "no" is not an answer. Specify how and where the author addresses alternative solutions.
Does the paper demonstrate a command of the relevant materials in United We Serve. Point to one article in United We Serve that the author does not cite or use that you think would be of help to the author. Explain, specifically, why this article should be used by the author.
Are there adequate citations to the readings? Indicate specific paragraphs or passages where the author needs to provide citations.
Identify one thing that the author did in the testimonies that you wish you had emulated in your own proposal. Be specific about what they did and about what you did not do.
If the author could only do two things to improve this paper, what two things would you suggest? Which of the two should the author make the first priority in revision, and why is that the most important thing to do to improve this paper? As always, be specific.
If you were the policymaker how would you respond to this proposal? Write a paragraph or two as if you were the policymaker addressed in this proposal and you were responding to the policy being proposed.