Policy Research Paper

Your memo should have a straightforward, explicit organizational structure that provides well-explained arguments arranged within a logical sequence of reasoning [think in terms of an if/then logic model--if this policy recommendation, then this action; if this benefit, then this potential cost; if this group is allocated resources, then who may be excluded].The visual impact of your memo affects the reader’s ability to grasp your ideas quickly and easily. The contents of a policy memo can be organized in a variety of ways. Both provide useful approaches to writing a policy memo should your professor not provide you with specific guidance.The presentation and content of the memo should be polished, easy to understand, and free of jargon.

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Keep it professional and avoid hyperbole that could undermine the credibility of your document.Summarize why the outcomes of maintaining the status quo are preferable to any alterative policy options. It is important to demonstrate that the policy issue may be more complex than a basic pro versus con debate.Very few public policy debates can be reduced to this type of rhetorical dichotomy.As much as possible, this criteria should be derived from your cost/benefit analysis. This is usually where other research about the problem or issue of concern is summarized.Do not hide or under-report information that does not support your policy recommendations. Describe how you plan to identify and locate the information on which your policy memo is based.Your memorandum should provide a set of actions based on what is actually happening in reality. For longer memos, consider including a brief executive summary that A policy memorandum should begin with a short summary introduction that defines the policy problem, provides important contextual background information, and explains what issues the memo covers.The purpose is never to base your policy recommendations on future scenarios that are unlikely to occur or that do not appear realistic to your targeted readers. Purdue University; Policy Memo Requirements and Guidelines, 2012-2013 edition. This is followed by a short justification for writing the memo, why a decision needs to be made [answering the “So What?To address this, policy memos should include a clear cost-benefit analysis that considers anticipated outcomes, the potential impact on stakeholder groups you have identified, clear and quantifiable performance goals, and how success is to be measured.A policy memo requires clear and simple language that avoids unnecessary jargon and concepts of an academic discipline. Use one paragraph to develop one idea or argument and make that idea or argument explicit within the first one or two sentences.Be sure your analysis is thorough and takes into account all factors that may influence possible strategies that could advance a recommended set of solutions.Write a brief review of the specific solutions you evaluated, noting the criteria by which you examined and compared different proposed policy alternatives.


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