Problem Anlaysis

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These assignment guidelines describe the objectives, work details, and submission requirements for this assignment.

Assignment Overview and Objectives

Your Problem Analysis is a set of documents that (a) explains a specific, current public health problem that is significant, (b) identifies the audience affected by the problem, and (c) explains the causes, consequences, and history of the problem. Later in the semester, you will write a proposal to solve this problem, so you need to choose a problem that you can write a proposal to solve, a problem that is not too broad, too speculative, or too complicated.


Effectively argue that a problem both exists and is significant to a specific audience, and demonstrate that you understand the problem thoroughly. For your Problem Analysis report, examine the opioid epidemic, the Flint water crisis, or health problems associated with industrial agriculture. Alternatively, you can seek approval from me to address another public health problem that concerns you.

Assignment Details

Document types:

Memorandum: 100-300 words

Report: 900-1,200 words


Your cover memo should introduce the report to me by identifying your purpose and providing a brief overview.


Your report is the primary content for this assignment. This document should present to your intended proposal audience the following content.

Problem definition. Define the problem. What is the scope of the problem? What is the impact, and why is it important?

Problem history and evidence. Prove to your audience that the problem is a problem. This requires evidence of the problem itself as well as evidence of its impact. Using evidence, describe the problem’s causes, consequences, and history. What past attempts (if any) were made to solve the problem, and how successful were they? Whom does the problem affect, and how? What negative consequences will result if the problem is not solved? Present your evidence in the most appropriate form for that evidence (e.g., table, graph, photograph).

Documentation. Provide proper APA citations for all resources on which you draw. Use complete and accurate in-text citations as well as complete and accurate bibliography entries in the proper format.

You will not receive passing credit for your Problem Analysis assignment if you do not provide complete and accurate documentation in the proper APA style.

General Content Development Guidelines

Conventions of Professional Documents

Keep the following guidelines in mind as you develop the report content.

Descriptive Headings and Section Overviews. Each major section should be signaled by an appropriate, descriptive heading, and begin with a section overview.

Appropriately labeled content features. Any specific feature (e.g., table, graph, photograph) should be identified by a figure number, title, and caption following the APA documentation style. If the graph or table contains information from another source, be sure to identify the publication information in the caption. Refer to the graphic by its figure number in your discussion.

Separate pagination. Paginate your report. Your memo does not need page numbers.

Hints and Tips

This section provides you with specific guidance for how to make your project successful. Although the advice may suggest things to do, it might also suggest things not to do.

Argue, persuade

Remember that you are presenting persuasive arguments in this report. You must demonstrate to your audience that you understand the problem, that it is a problem, and that you understand how to present appropriate evidence to support those arguments. Your audience may not perceive the issue as an important problem that needs to be solved, so you must use evidence and arguments to persuade them.

Use appropriate resources throughout

Consider carefully how resources can help you achieve your goals here. You must provide evidence to support your argument that this problem exists. But how else might source materials help you? Too often students assume that problems are self-evident, and fail in that essential step of supporting their arguments. Consider using any relevant print sources, online sources, public documents, government records, and observations as well as interviews with knowledgeable authorities. Evaluate your sources to make sure that they are using accurate, authoritative, and reliable evidence. Examine your sources for bias, misrepresentations, and logical fallacies.

Follow proper conventions

Use complete sentences and fully developed paragraphs for the body text of your report. Follow the proper conventions of Standard English spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Use effective transitions, topic sentences, and headings to structure your paper and to make it accessible. Use a sans serif font for your title and first-level headings. Be sure to revise and edit your work before you submit it. Be sure to label your report with your name. Use page numbers and an appropriate footer for your report.

Assignment Submission Requirements

Follow these submission guidelines carefully. Label your project file properly. Include your first name and the assignment title in the filename. Submit your assignment as a .pdf file using the Assignments tool in Canvas

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