EME 466
Energy and Sustainability in Society

Section II: Research


For this section, creatively and actively seek a range of sources. Include on-line content, print publications and personal interactions (phone, email, interviews, field visits) with those who are subject matter experts or engaged stakeholders.

Your sources must include personal interactions with at least two different individuals with an interest in the policy that is the focus of your research. A "personal interaction" may be an email, phone call or in-person meeting.

Remember, when you interact with the real world, you are representing yourself, but also the Energy and Sustainability Program and Penn State. Be polite, prepared and deeply attentive. This is a terrific opportunity to learn and to meet new organizations and people--you may make contacts that you value for years to come!

Background (a subhead in your report)

Present fair and balanced research in this section. (Do not “pick sides” or express opinion. That comes later!) Provide full geographical and historical context for the topic. Include events and legislation leading to the current status. Clearly define all key terms and concepts necessary to understand the topic. Explain technical terms and units of measure. Use graphs, pictures, and tables as needed.

Status (a subhead in your report)

Describe the current status of the topic, in detail. Include current developments and existing policy. Identify key decision(s) to be made in the future, with details regarding jurisdiction (who makes the decision), dates and process for making decision (opportunities for input).

Stakeholders (a subhead in your report)

List major stakeholders involved in the topic. (List will include at least 8 stakeholder in total, including at least 3 on each side of your issue.) For each stakeholder, include name, type and size of organization, source of funding, brief description of mission or purpose, location and website. Describe the stakeholder's position related to your Project Topic (support, oppose, etc.) and explain why the stakeholder holds this position.

Related literature and existing approaches (a subhead in your report)

Review and summarize related policy and approaches used in other areas or times to address similar topic. Describe how lessons learned may, or may not, apply to this topic.

Your Section II Research written report should include at least 20 cited references, including two personal interactions.


Submit your Section II Research by the due date promised in your Project Plan and posted on the Course Calendar. Submit your Section I Project Plan by the due date posted on the Course Calendar. To submit, please use the Written Report module in Canvas.


In addition to the Section II requirements above, please be sure to follow the General Guidelines and Formatting Instructions that are applicable to all sections. This includes documentation requirements for your "personal interactions."  If you have questions about how these apply, please ask your Coach before submitting you work.

Completeness (30%)  Work completely and clearly fulfills expectations for Section II Research as detailed above. Material is technically correct. Content is rich and substantive, demonstrating deep understanding of issues, stakeholders and policy context.

Research and Sources (30%)

  • Work is well researched. Referenced sources are current, with strong credibility and clear relevance to subject.
  • List of References includes at least 20 different referenced sources.
  • All sources in List of References are cited. (Absolutely necessary. Uncited references will not be counted.)
  • List of References is properly formatted. (All references are cited in the body of your work.)

Personal Interactions (20%)

  • At least two personal interactions are properly documented in Appendix A.
  • All personal interactions are included in List of References.
  • All personal interactions in Appendix A are cited. (Absolutely necessary. Uncited references will not be counted.)

Quality of Writing, Organization and Presentation (20%)  Writing is clear, professional and well organized. Sentences are well structured, with no spelling or grammatical errors. General Guidelines and Formatting Instructions are followed.