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Policy Analysis Memo Assignment | Online Assignment

Your assignment is to write a policy analysis memo to a public official, either at the level of national, state, or local government. It could be addressed to a mayor, a state governor, a federal or state agency head, or President Trump or one of the new Arizona Senators wherein you: 1) clearly and concisely identify a problem that has been recognized by the authorities as a problem of public concern; 2) define alternative solutions to the problem at hand, including potential variants; 3) recommend a preferred course of action, supporting your recommendation with an estimation of expected outcomes and a commentary on the political and economic feasibility of your recommendation;


attach a one-page outline for how you would implement the preferred solution to the problem, as you have defined it

one-page outline of how you would measure success.

The body of your memo is limited to four SINGLE-SPACED pages, and the implementation and evaluation attachments can be no more than one page each [i.e., the total length should max out at six (6) SINGLE SPACED pages, so four pages for the body and one page each for the implementation and evaluation documents].”

Please keep in mind that we take these requirements literally. You should: 1) have an introduction that clearly and straightforwardly defines the problem with something (or, more rarely, the need to stay with the status quo) and then outlines the major points while providing a snapshot of the conclusion; 2) a section that is effectively an extended problem definition; 3) clear identification of alternatives AND the criteria you are using to weigh the alternatives (e.g., efficiency, effectiveness, equity, political feasibility, etc.); 4) clear weighing of the alternatives in terms of the criteria you identify; 5) clearly advocating one of the alternatives and your reasons why; 6) an executive summary that, obviously, summarizes the whole document; and 7) attachments that detail who implements the alternative AND HOW as well as detailing what an evaluation of the policy should consider, when it will occur, who will do it, how the evaluators will know if the policy is successful or not, etc.

We are NOT requiring citations and a reference list, but when identifying information (e.g., a statistic), you should mention in the body of the memo from where the statistic comes and/or the name of the report.

Memo writing is definitely a skill. The writing should be straightforward, non-confusing, and without unnecessary erudition perhaps like this sentence). In terms of spacing, you should single space the entire document and provide an extra space between paragraphs. Please put page numbers in the upper right hand corner of each page. Please use 12 point font.


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