The essence of a policy memo is clear and effective communication about an issue or problem to a decision-maker.
The general structure of a policy memo includes the following, which you will be graded upon for brevity and specificity:
Description and significance of the issue or problem you are examining (10 points possible)
Evidence of the scope of the issue with data and citations (and figures/graphs when applicable) (15 points possible)
Relevant factors contributing to the issue or problem (12 points possible)
Recommendations or conclusions about the issue (12 points possible)
Counter-arguments against your position (12 points possible)
Rebuttal to counter-arguments (12 points possible)
Implementation issues for any recommendations (i.e. political, economic, environmental, technical, etc.). (15 points possible)
References and citations in APA format (12 points possible)
Please remember that each sentence you write should advance your presentation. Writing policy memos will help you focus on being concise and work on effective written communication, much needed in all professions.
Keep in mind the following:
Use clear, direct language and avoid jargon, pompous language, and clichés
Eliminate unnecessary words
Use active voice
Keep sentences short and to the point
Ask yourself what the purpose of each phrase and sentence is. Get rid of it if it does not contribute to your policy brief
Put the major theme at the front of each paragraph and support that theme with data and logic and current trends
Each point should be the focus of a separate paragraph
For further details on writing policy memos, please see Policy Memo Writing Tips
Week 6 Policy Memo should be a memo to your local utility or government on a local energy/environment issue that incorporates at least one of the environment/energy policies discussed in weeks 1-5.
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