Policy Research Paper

Policy Research Paper-26
A well-written policy memo reflects attention to the research problem.

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A policy memo is not an argumentative debate paper.

The reader should expect your recommendations to be based upon evidence that the problem exists and of the consequences [both good and bad] of adopting particular policy alternatives.

As much as possible, this criteria should be derived from your cost/benefit analysis. This is usually where other research about the problem or issue of concern is summarized.

Do not hide or under-report information that does not support your policy recommendations. Describe how you plan to identify and locate the information on which your policy memo is based.

Always keep in mind that a policy memorandum is a tool for decision-making.

Keep it professional and avoid hyperbole that could undermine the credibility of your document.

A policy memo is a practical and professionally written document that can vary in length from one page to over one hundred pages.

It provides analysis and/or recommendations directed to a predetermined audience regarding a specific situation or topic.

Your memorandum should provide a set of actions based on what is actually happening in reality. For longer memos, consider including a brief executive summary that A policy memorandum should begin with a short summary introduction that defines the policy problem, provides important contextual background information, and explains what issues the memo covers.

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. Purdue University; Policy Memo Requirements and Guidelines, 2012-2013 edition. This is followed by a short justification for writing the memo, why a decision needs to be made [answering the “So What?


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