Order DescriptionResearch Paper Topic: Ethanol as an alternative fuel Policy
Your topic must not be site or state specific, but regional, national or global. Your topic must be policy oriented and should not be so broad that it can’t be covered in any depth of analysis.
Ethanol topic is approved provide that you focus on ethanol policy, not the technology of ethanol production and use in fuel.
Guidance on Research Papers ENVM 646 Updated Version
Research papers should be 10 pages in length, double spaced text, not counting graphs,tables, charts or appendices. Please use 12 point font and a program that is compatible with Microsoft word. If you need more space, that is fine with me, but please be concise and to the point.
The official style manual for the program is the ‘Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association’. But if you prefer another style guide such as Kate Turabian or Strunk & White that is fine with me. Just make sure that I can see your sources and references in the body of your text. In addition to reference/footnotes/endnotes, please also include a bibliography of your sources.
Please keep in mind that this course is all about the public policy process in the United States and abroad. Whatever your topic, please focus on the policy issues and don’t get bogged-down in the technological aspects. For example, if you were to examine the ethanol mandate, I would expect you to focus on the key stakeholders in the debate such as the corn growers, gasoline refiners, ADM and Cargill, and the members of Congress who listen to them. If you do a paper on Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, you would focus on such stakeholders as the vehicle manufacturers, the National Automobile Dealers Association, the auto workers union and the environmental groups with an interest in CAFÉ. A very good way to identify key stakeholders is to consult the Congressional hearing record for recent hearings on your topic. The groups that show up to testify are stakeholders.
Your findings are only as good as your sources. Please consult many sources so that you are fully aware of all perspectives on the topic. Primary sources such as Congressional testimony are especially valuable. On the other hand, wikipedia (or other encyclopedias) or textbooks are not reliable sources because they are not necessarily peer-reviewed and they are general or superficial by design. News articles are OK, but they should be strengthened and verified by primary sources such as an interview, a government report, an academic study, a speech or testimony before a Congressional hearing. As a specific example, should you write a paper analyzing the FCCC Conference of Parties XV at Copenhagen and cite news articles but fail to cite the actual transcript of proceedings, I will be disappointed.
Please do not select a topic with which you are already familiar due to your undergraduate studies or your professional experience. Instead, choose an unfamiliar topic and then you will learn something new. Also, the topic must not be tied to a specific facility or location.
Your paper should begin with an abstract or an executive summary that should be about a half page in length. An abstract or executive summary is a concise and specific summary of key findings that have come out of your research. It is designed for senior executives or other decision makers who may not have time to read the document in its entirety, but who want to go directly to the ‘bottom line’ and see what significant conclusions have come out of your study that can be applied to the decision at hand. The abstract or executive summary is not an introduction that explains what you intend to examine, nor is it meant to convey information that is general or obvious. Rather, it tells the reader something new and significant, which are your key findings and conclusions. Please look at an article in an academic journal or a government report or a Congressional Research Service issue brief for examples.
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