CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO
Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration
Fall 1999

TO: Graduate Students, California Land Use Policy, PPA 250
   
FROM: Peter Detwiler
   
SUBJECT:

MEMO A --- Coping With Your Reading Assignments

 

I admit it. The volume of your reading assignments looks daunting. But by becoming a critical and efficient reader, you can control the time you spend on this challenge.

Last summer, I taught a land use course with Larry Baird who earned his doctorate in the 1960s. Because graduate education is self-education, Larry read continuously for his oral exams and to research his dissertation. To cope with the overwhelming volume, he learned a useful technique. I�ve tried his method and it works. As you read, keep Larry�s four questions in mind:

It helps to place the work into context. Think about when the author wrote the work. What else was going on in society, in the economy, in politics, and in history? When you read about land use, look for the clues that will help you place the key points in context.

As you read each assignment, take notes to answer these questions for yourself. When you come to class each week, expect me to ask you the same questions. As you take notes, write down other questions that you want to ask your colleagues (or me) about what you�ve read. You�ll find that your collection of notes will help you write your papers for this course.

You won�t have time to read every word of every sentence of every paragraph in every assignment. Therefore, you need to become an efficient and critical reader. Read for the key themes which most authors place in their introductory paragraphs. Watch for their conclusions. Work to grasp the main thoughts, rather than every single word.

Still struggling? Call me to set up a time early in the semester when we can talk.

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO

Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration

Fall 1999

 

TO: Graduate Students, California Land Use Policy, PPA 250

FROM: Peter Detwiler

SUBJECT: MEMO B --- Recommendations For Successful Paper Writing

 

Because I value clear and lively writing, I want you to know my expectations for your written work. To write well requires hard work and frequent practice. Somerset Maugham once said that "To write simply is as difficult as to be good." I will reward your well-written papers because I know that you have worked hard to organize your thinking and express your thoughts.

The practical stuff. The other memos explain the writing assignments in detail. The course syllabus lists the deadlines and reminds you to turn in your papers on the dates they are due. Sometimes you may miss a class because of your job or other obligations. Nevertheless, your paper is still due that Monday evening. If you turn in your paper late, you will lose one letter grade for each day that it is late. An "A" paper that is due on Monday becomes a "C" paper on Wednesday. To avoid such a harsh penalty, ask a colleague to deliver your paper, fax it to my Capitol office (322-0298), or e-mail it to me detwiler@pacbell.net

Thomas Jefferson once wrote to a friend, "Had I but more time, I would have written less." Your goal is to write the best, not the most. A tightly organized, thoughtful paper of four pages is more successful than a seven-page paper that rambles. The other memos explain the maximum lengths. The key is the quality of your thought, not the quantity of your words.

You will type your papers, either double-spaced or 1� spaces. Because this class is a graduate course, there's no need to play the margin game, merely to make your paper turn out to a specific length. Just leave me enough room to write comments in the left and right margins.

I once had a boss who edited my work with a sprawling red pen. He was a good writer and I learned a lot from him, but every assignment that came back looked bloody. I resolved never to "bleed" all over someone else's writing. I will comment on your writing and offer editorial suggestions in green ink. As we succeed, you'll see less green ink on each successive paper.

Questions of style. Every successful writer develops a voice that communicates who you are to your reader. Different styles emerge for different situations: a chatty letter to your family isn't the same as a master's thesis designed to please your review committee. Your group's plan evaluation paper will differ from your own provocative book reviews. Recognize your audience for each assignment and work in the appropriate style. Here are some other suggestions:

Get professional help. Diana Hacker�s A Pocket Style Manual is on our reading list for a good reason. It's full of useful, common sense advice about writing clearly. Her "Checklist for Global Revision" on page 186 is worth reviewing each time you write an assignment. Take her advice and you will succeed.

Use the active voice. Writing is inherently political. Your writing communicates values and manipulates symbols. One of the most serious political problems in a democracy is administrative responsibility. In his essay, "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell compared most government writing to a squid. When threatened by outside forces, the squid hides its position by ejecting a cloud of ink and then flees in reverse at high speed. A writer who habitually avoids the active voice in favor of the passive voice dodges accountability by obscuring who is responsible for the action.

