The paper that students prepare needs to be a work of quality. The paper is to be
article-length (i.e., 14 to 20 pages) and include five sections: (1) identification of the issue to be
examined (2) review of relevant literature (theoretical and empirical) including a comprehensive
discussion of the issue (3) recommendation for an intervention, policy or action step(s) (4)
conclusions/implications (5) relevant references/bibliography. The expectation is that students
will not merely summarize what others have said about the issues under examination. Rather,
students are asked to look thoughtfully, creatively, and originally at the issue so that their work
makes a professional contribution.
Criteria that are used in considering each paper include:
1. The clarity with which the practice or policy issue is defined.
2. The degree to which relevant literature (practice, policy, research) is used to place the
issue in context.
3. The depth of theoretical foundation, conceptualization and exploration of the issue.
4. The identification of the implications of the content of the paper for practice, policy,
and/or program development.