Need help with my Writing question – I’m studying for my class.
Issues regarding statehood are at the core of each of the conflict cases explored in this course.
These issues are complex, involving many different parties with different demands. While
questions about statehood seem impossible to resolve, smaller issues related to the conflicts
may prove riper for resolution. In the problem description section of the policy brief, you will
identify and describe a particular, narrow problem related to your conflict case that appears
possible to resolve through the right policies.
Please keep in mind that your chosen problem should be narrow and
SHOULD NOT be
about core statehood issues.
For example, you should not write your paper about the
problem of Palestinians lacking their own state or about Azerbaijan’s lack of control over
Nagorno-Karabakh. However, you can discuss territorial problems related to the conflict. For
example, students researching the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may discuss the problem of
regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh being outside of the Azerbaijani state’s control.
Students researching the Israel-Palestine conflict can tackle the problem of sharing Jerusalem
between Israelis and Palestinians. Students who write about core statehood issues will not
receive a passing grade on the policy brief assignment. Please contact Prof. Finley or one of
the course teaching assistants if you have questions about whether your chosen problem is
As outlined in Young and Quinn (2002, 42), the problem description section should
accomplish the following:
Define the particular problem addressed throughout the policy brief
Describe the problem within its current context (don’t use this section to describe the
basic background of the conflict, but be sure to explain the background of the
Convince the reader that the problem requires attention
Build a framework from which the policy options can be argued (i.e., all of your
upcoming policy solutions should target the same problem)
Extensive research is necessary for students to identify an appropriate problem and for them
to describe it sufficiently. Your problem description should synthesize research across at least
3 different sources. This is a minimum; more sources will help you demonstrate a stronger
understanding of the problem at-hand.
Please use an appropriate title for this section of the paper. The title should very concisely
identify the problem you are addressing. Please do not title your problem description section,
“Problem Description.” Depending on the complexity of your problem, you may also include
subsections with their own headings.