For example, consider the difference between "Your use permit was denied," and "I denied your use permit." Although accurate, the first sentence covers up the identity of the person who denied your permit. The second sentence clearly assigns responsibility. The difference is obvious and the political implication is not trivial. Hacker tells us to "Prefer active verbs," (�2 on pages 3-5). Her advice about "Voice" (�11d, page 28) and "active vs. passive" (�35, page 168) helps. Your use of the passive voice will attract more green ink on your papers than any other lapse.

Be direct. Afraid to offend, we temporize. We write, "The city's goals seem somewhat vague," when we really mean, "The city's goals are vague." I look for and appreciate strong opinion even when I disagree with it, if you argue your position clearly. Say what you mean. Be direct. Don't fudge. Some of the best advice comes from the classic writing manual, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White:

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subject only in outline, but that every word tell.

In our own writing manual, Hacker tells us to "Tighten wordy sentences," (�1, pages 2 and 3).

Annoying problems. Avoid the simple writing errors that distract readers from the important things that you want them to read. You should skim Hacker�s advice about "Grammar," "Punctuation," and "Mechanics."

Organization. You write what you think. To write clearly you must think clearly. Sloppy writing suggests confused thinking. Take the time to organize your thoughts so that your writing expresses your views clearly.

Every paper that you write in a PPA course must begin with a cover page. The PPA program has adopted the standard format that appears on page 134 in Hacker�s guide. Give your paper a distinctive title, just like a newspaper headline writer. You�ll find that I appreciate cleverness, even outrageous puns. A strong opening paragraph and an equally strong concluding paragraph signal your reader that you know where you want to go and where you have been. In a short paper, the conclusion often relates back to the opening. For the body of your paper, remember to follow Strunk and White�s advice to "make the paragraph the unit of composition." Interior headings and bullets help your reader by signaling where you are going, especially when you shift from one point to another. Newspaper editors often insert "sub-heads" for that reason, just as I did in this memo.

Documentation. The PPA program has adopted the American Psychological Association�s style for documenting sources. Hacker�s Pocket Manual shows you how to use the APA documentation style (�31, pages 123-136).

Self-editing. No one ever gets it right the first time. Drafting, waiting, and then rewriting your work improves your writing. I know that you have lots of other demands on your time: job, family, other courses, community work. Organize your schedule so that you can outline your paper, produce a first draft, and then let it sit for 24 hours before you return to rewrite it. Your concentration to produce a first draft against a tight deadline can keep you from seeing flaws that you will discover with a second look. Self-editing improves everyone's writing.

Your own work. Study groups can help you cope with the extensive reading assignments. You might collaborate with the other graduate students in your group project�s working group. You can use others' work to strengthen your own, but be sure to give them proper credit for their ideas and direct quotations. There is nothing wrong with "intellectual recycling" if the final product is your own work and you acknowledge others' contributions. Nevertheless, the University has a strong policy against academic dishonesty:

Regardless of the means of appropriation, incorporating another�s work into one�s own requires adequate identification and acknowledgment. Plagiarism is doubly unethical because it deprives the author of rightful credit and gives credit to someone who has not earned it.

University Manual, January 31, 1990

(UMP14150)

 

Post it! Put the next page where you can see it from your word processor!

Orwell On Writing Clearly

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other

figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out,

always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

 

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language"

Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO

Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration

Fall 1999

 

TO: Graduate Students, California Land Use Policy, PPA 250

FROM: Peter Detwiler

SUBJECT: MEMO C --- Writing Book Reviews

 

Unlike the "book reports" you wrote as undergraduates (or even in grade school!), a book review is a specialized form of the essay. The sociologist Oscar Handlin said that a good essay is a pro-duct of experience joined to scholarly thought. It draws together information and illuminates its meaning. Because that's a tall order, here are my suggestions on how to write an effective book review.

