Paper instructions:

3.    Thoroughly research the topic. Know the facts and history of the bill.

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4.    Develop polling questions. Your objective is to figure out how the public feels about the policy, and why they hold that opinion. You are acting as an objective newspaper reporter. Your questions must be NEUTRAL – the people that you poll should have NO idea how you personally feel about the topic. When I read your paper, I should also have no idea how you personally feel about the bill or the general topic.

This assignment is about analyzing public opinion. This assignment is NOT an opportunity for you to rant or soapbox about any topic. Avoid this mistake. You must be objective and present information in an unbiased and neutral manner.

Ask each respondent to describe exactly why they hold that particular opinion about the policy proposal in question – remember that you should ask all of your respondents the exact same set of questions. You will need detailed responses in order to have enough information to compile the qualitative portion of your report analysis.

You need to develop questions that will tell you things like…
•    If the public agrees or disagrees with the proposed change in the policy or law
•    Does the respondent really understand what the bill proposes to do, or are they responding emotionally to the topic in general?
•    If they think the policy is something that the federal government should or should not be involved in. Is the topic something that States should be in control of instead? Why do they feel this way?
•    If there are tax dollars involved, does the public think that this topic is a good use of resources?
•    If they disagree with the proposal, what would they like to see done instead?

5.    Conduct your poll. Remember that you need to poll at least 10 different individuals. You can conduct your poll and gather responses in person or conduct it online, perhaps via a social media outlet. Be creative.

6.    Compile and analyze your poll results, both quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (descriptive information) into a report. You must cover the following information in your report:

•    Provide the numerical data results in chart form (pie charts, bar charts, line charts, etc – NOT tables or a list of individual responses)
•    Analyze the descriptive answers and report common themes and items of note
•    Identify and describe common themes in the answers you received. Were there differing reasons for the yesses and the noes? If yes, describe them. If no, why might the answers be so similar? Is there bias? How?
•    Did any of the respondents’ reasons cause you to reconsider your own stance on the issue? If so, how?

Write as though you are a completely objective and neutral reporter.  This is difficult to do!

Do not report your interviewee’s answer word for word. Boring, and not analytical!  The assignment is for you to synthesize the information and report you findings. Analyze the common themes and items of note that are interesting and relevant. A quote or two of interest is okay, but the paper must be in your own words.

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