narrative matters.

narrative matters.

This assignment will be primarily focused on a “Narrative Matters” essay that you have chosen to read from an issue of the journal, Health Affairs.  As noted on the Health Affairs website the “Narrative Matters” section of the journal “publishes personal essays (literary nonfiction) based on firsthand encounters that have a health policy aspect. These “policy narratives” take a story (or anecdote) and grow it beyond one person to include a big-picture view of the subject. The purpose of the Narrative Matters section is to put a human face on the health policy discussions in the other parts of Health Affairs.”
( and this is the chosen “Narrative Matters” essay that you should read and write the essay about: ) open the link above !!!!

Thus, the editors of Health Affairs, a public policy journal, decided to include essays that incorporated a “story format” in their journal beginning in 1999 because they saw the power of stories that “present ideas, conflicts, and sometimes, resolution” and that have “depth and dimension, drama and emotion, making them more memorable than data alone.”  They argued that a “personal narrative could bring a perspective to the quantitative material traditionally published in the journal that would promote understanding and help focus policy deliberations.”

This assignment asks you to connect themes developed in a ‘Narrative Matters” essay to specific policy readings that discuss recent legislation that has been “enacted or proposed” or “current or planned governmental and private initiatives” related to the topic of the essay you have chosen to read.

You must follow the instructions below in writing your paper:

Choose a “Narrative Matters” essay from the journal Health Affairs.   It must be published between the January issue in 2013 through the most recent February or March 2015 journal issue on a topic of your choice.  You may not pick one of the essays from “Narrative Matters” that is listed on the SSC495 syllabus.

2.  Writing your paper:
a. Explain your “Narrative Matters” essay: you should make sure to identify who the author is in terms of their personal/professional background, explain the viewpoint of the author, the main thesis/argument and the kinds of evidence the author uses to support their thesis/argument. Finally, explain the policy solutions the essay proposes to the problem that is faced by the person the story features.  Consider your own reaction to the author’s personal viewpoint on the events that they describe in their story.
b. In your “Narrative Matters” essay choose two of the resources/readings listed in the “Policy Checklist” that is provided in a separate “box” within the essay (You must download your Narrative Matters essay as a PDF document in order to view the “Policy Checklist” box).  In most of the boxes, the readings are divided into “Resources” and “Readings”.  You must choose one resource and one reading or two readings; do not select two resources.  With these two additional sources, make sure to:

Discuss and compare the policy solution suggested in the body of the “Narrative Matters” essay to those that you have found in the two additional readings/resources that you have examined.

Consider how the personal viewpoint in your “Narrative Matters” essay affects your analysis of the various policy solutions.  How does the narrative, personal approach taken in this essay change your perspective on the relevant policy issues?

c. Your essay must be in a double-spaced MW document.  Use the Chicago Manual of Style or the MLA Manual of Style format for both in-text citations and in the “Works Cited” page (you must provide a “Works Cited” page at the end of your essay).

You should include the title of the Narrative Matters essay and its author’s name in the first paragraph of your essay.  Discuss the items in 2a above in the first few paragraphs and then the items in 2b in the rest of the essay.


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