Demonstrate that you have a basic understanding of the principles of public policy briefings. Use the week’s readings and video about writing a public policy brief as your references for this assignment.
The principles of public policy briefings
Write a 3–5 page policy brief in which you will:
Demonstrate that you have a basic understanding of the principles of public policy briefings.
Use the week’s readings and video about writing a public policy brief as your references for this assignment.
Use the structural elements of policy writing to compose a 3–5 page policy brief that applies to a local, state, or federal issue.
Gun violence is on the minds of many Americans. Using the key structural elements (for example, background checks are needed), encourage politicians to work with interests group to formulate the language and set the agenda.
Then mobilize support in and outside Congress to advocate for tougher background check requirements. Next, propose the policy options stage and find a government agency (Department of Justice) to implement new rules for background checks, evaluating the effectiveness of the new policy and suggesting improvements if necessary.
Your assignment must follow these content and formatting requirements:
Integrate policy concepts to demonstrate your analytical insights from the readings and your own research with evidence to support remarks about policy issues and problems.
Demonstrate full understanding of the public policy concepts and show that your application is relevant and aligns to the learning outcomes.
Develop your brief in a cohesive manner, with a logical flow of public policy information from one topic to the next; ensure evidence from resources support your ideas and topics.
Ensure your writing demonstrates an understanding of the relationship among materials regarding public policy obtained from all sources.
Develop a brief that shows focus on the topic, and create a thoughtful presentation using the thesis statement to provide the focus of the paper with enough scope for in-depth discussion of the public policy concepts and application.
Ensure the thesis statement indicates the position taken by the author in the paper, and there is strong evidence to support the public policy position.
Developed a brief that shows expert use of the examples for public policy writing.
This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Appropriately incorporate at least two quality sources. A quality source can be either grey literature, such as a news article, or scholarly, such as peer reviewed/professional industry references. In the case of public administration, government or nonprofit websites are appropriate quality resources
Policy briefs are a key tool to present research and recommendations to a non-specialized audience. They serve as a vehicle for providing evidence-based policy advice to help readers make informed decisions.
A strong policy brief distills research findings in plain language and draws clear links to policy initiatives. The best policy briefs are clear and concise stand-alone documents that focus on a single topic.
Take a look at policy briefs in IDRC’s digital library
Planning your policy brief
Purpose, audience, content, and structure are the vital elements of an influential policy brief.
Policy brief template
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing policy briefs because the topic and audience will shape each one. However, effective policy briefs tend to contain the same key elements and therefore have similar structures: an executive summary, an introduction, an overview of the research or problem, an examination of the findings, and a concluding section that explains the policy recommendations and implications of the research.
Review the elements of an effective structure (in detail below) before writing your policy brief. Examples drawn from IDRC’s GrOW policy briefs are included throughout to help you gain a better understanding of layout and the content requirements of each section.
Designing your policy brief
A policy brief should be convincing and interesting to read. The design and presentation of your brief are important considerations and can help keep the reader engaged. Use compelling titles and headings, sidebars featuring interesting details, bulleted lists to summarize your points, and graphics such as charts and images.
Revising your policy brief
Once the policy brief has been drafted, reflect once again on its purpose, audience, content, and structure. Will your brief help to achieve your goals? Test it by trying to explain it in a twenty-second elevator pitch and assessing what information stands out. Revise the brief to make it as user-friendly as possible by removing jargon and statistics that make it less approachable. Ask a colleague with no prior knowledge of the issue to read the brief and provide feedback. What points do they draw from it, and do they match your intentions?
Using your policy brief
A good policy brief can play double duty by standing on its own or as an effective accompaniment to a presentation. Tailor any accompanying visual presentation to your brief by focusing only on the key points and answering important questions. Your audience can refer to the document when needed, so avoid repeating all of the brief’s text in your presentation. When distributing your policy brief, it is often a good idea to develop a short question-and-answer package and a section for further reading.
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