Read it. Your first step in writing a book review is to read the book. If you bought the book and plan to keep it, write marginal notes to yourself. If it's not your own copy, then scribble your notes on a writing tablet or on your laptop computer. The goal is to engage the unseen author in dialogue by reacting immediately to interesting or controversial arguments. Jot down your reactions so you can go back and review them later. Even a simple "Ah-ha!" written in the margin will remind you of the startling epiphany that seemed so important at the time. When you disagree, write down a phrase that will allow you to come back to that point. Marking the relevant passages allows you to chase a theme through several chapters. You can return to them and discover how the author used the concept in different settings.

Organize your thoughts. Start by re-reading "Memo B --- Recommendations For Successful Paper Writing," reminding yourself of the need for a title page, an effective title, a consistent theme, a strong opening and closing, and using the paragraph as the unit of composition. Now that you know what you're looking for, open the book and scan your own marginal notes. Look for the themes that impressed you. Make lists of what you liked and what annoyed you. What features stand out now that you've read the whole book? Did the author deliver on the promises made in the introduction? Did the final chapter pull the threads together into a cohesive fabric?

Identify the main argument. The first question to ask yourself (and the first point that I'll look for when I read your book review) is: "What is the author trying to make me [the reader] understand?" Find the answer to that question and you are well on your way to writing an effective book review.

Author's justification. Explain how the author justifies the book's main argument. In your book review give examples of the evidence that the author uses: accumulated observations, survey research, controlled experiments, logical arguments, appeals to emotion, persuasive anecdotes. Using specific examples to illustrate your explanation shows me that you've read and really understood the book!

Wider context. Demonstrate your understanding of the author's main argument by placing it in a wider context. How did historical, political, economic, and social events influence the author's views? How does the author's main argument relate to:

· Major themes in this course.

· Other books or articles that you have read?

· Your own observations and personal experiences?

What do you think? Having described and understood the author's argument, now I want to know your views. Do you agree or disagree with the author's argument? What counter arguments or contradictory evidence did the author ignore? What faults do you find in the author's arguments? How different would the author's argument be if the book were written today? In other words, how have more recent historical, political, economic, and social events changed the context?

For example. One way to learn how to write effective book reviews is to read good writing. In his piece, "First City: Why America should have more New Yorks," Jonathan Franzen reviews two books about cities. Written for the February 19, 1996, issue of The New Yorker magazine, Franzen's book review is an essay that interprets the authors' works in light of his own urban experience. Because New York isn't Chicago (the proverbial "second city") or anywhere else, the title "First City" is appropriately clever. Franzen opens with two personal anecdotes that reveal his urban identity: he's a traveler, he's sardonic, and he's sophisticated enough to go to the Cyber Café. In his review of City Life, Franzen places Rybczynski in context: Alexis de Tocqueville, William Penn, Daniel Burnham, Lou Gehrig, Harold Ross, Le Corbusier, Andy Warhol, George Woodward, Jane Jacobs, and Kenneth Jackson.

Then, Kenneth Jackson appears again as the author of The Encyclopedia of New York City. Having used Rybczynki's book as an excuse to compare New York with other cities, Franzen turns to his main topic, New York itself. Expressing his skepticism that anyone could capture the essence of New York in a book-of-lists, Franzen points out the shortcomings of Jackson's hefty written monument. He pulls his thoughts together near the end of this essay by considering his own relationship to malls. The two books become the platform from which he can explore his own suburban experiences. Franzen concludes with a personal reflection which takes us back to the anecdotes that opened the essay.

I�ll lend you a copy of Franzen�s book review if you want.

The two specific assignments. You will write two book reviews for PPA 250 this semester.

· Wye Island. Due on November 1, your first book review will look at Wye Island by Boyd Gibbons and run five to seven pages, maximum. What theme will you use to organize your book review? By that point in the semester, you�ll know the basics of California land use planning and development, so you might explore whether Rouse could have been more successful in California in the late 1990s instead of Maryland in the early 1970s. An alternative theme might be to compare the desire for small town life with the Eastern Shore residents� dread of urban centers. Or what about the question of social class in making land use decisions. We will have discussed Gibbons� book in our October 25 seminar. That�s your chance to try out your themes before finishing your book review. Use Wye Island as a springboard into a wider essay.

