Writing for a Policy Audience

Professor: Jackson
Units: 0.5
Elective Course
Concentration: Policy Analysis

Writing for a policy audience requires different skills and approaches than academic writing. To inform and persuade a policymaker, writing must be clear, concise, well-organized, and impactful – usually on a tight timeline.

This course introduces basic principles of communicating effectively with policymakers, various structures and requirements of a range of written policy products (e.g., policy memoranda, white papers, talking points, meeting summaries, read-aheads, effective emails) that might be used in organizations such as the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of State, the National Security Council, or Capitol Hill, and how to avoid common policy writing pitfalls.

In this one-week course, participants will learn to produce a range of written products under time and resource constraints, including how to effectively formulate recommendations tailored to policy audiences, to simulate common circumstances in policy environments.