Administrative Agencies, Rulemaking, and the Administrative Procedure Act

Administrative Agencies, Rulemaking, and the Administrative Procedure Act

Perhaps the most important part of any research project is the research question. Without an effective research question, it is difficult to know what you are trying to accomplish and why. In this week’s Learning Resources, you explored the elements of effective research questions, as well as the different types of evaluation designs, and how these designs act as “maps” to guide you through a research project. You will apply this information to developing a research question and select an appropriate evaluation design for your Final Project.

For this Discussion, review the Learning Resources for this week. Consider an organization that you work for or are familiar with. You may use an organization from the Virtual Community if you wish. For that organization, think about a problem or a program that would most benefit from research and evaluation. The problem or program may be the same one that you used in the Week 1 Discussion. What question would you want to answer with your research? What type of evaluation design would be most appropriate to answer this research question?

Considering the specific program, problem, or policy you want to address, think about what type of research question and evaluation design would work best in this situation.


  • Johnson, G. (2014). Research methods for public administrators (3rd ed.). Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.
    • Chapter 3, “What is the Question?” (pp. 34–47)
    • Chapter 4, “Identifying Measures and Measurement Strategy” (pp. 48–63)
    • Chapter 5, “Designs for Research: The Xs and Os Framework” (pp. 64–83)
    • Chapter 6, “Other Research Approaches” (pp. 84–96)
  • StatPac. (2009). Qualities of a good question. Retrieved from

Optional Resources


Media Links to Support Virtual Community Stakeholders:

The links below help provide more information about various stakeholders and organizations, and data about some of the issues they need to address.

APA citation 200-300 words

Question 2:

Administrative agencies, such as the Department of Justice, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, engage in the rulemaking process to carry out legislation (i.e., statutes) related to their area of expertise. For instance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was charged with creating rules to carry out the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990. The rules created by administrative agencies may implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy, depending on the level of detail provided in the statute. For example, in some instances, there is very little detail in the statute as to how it should be carried out. In such instances, agencies must interpret and “flesh out” the statute and then create and implement rules related to the statute. The rulemaking process is guided by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). There are three core elements of the APA model—information, participation, and accountability—that guide the rulemaking process. However, it is important to note that there are no standard set of procedures appropriate in all occurrences of rulemaking.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapter 1 of the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy. Focus on how rules influence law and policy. Also consider the functions of rules.
  • Review Chapter 2 of the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy. Pay attention to the elements (e.g. information, participation, and accountability) of rulemaking, as defined by the APA.
  • Review the article, “Rulemaking without Rules: An Empirical Study of Direct Final Rulemaking.” Consider the role of administrative agencies and the rulemaking element, participation.
  • Using the Internet, select and research an administrative agency and a recent policy for which the agency created and executed rules (i.e. Environmental Protection Agency and the Toxic Substances Control Act).
  • Consider one rule the agency you selected created and executed or might create and execute based on the policy you selected.
  • Reflect on how the agency executed the rule or might execute the rule, using the elements of the APA model.

The assignment (1–2 pages):

  • Briefly explain the role of administrative agencies in the formation and execution of laws and public policy.
  • Briefly describe the administrative agency and policy you selected.
  • Explain one rule the agency created and executed or might create and execute based on the policy. In your explanation, be sure to indicate how the rule supports the policy. Be specific.
  • Explain how the agency executed the rule or might execute the rule, using elements from the APA model. Be secific and use examples to support your explanation.

1 page APA citation





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