Now that you have read the AGWR, AP Prompt, and a super-helpful PowerPoint presentation, and now that you’ve gotten a little practice with analyzing proposed solutions to difficult problems, you will work to brainstorm & articulate some of the possible solutions that you might advocate for in your own Advocacy Project.
There is no specific word count, and no specific format for this; if you like clustering, cluster away! (Coggle (Links to an external site.) is a great resource for this.) If you prefer lists, go for it. If you’re a messy brainstormer like me, and you prefer to scribble all over a piece of lined paper with a Bic pen, then I’m here for it. Either way, your brainstorm should in some way address:
- What kind of solutions you’ll need. Economic? Political? Community-based? Education? Etc.? (Don’t feel limited by these suggestions– look back at the arguments listed on pages 244-245 for some ideas. What kind of solution can address the root cause of a problem? What kinds of solutions are the most feasible and/or the most immediate to implement? etc.) From there, brainstorm further for one “kind” of solution, asking questions and getting to specifics, if you can.
- Who the stakeholders and power brokers might be. In other words, who is most affected by the issue that you wrote about in your HCP, and who is most empowered to do something about it? Name as many different kinds of people as you can.
- You might have to do some Googling here. If you’ve determined, for instance, that the solutions must be political, then look at who really, truly makes these decisions. Is it really the federal government of the United States? Or is it actually the County Board of Supervisors, the City Council, the State Legislature, etc.? You get the idea.
- Solutions that the sources you used for your HCP have already mentioned or alluded to– you don’t need to cite or comb back through them, but if you read a lot about one particular kind of solution, jot it down.
- And, finally, I’d like for you to use the Think Tank search engine (see the READ: Helpful Resources page on this Module!)–or, of course, the Library’s databases–to find one policy paper related to your issue. This paper should propose a policy or other solution that you haven’t seen yet in one of your sources. Jot it down and respond: does this seem like a good solution? A feasible solution? An economically, politically, socially realistic solution?
- Keep in mind, policy papers from think tanks are NOT unbiased. Even if you agree with the solution, or with the point of view of the think tank in general, these proposals will align with the values of the organization itself (for example, the Cato Institute may not get behind solutions that require raising taxes, because they’re Libertarian and therefore generally anti-tax increase.) If you find a solution in one of these papers that turns into the solution that you advocate for in the AP, great! But you’ll need additional scholarly information to back it up. See the prompt for more.
The goal of this exercise is to stretch your brain a little bit in terms of what you can really advocate for–something that’s possible and effective, and that a specific target audience can implement. My hope is that you find a good direction for your AP, but if you end up advocating for something that’s not included here, that’s okay, too.
What will you submit?
The full brainstorm, whether a Word doc or a .jpeg of your scanned notebook paper, and a Works Cited listing for the policy paper that you found. See Purdue OWL for format.