· Crabgrass Frontier comparison. Your second book review requires you to compare Jackson�s Crabgrass Frontier with another book that you chose from the list on the following page. This more difficult assignment runs seven to nine pages, maximum, and is due on November 22. This essay can be a classic compare-and-contrast piece in which you review Jackson�s work in light of another book. Which book to pick? Try picking a book that you wouldn�t ordinarily read. For instance, if your personal views favor resource preservation, try picking a book that focuses on development issues; David Kirp�s Our Town comes to mind. If you�re not so "green," then you might pick a book like Aldo Leopold�s Sand County Almanac, one of the books that has been seminal to the environmental movement. Taking the "counter-view" approach can trigger the intellectual friction gives you plenty to write about. If you are interested in processes, pick Peter Schwartz�s The Art of the Long View. Fascinated by Southern California, The Reluctant Metropolis is another book by Bill Fulton. Both of the books by Mike Davis pose provocative challenges. William Whyte�s City is a detailed look at small urban spaces. Whichever book you select, make your choice early in the semester so that you have enough time to read it.

If you don't like the titles that I've offered on the next page, you can pick another book, with my permission. Just tell me what you want to review, and why.

The CSUS Library has most of these books but they may be checked out. You may need to explore public libraries, the Shields Library at UC Davis, or buy your own copy. Bookstores are usually good about special orders but you have to give them enough time to get the book you need. I often use Tower Books on Broadway, with very good results. I�ve also had good results ordering books from www.amazon.com

Ask me? If you need suggestions on which book to pick or if you want advice on your themes, I'm available to discuss your writing with you. Let's talk.

Pick a book for your second book review from this list:

Barth, Gunther, City People: The Rise of the Modern City Culture in 19th Century America.

Blakely, Edward & Mary Gail Snyder, Fortress America: Gated Communities in the U.S.

Davis, Mike, City of Quartz.

Davis, Mike, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster.

Dowall, David, The Suburban Squeeze.

Frieden, Bernard, The Environmental Protection Hustle.

Frieden, Bernard & Lynne Sagalyn, Downtown, Inc.

Fogelson, Robert, The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850-1930.

Fulton, Bill, The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles.

Garreaux, Joel, Edge City.

Hall, Peter, Great Planning Disasters.

Hayden, Dolores, Redesigning the American Dream.

Hartman, Chester, The Transformation of San Francisco.

Jacobs, Allan, Making City Planning Work.

Jacobs, Allan, Looking At Cities.

Jacobs, Jane, Cities and the Wealth of Nations.

Jacobs, Jane, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Kunstler, James Howard, The Geography of Nowhere.

Kelley, Robert, Battling the Inland Sea.

Kirp, David, et al., Our Town: Race, Housing, and the Soul of Suburbia

Leopold, Aldo, A Sand County Almanac.

Leopold, A. Starker, Wild California: Vanishing Lands, Vanishing Wildlife.

Lotchin, Roger, Fortress California: 1910-1961.

McHarg, Ian, Design With Nature.

Palmer, Tim, ed., California's Threatened Environment: Restoring The Dream.

Schwartz, Peter, The Art of the Long View.

Whyte, William H., City: Rediscovering the Center.

Wilson, Elizabeth, The Sphinx in the City.

 

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO

Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration

Fall 1999

 

TO: Graduate Students, California Land Use Policy, PPA 250

FROM: Peter Detwiler

SUBJECT: MEMO D --- "Plan Evaluation" (Group Project I)

 

How do you know if a plan is any good? Group Project I asks your working group to pick an adopted plan and evaluate its contents.

GET INTO IT. Role-playing will help your working group approach this assignment. Assume that your working group is a planning firm hired by a plaintiff�s attorney. The attorney represents a neighborhood association that�s thinking about suing the city that adopted the plan. The attorney needs to know the plan�s strengths and weaknesses. Write your plan evaluation as if your consulting group is responding to its client�s request.

