Pick one

Policy Memo Guidelines:

Your memos must be concise and directed to the target audience. Your memo needs to be structured based on the template below. Your language needs to be concise when writing the policy memo since you are trying to relay specific policies in a brief manner.


To whom you are addressing the policy memo, from whom, date, and the topic/issue area of the memo need to be included as the header.
Executive Summer (half-page)
Provide a short summary of the problem/issue area (e.g deforestation in Brazil) you are covering and your findings/recommendations
Background (half page)
Elaborate on the issue being covered. If deforestation in Brazil is your issue area, you will provide a short background on the current state of deforestation policy (or lack thereof).
Secondly, you will describe policy loopholes or concerns that are not addressed effectively by the current policies.
For this section, it is a great idea to provide quantitative data. For example, what is the situation of deforestation in Brazil? What is the current factor motivating deforestation? Is deforestation impacting indigenous groups?
Policy Recommendations (one and a half pages)
Based on the loopholes or concerns addressed in the background section, what policies would you propose for decreasing deforestation in Brazil?
How did you decide on the policy recommendations? What is the rationale behind these propositions? Each policy recommendation needs to be followed by a statement of rationale on why you are proposing it.
Policy recommendations should be realistic in their goals and feasible for the country you are assigned.
Major Obstacles/Challenges to Implementation (half a page)
In this section, highlight possible obstacles or challenges that the government might face when implementing your proposed policies.
These obstacles could be budgetary constraints, political opposition, or social/cultural forces.
This page is separate and does not count towards wordcount or page count.
At least 5 sources need to be used. All the sources should be government agency websites or those of international non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations or Amnesty International.
Journal articles can be used as a source; so can the following magazines/news portals: Foreign Policy, Newsweek, and Time.
Lack of a reference page will result in a ZERO for the assignment.
The memo must be:

Times New Roman font
Size 12 font
1-inch Margins on all sides
Chicago or APA citation format.
There are no exceptions regarding these specifications.


Students need to consult the ministries or other governmental agencies related to the issue area of the country they are assigned. The UN, IMF, and World Bank websites are also excellent sources.


If interested, refer to the following websites for consultation but do keep in mind that the policy memo guidelines presented in this syllabus is the structure that you should follow when writing the policy memo.


Duke University: https://twp.duke.edu/sites/twp.duke.edu/files/file-attachments/policy-memo.original.pdf
MIT: https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/36824/11-479Spring-2004/NR/rdonlyres/Urban-Studies-and-Planning/11-479Spring-2004/9CE4ACA2-EC3D-4C1D-91CC-27971E27DCF5/0/pmwriting.pdf
Harvard University: https://shorensteincenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HO_Herman_Policy-Memos_9_24_12.pdf