DPI-820M B: Policy Writing for Decision Makers

Semester: Fall Mod2

Credit: 0.5

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Sushma Raman


Day Time Location
First Day 10/22
Meet Day T/Th 8:40 AM - 10:00 AM T135


This six-week course helps turn you into a strong policy writer -- someone who writes with the ease, confidence, clarity, and modes of persuasion necessary for professional policymaking. Newer policy writers will learn the styles and genres of policy writing, including proposals, position papers, and briefing books, and gain mastery over the short memo style required for most HKS courses. Returning policy writers will find the course a beneficial refresher of the policy writing skills necessary for success in high-level policy making careers. The course presents writing assignments through the lens of case studies that replicate problems you may face as a policy writer and decision maker, with attention to the research methods, modes of analysis, persuasive arguments, recommendations, refutations, and graphic support that turn research and advocacy into action. It will also teach you the strategies, techniques, and production habits of highly skilled writers, and provide an intimate, rigorous, and immersive environment in which to internalize them. The fall modules are especially relevant to newer policy writers who are less familiar with the structure, research methods, and goals of standard policy papers.  The class can be taken alone or together with other writing courses in the DPI series.