GET ORGANIZED. By September 13 (Week 3), you must form a group of four students. Try to pick at least two people whom you did not know before you started this course. To the extent possible, pick a mix of students, with backgrounds unlike your own. You will discover that this diversity will help your group later.

GET GOING. Everyone's busy! One of the hardest parts of a group project is getting everyone together in the same place at the same time. Exchange telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. Agree on regular meetings (e.g., Monday afternoons before class, Saturday mornings). Meet on campus, in an office conference room, or at someone's home. Wherever you meet, start seeing yourselves as a cohesive working group. If you start working together regularly early in September, you'll save a lot of late nights in November. Don't wait to get going.

GET IT TOGETHER. This assignment is worth 10% of your total grade. In every group project leaders emerge, and sometimes there are even shirkers. Everyone in your group receives the same letter grade. This policy intentionally creates peer pressure within your group. Because we all have different talents, one group member may carry a big burden on this assignment while others do less. On the next two group projects, the burdens should switch. Some conflicts are inevitable and I prefer that you work them out among yourselves. After all, this assignment simulates a professional working environment. However, if you have a persistent problem within your group that you cannot solve, please let me know. I can meet with you individually or with your whole group.

PICK A PLAN. Select a general plan, community plan, specific plan, or redevelopment plan adopted by a local city or county. Pick a plan that covers the same area that your group will work on for the second and third group projects. You might pick a general plan from one of the smaller towns in the region: Folsom, Davis, Galt, Placerville, West Sacramento, Winters, or Woodland. You might want to avoid large, complicated plans (e.g., the entire Sacramento County plan) unless one of the members of your group already knows something about it.

GET IT. The CSUS Library has a limited collection of local plans that you can borrow but it may not have all of the subsequent amendments. To be sure that you have the latest amended version, go to the public service counter of the city or county planning department. You can find the address in the front of the local telephone book. If you would rather buy (or try to borrow) a copy of the plan, it's worth a visit to the planning department.

GET HELP? There's nothing wrong --- and there's a lot right --- with talking to practicing planners and others who already know a lot about your group's plan. Learning from others is always part of the professional experience. Plagiarism is not. You must give credit where it is due. Also (for your sake and mine), someone in your working group should write a thank-you letter to the people who helped you.

YOUR WORK PRODUCT. Your group's plan evaluation paper is a 10- to 15-page (maximum) critical review. Use the "Checklist for general plan adequacy," pages 18-20 in Dan Curtin�s book to organize your paper. Your group's paper should include examples to illustrate key points, references to the course readings, and allusions to other, outside sources (e.g., observations from the group project, interviews with planners or builders, material from other documents). This project is due on October 18.

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO

Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration

Fall 1999

 

TO: Graduate Students, California Land Use Policy, PPA 250

FROM: Peter Detwiler

SUBJECT: MEMO E --- "Observe, Record, and Interpret" (Group Project II)

 

Your second group project requires you to work successfully with others in observing, recording, and interpreting what you hear and see in a part of Sacramento. You will use these results in your third group project to propose changes for the area you select.

Your working group is an interdisciplinary study team that the CSUS Institute for Regional Studies has sent out to document a neighborhood. Drawn from several disciplines, the members of your working group will observe, record, and interpret the area. The resulting portfolio and report will identify the area�s strengths and weaknesses. Future recommendations for change will rely on what your interdisciplinary study team learns from its expedition into this area.

OBSERVE. Select an area from the attached list. Pick an area covered by the plan that you reviewed for your first group project. Schedule a time when the entire group can visit your area. Set aside about two hours for your visit. You can travel to your area separately or as a group, but try using a Regional Transit bus or light rail. Everyone needs a pen and a note pad. Other recording devices may be useful: sketch pads, graph paper, cameras, a tape recorder, a video camera. You can borrow gear from the University Media Services, Library South Wing, lower level. For more information about this service, you can call 278-6611 or 278-5758.

