HLTB41H3, Introduction to the Social Determinants of Health, Fall 2019
Assignment 2 Instructions
Assignment title: Analytical Paper
Worth: 20% of your total grade
Due date: 11:59 PM on Friday, November 15th 2019 via Quercus
Purpose: This assignment is designed to build on the annotated bibliography and
allows students to further develop their research, synthesis, critical
writing and thinking skills. The primary purpose of this assignment is to
critically reflect on the chosen topic from a social determinants of
health perspective using course concepts, other literature and evidence
to support arguments related to the issue. Secondly, students show
apply feedback received on the annotated bibliography and
demonstrate their critical thinking and writing skills by invoking the
models of health, paradigms, theoretical perspectives that are used to
frame the issue, and provide two policy suggestions and/or at the local
or broader level.
Learning objectives addressed:
Course syllabus (pg. 2): Upon completion of this course students will: to
apply this knowledge in the context of the chosen topic through an
annotated bibliography and further synthesize the evidence for an
analytical paper, which requires the application of research skills and
critical thinking about the determinants of health and future course of
Instructions: Write an analytical paper on your chosen topic area that achieves the
Focus: Your analytical paper will describe the issue; critically discuss and
evaluate the evidence on two to three social determinants of health
that influence the issue; present and defend (with evidence and
examples from the literature) your position on the matter and suggest
two policy actions.
1. APA formatted title page with running header.
Title page: A title page in APA format should include the following:
Your full name (as it appears on Acorn)
• Course code, title of the course, Instructor’s name
• Due date of the assignment
• Title and/or the chosen topic area of your assignment in a running header
• Thesis statement
• Page numbers (included in the running header)
• Visit this link for running header assistance:
2. Content of the analytical paper
A. Brief introduction: 1/3 page
1. Describe the issue by providing a discussion on the burden of the issue on a given population, where
is the issue prominent, whether it is a recent issue or not, and why is it important (who, what, when,
when, where, how, and why)..
2. Contextualize the issue; provide detail on what has been the trend over time by using region specific
data and statistics. In other words, use evidence (i.e. statistics, examples) that will help support your
claim on the impact of the issue on population health.
3. Provide a clear thesis statement, or the main argument as to why this issue needs to be considered
B. Evidence on relevant determinants of health related to the chosen topic: 3 pages
1. Describe and analyze at least two (maximum three) social determinants of health that contribute to
the issue. Hint: What are the root causes?
2. For each determinant, contextualize and describe how broader social, political, economic,
environmental, and cultural factors influence the issue. This should all be linked to the health issue.
Refer to the Birn and Pelay Framework to understand how the causes of the causes of the causes impact
health and wellbeing at the individual level.
3. For each determinant, use examples from other geographic regions, countries, and populations to
describe the issue and how it impacts your chosen population. Are there any success or failures stories
in other regions and among other populations that can strengthen your argument? Use examples from
other countries that have dealt or are currently going through similar challenges. This is to help provide
a comparative lens in terms of how the issue is dealt with in another region.
4. For each determinant, provide evidence of what actions local, provincial, national, and/or federal
governments have taken or have not taken on the issue. Use other reputable sources (e.g., WHO
Bulletin, CDC, PHAC, Health Canada, Statistics Canada, Toronto Public Health, Public Health Ontario,
5. For each determinant, use the evidence from peer-reviewed articles and reputable other sources to
support your own critical reflection and perspective. For example, what models of health, paradigms,
theoretical perspectives have been used to address issue? What are some gaps in how the issue has
been conceptualized and understood? Throughout your discussion, you will need to offer a critical
perspective on the issue based on the evidence you have collected.
Hint: Be strategic! You can spend 1 page per determinant if you want to focus on 3 determinants or 1.5
pages per determinant if you want to focus on 2 determinants. As long as you have packaged a
convincing case for each determinant of health and provided a clear linkage between the determinant
and the issue, a review of the evidence on the determinant and underlying broader causes, and
examples of how this issue may have been tackled (or not) in other regions, and finally, provide your
critical analysis of the issue. You will form this framing once you have had a comprehensive
understanding of the issue.
C. Fishbone Conceptual framework: Shown as an appendix at the end of your assignment
1. Provide a conceptual framework that contextualizes the root causes of your chosen topic. Refer to
your framework when you are describing the determinants of health.
2. You can use information from existing frameworks to guide your approach and demonstrate what you
have learned about your chosen topic. In your framework, you can identify as many root causes and
determinants to that are relevant for your topic. However, your focus in Section B of the assignment is
on 2-3 determinants.
D. Policy Recommendations: ½ page
1. Provide two policy suggestions that may help to address the issue. The policy suggestions can be
implemented at the local, provincial or national level depending on the scope, geography, and focus of
your topic. Your policy suggestions will need to address the issue and challenges you have identified in
2. You may use successful policy solutions that have either been planned or implemented in other
regions for your topic, but provide rationale as to why you are making these suggestions.
E. Conclusion: 1/3 page
1. Provide a brief and concise concluding paragraph that will summarize your key arguments in support
of your thesis statement.
2. The conclusion should convey to the reader that you have developed a sound argument as
demonstrated and provide supportive evidence on the relevant social determinants of health and
potential policy steps to guide future action and change. No new information or idea should be
discussed in your conclusion.
3. Tips for the analytical paper
• Use sub-headings to organize each section of your assignment. Use Subheadings of your choice (e.g.,
Introduction, Evidence on SDOH # 1, Evidence on SDOH #2, Policy Solutions to Address the problem,
Conclusion, etc.) will also help with organization and are recommended but not required.
• Develop your argument with paragraphs that build on and relate to one another in support of your
thesis statement. Ideally, the concluding sentence of each paragraph alludes to what will be discussed
in the next paragraph.
