If it is difficult to find information in your document, policy makers will not use it. Practical and Feasible Your memorandum should provide arguments based on what is actually happening in reality. 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.
Here again, your cost-benefit analysis can be essential to validating the practicality and feasibility to your recommendations. Explicit Transparency Provide specific criteria to assess either the success or failure of the policies you are recommending. Do not hide or under-report information that does not support your policy recommendations.
Just as you should note limitations of a research study, a policy memo should describe the weaknesses of your analysis. Be straightforward about it because doing so strengthens your arguments and it will help the reader to assess the overall impact of recommended policy changes. NOTE : Technically, your policy memo could argue for maintaining the status quo. However, the general objective of policy memos is to examine opportunities for change and describe the risks of inaction.
If you choose to argue to maintain the current policy trajectory, be concise in identifying and systematically refuting all relevant policy options. Summarize why the outcomes of maintaining the status quo are preferable to any alterative policy options. Herman, Luciana. Policy Memos.
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John F. Kennedy School of Government. Student Learning Center. University of California, Berkeley; Policy Memo. Thompson Writing Program, Writing Studio. Duke University; Policy Memo Guidelines. Cornell Fellows Program. Cornell University; Memo: Audience and Purpose. Institute for Public Policy Studies. University of Denver; Thrall, A. How to Write a Policy Memo. Electronic Hallway.
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Ten Simple Rules for Writing Research Papers
The contents of a policy memo can be organized in a variety of different ways. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, ]. Both provide useful approaches to writing a policy memo if your professor has not provided you with specific guidance. The tone of your writing should be formal but assertive.
The most important consideration in terms of writing style is professionalism not creativity. Cover Page Provide a complete and informative cover page that includes the title, date, the full names and titles of the writer or writers [i. The title of your memo should be formally written and specific to the policy issue [e. For longer memos, consider including an executive summary that highlights key findings and recommendations.
Introduction and Problem Definition A policy memorandum should begin with a short summary introduction that defines the policy problem and explains what issues it covers. Summarize your main points in a few sentences then conclude with a description of how the remainder of the memo is organized. Methods This is usually where other research done on the issue is noted. Describe how you planned to identify and locate the information on which your policy memo is based.
This may include peer-reviewed journals and books as well as possible professionals you interviewed, databases and websites you explored, or legislative histories or relevant case law that you used. Remember this is not intended to be a thorough literature review; only choose sources that persuasively support your position. This is followed by a description of how your analysis contributes to the current policy debate.
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. 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. Proposed Solutions Write a brief review of the specific solutions you evaluated, noting the criteria by which you examined and compared different proposed policy alternatives. Identify the stakeholders impacted by the proposed solutions and describe in what ways the stakeholders benefit from your proposed solution.
Focus on identifying solutions that have not been proposed elsewhere or offering a contrarian viewpoint that challenges the reader to take into account a new perspective on the problem. Note that your solutions can be radical but they must be realistic and politically feasible. Strategic Recommendations Solutions are just opinions until you provide a path that delineates how to get from where you are to where you want to go. Describe what you believe are the best recommended courses of action ["action items"] in addressing the policy issue.
In writing this section, state the broad approach to be taken, with specific practical steps or measures that should be implemented. Be sure to also state by whom and within what time frame these actions should be taken.
Conclude by highlighting the consequences of maintaining the status quo. Alphabetical subject index. Grammar clinic. English language practice pages. Slow loading.
A Pilot Study
When it comes to writing a learning how to do a research paper, there are no quick fixes, or fill-in-the-blank templates that will allow you to complete your paper without investing a little time and effort. The key to any research essay is first learning how to effectively manage your time and organize your source material. In the proceeding paragraphs, you will find helpful information on How to Write a Good Research Paper. If you are looking for more detailed guidelines on writing a research paper, be sure to consult the books and manuals recommended further down in the article.
The key to any successful research paper is remembering to start as early as possible. Take advantage of every day that you have available to you to pick your topic if one is not assigned , carry out your research and develop your research paper outline.
Research, Writing, and Style Guides (MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard, CGOS, CBE)
If you are not sure how to start a research paper, ask for guidance or research ideas online. Remember, if you decide to wait until just before the paper is due to get started, you might have difficulty finding research material or you may find that other students have already picked your preferred topic. Not to mention the fact that a looming deadline, and a lack of finished paper, will ultimately result in unneeded stress.
Next you will want to select your topic — unless one has been provided to you. The best course of action is to select a topic that interests you, even if it seems complex or difficult. By choosing to work with a topic that you have a fond or even a small interest in, you are more likely to continue to be motivated to delve deeper into you research and will be able to engage more with your readers; something that is difficult to do when the subject matter is dry or mediocre.
It will help add genuine value to your paper. While reading your writing, readers may often feel if the topic was interesting to you; if it was, that may make the readers more interested and expecting to find something valuable in your paper and thus continue reading. Keep in mind that there will be times when you will be assigned topics that are unfamiliar to you.
In these types of situations it is helpful to read up on the topic.
Journals, encyclopedias, guidebooks and libraries are all excellent resources to find background material on just about every topic out there. Despite the widespread access to information, largely attributed to easy accessibility of the Internet, there are just as many non-credible sources as there are credible. The trick is learning how to differentiate between the two. One such way is to choose to use only verified sources like trade publications, scholarly articles, journals or books from the local library.
After you have concluded and organized your research, it is time to create an outline for research paper. The best way to start your outline is to draft your thesis statement. More often than not, the thesis statement is a single sentence opener — and the most important part of the entire paper. The thesis should present the entire idea of your paper.
It lays the groundwork for everything that follows and presents your argument to the reader. You will want to make sure that it is clear, concise and to the point. Next, you will group your research notes into sections the correlate with the various aspects of your topic or argument. You might rearrange these several times until you find a format that seems the most logical. You will proofread, edit and rewrite later. Right now, your only concern is ensuring that you have found the most logical progressing for your argument and the corresponding supporting material.
If you are satisfied, begin to correct any grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors you find and add text as needed. It might be helpful, at this stage, to have someone else read your paper just to give it a fresh perspective. If you are satisfied, open your word processor to a blank page and type up your final version. You will want to be mindful of any specific spacing or formatting rules in the assignment details and make certain that you are also creating any supplementary pages that might be necessary.
For example, a cover page. Even if it has not been specifically requested, it is in good practice to ALWAYS include a works cited or reference page. This is the point where it is better to be safe than sorry. To write a research paper successfully, first thing you need is to know about the formal requirements and the general approach to academic writing you have to be familiar with. It is recommended to make your statement specific, definitive and clear and avoid using unnecessary informal elements.
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