Skip to Main Content

U.S. Politics and Policy: Public Policy

Recommended Resources

Background Information

Find Policy Papers and Policy Opinions

Policy briefs or policy papers summarize a policy issue and argue for a particular solution. Many policy briefs from think tanks, NGOs, and research institutes can be found online. Include the keywords "policy brief" or "policy paper" or "white paper" in your search.

Find Data

Getting Started

Depending on your assignment, there are several kinds of information you may need in researching public policy:

  • Historical political or legal context of a policy
  • Theory of public policy
  • Research on the specific topic of your policy
  • Example policy proposals and research from organizations
  • Statistics, including public opinion
  • Governmental legislation or regulation
  • Social behavior or economic consequences related to a policy

Evaluating Information from Organizations

Scholarly articles are not the only place to find high quality research and analysis.

  • There are organizations that produce original research and analysis that you may not find elsewhere.
  • It may be important to understand the position of influential groups on a topic.
  • Just because an organization is non-profit does not mean it is not biased. Check for political bias and funding of an organization by Googling about it.