Public Health

PHB 323 Principles of Public Health

Position Paper on Public Health Topic Guidelines



The purpose of completing a position paper on a public health topic is to examine in depth a specific public health issue and using that knowledge explain implications for the general public and, as applicable, policies and strategies that have shaped the topic and/or may be necessary to resolve it. You will draw on course readings, discussions and your review of relevant literature to complete this paper, but this should be a reflective paper sharing your thoughts and reactions about a subject that broadly affects the health of the population. The paper should demonstrate critical thought and analyses related to the topic. This is an individual project. To assist with the development of this paper, you will submit and receive feedback on a topic statement in Module 2. The final paper is due in Module 7.



Your paper must contain the following elements:

1) An introduction including a statement that describes your selected public health topic. Some areas may be: gun violence and the Black Lives Matter movement; vaccinations and whether parents should have the right to decline them; the Affordable Care Act and implications of its extinction; neighborhood characteristics like ‘food deserts’ and how they affect health; whether industry (e.g., tobacco companies, fast food chains) should be held responsible for disease outcomes like lung cancer and heart disease.

2) A detailed description of your position on the public health topic. The description must include:

a. Whether you believe the topic is related to public health and why/how or why not

b. Potential implications of this topic (i.e., what does this mean for the public?), positive and/or negative

c. Relevance of the topic to you personally

3) Identification and explanation of at least three (3) factors that contribute to your selected public health topic (i.e., what has made this an issue, made it worse, or made it better?)

4) Epidemiological information about who is most affected by your selected public health topic (e.g., specific age, gender, racial, income groups, etc)

5) A detailed explanation of at least one policy or specific challenge that has created and maintained this public health topic. In particular, please answer the following questions when/if applicable:

a. Who initiated the policy?

b. When was the policy enacted?

c. What was the original intent of the policy?

d. What circumstances contributed to the development and enactment of the policy?

6) A detailed description of at least two (2) strategies or solutions (e.g., policies, programs) that could help solve challenges of your selected public health topic.

7) A conclusion summarizing the main points of the paper


The final paper must meet the following formatting guidelines:

· Length: At minimum, 5 pages double spaced (The cover/title page, references, and appendices are not included in the length requirement)

· Margins: One inch margins (Top, Bottom, Left, and Right)

· Font: 12 point Times New Roman

· Style: Paper headings, organization, citation and references must adhere to The Publication Manual of the American Psychosocial Association 6th Edition (APA Style)

· References: Must be formatted to according to one of the professional citation styles mentioned above (APA). A minimum of 7 different sources must be cited

I have already begun writing the paper and would like to simply finish it with the tone that it already is in.

Not adhering to any one of these guidelines will result in point deductions from the final paper grade. Be sure to review the grading rubric for each component of this assignment while you work on these assignments.

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