GUIDELINES FOR THE PREPARATION OF POLICY MEMOS The audience for these policy memoranda are people higher

on the organizational chart: the governor, the state planning director, the mayor, your boss. You are to assume the person you're writing to is generally intelligent, though not necessarily well-versed in the particular subject you're writing about, nor highly interested in it. The memoranda are intended to educate and inform decision-makers about alternative courses of action. They should be brief, succinct, and useful: they should have analytical value for the decision-makers (help guide them in their decisions). In general, policy memoranda should do the following: 1. Begin by presenting a brief review of the current situation, what the issue is, what important points might be, and the reason for the memo. 2. Present a synthetic statement about the research that forms the basis of the memo. It is imperative that as part of the exercise you state your opinion: do you agree or disagree with the material that forms the basis of your research—and explain your position. 3. Finally, offer some general recommendations about the adoption of policy alternatives—what should be done, how, why, under what conditions, etc. Procedural requirements for memoranda are as follows: 1. They are short generally in the range of two to three pages. 2. They must be typed, preferably double-spaced. 3. They cite sources appropriately, in either a footnote, endnote, or author-date format. 4. They are generally set up as follows, from the top of the page: To: (who it is going to, your audience) From: (your name) (you would initial here if sending hardcopy) Date: Subject: (a brief one or two lines stating of the subject of the memo) Below a break line, typically, in the body of the text, the first paragraph generally previews the context and structure of the memo. Then you have actual text, running from a paragraph to several pages. Finally it ends with a summary paragraph, reviewing what you've just said in detail. The use of headings and subheadings can facilitate the reader's comprehension, as can appropriate (as opposed to excessive) use of bullets, bolding, italics, underlining, etc. Remember: succinct and useful.

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