• Display critical thinking in building your argument. Make sure any conclusions you have drawn are
supported with evidence from your research. You may also integrate the different frameworks and
models of health that we have explored in the course to illustrate your ideas.
4. Technical requirements:
• Length: 4-4.5 pages (maximum), double-spaced, excluding the title page and bibliography.
• APA style and formatting:
• Include in-text references following APA guidelines. At a minimum, there needs to be in-text
references to ALL peer-reviewed journal articles.
• Additional references are allowed and strongly encouraged. For every source listed in your
bibliography, there should be at least one in-text reference within your document.
• A minimum of 10 from peer-reviewed journals
• A maximum of 5 from other reputable sources
• Properly formatted APA bibliography.
• Font: Times New Roman
• Font size: 12
• Spacing: Double-spaced (entire document)
• Hanging indents (bibliography)
• 1-inch (2.54 cm) margins
• Please avoid direct quotes, paraphrase.
• Your assignment must be in Microsoft word format, NOT pages, or PDF.
• All assignments will be due on Friday November 15th, 2019 at 11:59 PM via the link available on
Quercus under Assignments -> Analytical Paper.
• All assignments will automatically be reviewed by Turnitin.
• As per the syllabus: Assignments submitted after 11:59 PM on the due date (without a
preapproved extension) will be considered late, and docked five percent (5%) for every day they
are submitted late up to 1 week (7 days). After this point, they will receive an automatic zero.
• We will use some tutorial #5 (after reading week) and some lecture time before the
assignment deadline to review the requirements and expectation of the assignment.
Attendance is strongly encouraged!
• Office hours: Please see the announcement on Quercus to see our times leading up to the
assignment due date. The teaching team is here to assist you!
• An Assignment thread has been created on the Discussion Board on Quercus. Please post all
questions on the DB and they will be answered within 24-48 hours. Please do not email us!
This will be the most efficient use of all of our time, ensure timely answers to your questions,
and allow everyone to benefit. Thank you!
Before you submit your assignment to Quercus, please make sure it meets all of the following
¨ Written in proper formal format (no point form permitted), and includes: a title page with your
name, student number and the course code; a proper introduction and conclusion; and, a
¨ Does NOT exceed 4.5 pages, double-spaced (excluding the title page and bibliography). It is highly
recommended to not exceed the page-limit for each section.
¨ Times New Roman, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.
¨ Makes effective use of relevant concepts discussed in your chosen article and in related course
readings (including relevant readings from your first assignment).
¨ Makes explicit and appropriate use of specific examples from the articles and the course
readings to illustrate your discussion.
¨ Uses thoughtful and sensitive language: no derogatory or otherwise offensive statements about
people and/or cultural groups. Judgmental or victim-blaming statements must be avoided as
discussed in class.
¨ Remember, this is a critical thinking/reflection assignment! Try to avoid tendencies toward
egocentric and socio-centric arguments. Aim to be thoughtful and reflexive. Don’t take things for
granted, and remember to fill-in-the-dots for the reader so that they can follow your argument.
Aim for clarity and concision.
¨ To do well on the assignment, your reflection MUST be grounded in relevant concepts, evidence,
and arguments presented in the course materials (readings, etc.). You are also required to do
additional research to build your arguments.
¨ Makes use of clear and concise sub-headings to better organize the reflection.
¨ Spelling and grammar check complete! Avoid the first person and writing in the passive voice.
¨ In-text citations and bibliography conform with the APA Style.
¨ Edit your work carefully. Review the comments provided on your first assignment, to help you
avoid losing marks for the same kinds of grammar, punctuation, and style problems. Visit the
UTSC Writing Centre if you need additional assistance.
¨ Working through some of the exercises noted in the readings can help you to develop your
thinking about how we have been learning and reflecting on the social determinants of health in
this course. So, before you begin writing your reflection, we strongly encourage you review
relevant course readings, and think through the corresponding exercises, and most importantly,
think about how we have been contextualizing the social determinants of health. This will not only
help to solidify your thinking for the assignment, it will also help you to be more familiar with the
content for the exams!
¨ Submit your assignment to Quercus on time! As noted in the syllabus, the late penalty is 5% per
day, including weekends, up to a maximum of 7-days after which time you will automatically
receive a grade of zero on the assignment.
MARKING: The grading of this assignment will be based on the following criteria:
1. Quality of Writing: conceptual clarity and consistency; well organized with a logical flow of
ideas; concision; sentence and paragraph structure, good grammar, technical requirements
met, minimal typos, etc.
2. Quality of Content: accurate and concise description and reflection on the social determinants
of health using evidence and examples; evidence of deep thought and critical engagement with
(and grounding in) relevant course materials; correct and appropriate use of relevant concepts.
3. Appropriate & Effective Use of Illustrative Examples: accurate and persuasive use of examples to
focus and illustrate the discussion. Examples can be used from any region or population, as long
as the example aligns with the argument you are making in your assignment.
Automatic Review by Turnitin
The position of the University of Toronto on academic dishonesty states: “Normally, students will be
required to submit their course essays to Turnitin.com for a review of textual similarity and detection of
possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be included as source documents in
the Turnitin.com reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting
plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University’s use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the
Turnitin.com web site”. For more information please visit,
In addition to submitting your assignment via Quercus, your assignment will be reviewed by Turnitin.
The Instructor’s approach to using Turnitin.com: Turnitin.com can help students improve the quality of
their research and writing. To this end, a week prior to the assignment due date, students will be
permitted to upload a draft copy of their assignment on Quercus, and an originality score will be
provided immediately, so that they can view their originality score before final submission. As a general
rule of thumb, the lower the paper’s “originality score” the better.