RECORD. Spend 60 to 90 minutes walking through the area with your entire group, observing carefully. Take time to look, listen, and absorb your area. Divide your time into 10-minute periods. Every 10 minutes, the group should stop so that each of you can record what you see. Then go somewhere where your group can sit and talk. Find a nice café or a quiet park. Compare notes about what you saw and heard. Turn in your notes with your report and portfolio.

Buildings:

* What kinds of buildings did you see? What materials are they made of?

* When were they built? Were they all built at the same time?

* What condition are they in? How well are they maintained?

* How are they decorated? Signs? Architectural features?

* What visual clues do their owners and users send to observers? Signs? Decorations?

Graffiti? Doors? Windows? Yards? Sidewalks?

* Are any changes going on? New construction? Remodeling?

* What are their current functions?

* Did they have earlier functions? If so, what were they before?

People:

* How many people did you see? Was the area busy or deserted?

* What kinds of people did you see? Age? Gender? Race?

* What clues did you pick up about them? Clothes? Appearance?

* Was the area noisy or quiet? What languages did you hear? Machine sounds? Animals?

* What were the people doing?

* Would your observations be different if you visited at another time? Another day?

Place:

* What is the physical environment like? Trees? Grass? Air quality? Relationship to water?

Relationship to views? To light?

* What kinds of transportation did you see? Within your area? Between your area and other

parts of Sacramento? Parking?

* What condition are the public works? Street surfaces? Fire hydrants? Street lights? Traffic

signals? Official signs? Bus benches?

* How do the buildings relate to the street? What is the "street furniture" like? Who uses it?

INTERPRET. By now, your group can reach some initial conclusions about your area: its economic activity, how it relates to the natural environment, how it relates to adjacent areas, and how it relates to the rest of Sacramento and the larger metropolitan region.

How would professionals from different disciplines think about your study area?

Economists? Psychologists?

Geographers? Sociologists?

Historians? Political scientists?

Anthropologists? Public administrators?

Attorneys? Real estate appraisers?

Civil engineers? Social workers?

What would these professionals emphasize that your group might not have considered?

RESEARCH. Armed with your own observations, talk to one or two people who know the area: a Realtor, a builder, a planner, a resident, a business owner, a citizen activist, or even the local city councilmember. Do your perceptions match the experts' views? Did you miss anything? This talk is a "reality check."

PRODUCT. Prepare a community profile that shows how well you understand and appreciate your study area. Your written report should be seven to 10 pages (maximum). Design and assemble a portfolio of photos, drawing, charts, tables, cartoons, maps, and other graphics to complement your written text. Attach your working notes that you took during your observations. Your report, portfolio, and notes are due November 8.

Select a study area from this list

1. Midtown (J, K, and L Streets, from 16th Street to Alhambra Boulevard).

2. R Street corridor (3rd Street to Alhambra Blvd., and one block on either side).

3. J Street in East Sacramento (Alhambra Blvd. to CSUS, and one block on either side).

4. Franklin Boulevard (Sutterville Road to Fruitridge Blvd., and one block on either side).

5. Broadway in Oak Park (Alhambra Blvd. to MLK Blvd., and one block on either side).

  1. Broadway (Front Street to Alhambra Boulevard, and one block on either side).
  2. Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova.
  3. An area of your working group's own choosing (e.g., West Sacramento, North Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom), with my approval.

 

 

PLEASE REMEMBER: Your group could be working in an area where the residents may be uncomfortable with outsiders. Please respect the residents and act accordingly. Group members should be aware of their colleagues' behavior and physical safety. If you have any reason for concern, leave the area and return later.

 

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO

Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration

Fall 1999

 

TO: Graduate Students, California Land Use Policy, PPA 250

FROM: Peter Detwiler

SUBJECT: MEMO F --- "Community Reinvestment" (Group Project III)

 

In your third and final group project, imagine that your group is a planning team working for a consulting firm. Your client is either a private investor or a public agency. The client wants to stimulate reinvestment in the area. Your team must propose a program to revitalize the area. Stay focused on your client's needs and preferences.

