Policy Memos

Policy Memos
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:
Descriiption and significance of the issue or problem you are examining (10 points possible)
Evidence of the scope of the issue with figures, data, graphs as applicable (15 points possible)
Relevant factors contributing to the issue or problem (12 points possible)
Recommendations or conclusions about the issue
Counter-arguments against your position
Rebuttal to counter-arguments
Implementation issues for any recommendations economic, environmental, technical, etc..
References and citations in APA format
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
Avoid repetitions
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 some additional details, please see:
Google Scholar for research
*(Note, If you have problems, search the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs Admissions blog for “policy memo writing tips” you will find what you are looking for)
In addition to the above guidelines, I am attaching several documents that you can use as guides to help you including an example and other tips/pointers/resources.
Policy Memo Writing Tips
Writing Reminders
PM Writing
Policy Memo – Example (Follow this structure)
2 pages single spaced for assignment, not including separate reference page – no plagarism
Thank you and let me know if you have any questions!
Happy writing!

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