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The following resources are available to help assist students with their communications goals.

Writing consultants are available to the HKS community to offer a variety of services from assisting students with policy memos, case analyses and other class assignments to helping seasoned writers polish drafts for publication. For more details or to make an appointment, see the Details & Appointments section below.

A collection of writing, public speaking and digital communications resources curated from HKS communications program faculty, HKS workshop presenters, universities, and communications practitioners can be found below.

Writing Consultants

Details & Appointments

During the academic year, writing consultants offer a variety of services to the HKS community.  

These free private one-on-one sessions can help you:

  • with assignments such as policy memos, case analyses, and other class projects
  • self-edit for clarity, concision, and style
  • structure an argument to present your ideas effectively to different audiences
  • find appropriate resources on citation (MLA, Chicago, etc.)

Regarding appointments, keep in mind:

  • Last-minute appointments are often not possible, although the consultants try to be flexible. Try to make an appointment well before an assignment is due.
  • Writing consultants are not copy editors nor proofreaders. They will work with you to improve style, structure, argumentation, citations, use of data and grammar.
  • The consultants are willing to help international students with English grammar on a limited basis, but they are not ESL instructors.

For appointments, please email the consultant directly.

Writing Consultants:

Jerry Lanson

Jerry Lanson is a former HKS Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy where he taught "Feature Writing for Politics and Policy." Jerry was an associate professor of journalism at Emerson College and was a former acting and deputy city editor a the San Jose Mercury News.

Jerry will be available Tuesdays from 3:00pm to 5:00pm and Fridays, 10:00am to 12:00pm. An alternative time can also be set up by appointment.  To schedule an appointment with Jerry sign-up here.  He can also be reached at gerald_lanson@hks.harvard.edu, or by calling 781-799-7465.   

Morgan McVicar

Morgan McVicar is a HKS alum.  He has worked as a reporter and essayist at the Sunday Times of London and the Providence Journal, where he won nearly a dozen national and regional writing awards. 

To schedule a consultation with Morgan, email morgan_mcvicar@hks.harvard.edu.

Writing Resources

Writing About Data

Making Data Meaningful | UN Economic Commission for Europe

Policy Memo Writing
Group Writing
PAE, SYPA, Exec. Summaries, White Papers & Briefing Books
Citations and HKS Academic Code

Harvard Kennedy School has published very clear guidelines regarding the need to cite words and ideas you have borrowed from other sources.  Please review the HKS Academic Code for information regarding citations.

The Harvard Kennedy School Library's Citation Style Guide & Tools links to resources including the American Psychological Association (APA) format, and information for citing web resources.

Public Speaking Resources

Crisis Communications
Media Training

Digital Communications & Social Media Resources

ESL Resources

ESL Services Available

The Communications Program is not designed to replace English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, but if in-depth assistance is desired, there are several kinds of services available nearby:

Academic Resource Center (ARC) at Harvard University - ESL Consultations

The Cambridge Center for Adult Education on Brattle Street offers short, intense ESL assistance.

These websites also contain useful ESL resources:

EdX Course - English Grammar and Style
Improve your English grammar, essay and persuasive writing with this introductory college writing course.

Purdue University: ESL-specific exercises

University of Richmond Writing Center.

UMass-Boston open courseware course for free on Critical Reading and Writing.

MIT open courseware course for free on Writing and Reading the Essay.

Utah State online academic writing course.