Policy Writing

For all those students in Policy Analysis looking for help on their policy memos and other related work, it can often be difficult to know where to start. So many policies, so little time!

It is important to remember that many students will go on to use these first pieces of their work here at MIIS as writing samples for their job and internship applications. There are a good brief overview of a person’s ability to communicate a single idea in a concise, yet clear manner.

As a fellow IPS-er. I’ve been there. And while I can’t tell you what to write about or how exactly to convey your message, I do want to give some advice.

First off, remember that this is one of the first pieces of work which demonstrates your abilities and your own personal interests. So choose a policy that intrigues you and is relevant to the direction that you would like to pursue for your career. Papers will always be better if you are invested in the subject matter. And this is your chance to choose that material, so take it!

Secondly, make sure your language is clear and concise. With only two pages to deliver a whole lot of information, it is critical that each and every word is carefully selected. You want to make sure that your audience understands and is not left with any additional questions.

And finally, visit the Graduate Writing Center! Even if you have no clue where to begin, the tutors here can help you develop your ideas and get you started.

Additionally, I’ve included a worksheet that I found online to help structure your thought process. Remember, that the internet is filled with helpful advice on writing policy memos and recommendations, so don’t be afraid to Google in order to jump start your own writing.


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