Policy Brief

– Avoid general topics
– Watch the Lecture Video. My professor provided instructions on how to write a policy brief and what is recommended.
– I will provide a policy brief template link.
– The reference citations may be font 8 or less.

Instructions are down below and is in a pdf:

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Policy Brief: Part 2

Draft Policy Brief

What is a policy brief?

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.

Students will be writing a health-related topic that you consider important to address in California (local, city, county, or ­state-level) is fine. It is recommended that you avoid a general topic (e.g. obesity) and instead focus it on a particular issue within the topic (e.g. Increasing physical education funding for K-12 programs).

What assumptions should be made about your readers?

Your readers are policymakers or general lay audience, who may need to make a decision about the policy.  Assume the audience does not have detailed knowledge about the policy.  Assume that the policy-makers are busy, and need to quickly understand your arguments.

Your readers 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.

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What should be included in a policy brief?

In professional practice, policy brief formats vary. For this class, your policy brief should include:

A title that clearly communicates your topic or your position.
A brief introductory paragraph or summary/executive statement that introduces and summarizes your argument.
A brief introduction with description of the problem that the policy should be addressing, including its scope and magnitude.
A brief critique or description of the issue current or recommended policy, overviewing key elements of how it works and any aspects(s) of the policy’s history relevant to your analysis. Presentation of at least two of the policy’s strengths and two of the policy’s weaknesses.
Presentation of Implications and specific, actionable recommendations for strengthening the policy that you want policymakers to adopt. These recommendations should logically flow from your analysis.
A clear and succinct

How long should a policy brief be?

For this class, your brief should be no more than 2 digital single-spaced pages (or one printed page front and back). You need to make sure to address and discuss all points necessary to educate and persuade your policymaker readers, but should be mindful to avoid any extraneous language or information not directly relevant to your analysis.

How should a policy brief be formatted?

Everything about a policy brief should be designed with the reader (a policy decision-maker) in mind.  The format should be professional, and it should look and be easy to read.  You may use single column, two-column or triple column format. It is recommended to use charts, tables, images when possible to make the layout visually appealing.

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

No APA cover page, nor running heads, are needed.

What kind of title should a policy brief have?

The title is important and should clearly communicate what your brief is about.  It can be descriptive (“Water quality in Central Valley of California”) or it can sum up your overall argument (“Decreasing CalFresh Benefits Doesn’t Fix Food Insecurity in California”)

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What kind of writing is used in a policy brief?

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 reader through your brief.

Use specific headings to tell your story, to communicate your take-home message, and to entice your audience to read further.

How much evidence is necessary and how should it be cited?

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 analysis 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 requirements at the end of your brief.

References may be added as a small box at the corner of the policy brief in size 8 font.  For more information on 

Attachment : PH 103 – Policy Brief Part 2 Instructions S2021

Policy Brief Part 1 (1)

PH 103 Policy Brief Final Version Student Example

PH 103 Policy Brief Template





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