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Political Science

Consider using bold or italicized fonts, bullets to identify a list, single or multiple column formats, etc.

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A policy brief is a short document presented to decision-makers providing the most essential information about a policy and presenting specific and detailed recommendations to improve a specific policy. It should be both informative and persuasive.
Your listeners are policymakers who may need to make a decision about the policy. Assume the policymakers do not have detailed knowledge about the policy. Assume that the policymakers are busy and need to quickly understand your arguments. Your listeners do not necessarily share your opinion on the policy, on the policy problem, or even your values. Thus, language that assumes your readers share your worldview should be avoided.
For this assignment, you will 1) submit your Policy Brief and brief Recorded Presentation here to your social studies teacher.
In professional practice, policy brief formats vary. For this class, your policy brief should be organized as follows:
Title
The title of the paper should be clearly indicated.
Policy Area
Clearly identify your policy/social issue
Problem History
Background of the problem
Current status
Problem Definition
Statement of the problem
Identification of the stakeholders/actors involved.
Impact and importance of the problem, both generally and specifically for the organization for whom the paper is being written.
Position Statement
A clear statement, which may be point-form, of the specific positions the NASW is taking on a given issue. A short rationale may be included for each position if this rationale is not clear in the preceding sections.
Recommendations
Description of policy recommendations
Rationale for recommendations
Options for implementation
Once you create your policy brief, you will record a presentation to your elected official. Brief presentations should be approximately 3-5 minutes. IF YOU DONT WANT TO RECORD YOU CAN WRITE IT IN A SEPARATE PAPER. 5 to 6 sentences. You need to make sure to address and discuss all points necessary to educate and persuade your policymaker listeners, but should be mindful to avoid any extraneous language or information not directly relevant to your analysis.
Everything about a policy brief should be designed with the listener (a policy decision-maker) in mind. The format should be professional, and it should look and be easy to read. Your visual aid should not be wordy and crammed with content.
Consider using bold or italicized fonts, bullets to identify a list, single or multiple column formats, etc. The title is important and should clearly communicate what your brief is about. It can be descriptive (“Kinship Care in Texas”) or it can sum up your overall argument (“Expanding SCHIP Doesn’t Fix Real Problems in U.S. Healthcare System”). Your writing should be concise. Jargon should be avoided, as your reader may not be familiar with the terminology used in practice. Write a document that a busy person, who isn’t as familiar with your policy as you are, will understand.
Clearly organize your writing. Make sure that you communicate a clear take-home message to your listener through your brief.
Use specific headings to tell your story, to communicate your take-home message, and to entice your audience to read further. Be creative! All arguments and recommendations should be evidence-based. Relevant evidence (statistics, research findings about the impact of your policy, etc.) and citations must be used to justify your policy analyses and your recommendations.
All words, ideas, data, graphics, etc. that you have learned or gotten from other sources must be cited using either in-text citations or footnotes. All citations must include the author’s name(s) and year, and you must include a complete reference list consistent with APA, 7th edition requirements at the end of your brief.
Your peers will serve as your audience and provide peer-review feedback, ask questions, and critique your presentation. In the next module, you and your peers will be tasked with reviewing each other’s work.
SAMPLE POLICY BRIEFS
Students who are new to this kind of work can benefit greatly from reviewing some solid examples of past policy briefs. The following samples ATTACHED, are available on the Kreitzer (2019) website below, should be used as inspiration for what you might construct for this assignment.

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