In drafting a plan, you should ask yourselves:

* Who is our client?

* What does our client need or want from our group?

* What can we propose to make our area better?

* Just what does our group mean by "better"?

* What positive assets or processes does our area have that we want to retain and promote?

* What negative features or processes burden our area that we want to change, stop, or divert?

* What are some private sector actions that will make our area better?

* What are the public policies that will make our area better?

* How can we realistically make these changes happen?

* What features and processes are beyond our control?

You can refer to existing plans. Use your own plan evaluation from the first group project. Rely on your own observations from your earlier project. You can consult "real" planners, builders, property owners, and residents. You can talk to anyone else who might help your group. Nevertheless, your proposal must be your own, original work.

 

PRESENT. Your group now prepares a 20-minute presentation that involves all four members. You should consider this event as your group's presentation to your client. The group members will dress and act appropriately for the occasion. Your working group will make its presentation on December 6.

Briefly introduce the audience to your area. Feature its assets and problems. Then explain your proposal and how it can be carried out. Of course, your presentation should be lively, informative, and keep your audience's interest.

Besides the narration, your presentation should use visual and oral aids. Although fascinating, complicated presentations rely on complicated equipment which sometimes breaks down. Be sure to pick appropriate media. Here are some suggestions:

Cartoons Models

Charts Music

Drawings Photos

Hand-outs Posters

Maps Recorded sounds

The University Media Service's technical staff cautions against using slides, videotapes, and PowerPoint presentations because they have a nasty habit of breaking down just when you need them. Also, they don't show up very well when we videotape your presentation. Instead, the technical staff suggests that you rely on the overhead video camera to show photographic prints, drawings, and charts. I strongly recommend that you hand out page-sized copies of each of your graphic aids.

From the article, "Curriculum Materials Development" by Charles Johns and Bruce Fortinos, here are some useful suggestions for preparing charts:

* Use visual aids to enhance what is said, not as a script for the presentation.

* Color and graphics are helpful additions, when used with care.

* Each piece should illustrate one major point and have a short title.

* Prefer the horizontal ("landscape") format over the vertical ("portrait") format.

* Charts should be short and simple, large and legible.

* Limit text to six lines. Limit lines to six words.

* Letter size should be 24-point or larger.

* Use a "serif" font, avoid ornate or exotic typefaces.

* Use upper and lower case letters.

* Use a light blue background because it looks better on videotape.

A panel of local land use experts will join us for the evening. After all of the groups have presented their proposals, our panelists will give their reactions. We will videotape the groups' presentations and the panel's reactions. Your group CANNOT take more than 20 minutes.

 

PORTFOLIO. At the end of the evening, your group will turn in a portfolio that documents your project. The format is up to you but a three-ring binder is usually effective. Your submittal should include a written proposal (seven to ten pages, maximum) from your consulting group to your client that explains your recommendations.

Here are some questions that your portfolio should answer:

* What specific actions do you want to happen?

* Who is responsible for acting?

* What resources will they need?

* Public capital?

* Private capital?

* What regulatory decisions must occur?

* What political actions must occur?

* Who needs to review the project?

* Who could block it? Who could promote it?

* What's a realistic schedule? What are the key deadlines?

* How can we tell if the project succeeds?

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO

Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration

Fall 1999

 

TO: Graduate Students, California Land Use Policy, PPA 250

FROM: Peter Detwiler

SUBJECT: MEMO G --- Extra Credit Opportunity

 

Sometimes an assignment just doesn't turn out the way you wanted: your working group flaked out on you, you hated the other reading assignments, or the plan evaluation paper was a real struggle.

You may write another book review to earn up to 5% extra credit. Follow the same general instructions as for the two other required book reviews (see Memo C).

Pick another book from the list attached to Memo C. You can either review that book alone, or your book review can compare it to one of the books that you read this semester: Wye Island, Crabgrass Frontier, or the third book you picked.

You can submit your extra credit book review any time, but the final deadline is December 13, which is also our last class meeting.