Policy memo | policy analysis | Florida State College at Jacksonville


Write Your Own Policy Document 


Pennock (2019) showed us all about writing for public policy. As we read his book, we explored different elements of public policy writing from audience-centered writing to building evidence-based arguments and cohesive paragraphs. We also explored different public policy writing genres such as issue briefs, policy memos, legislative histories, op-eds, legislative testimonies, and so on. It is now time to apply all this knowledge to write our own policy document. This first Individual Case Study assignment requires you to do just that.

The policy document you will write should be formatted as a policy memo and should present information on a specific policy problem of your choice. The purpose of the document is to inform and provide recommendations for action to a relevant audience of your choice. The details on the formatting and content for the assignment are discussed in the following sections.


To complete the assignment follow the steps: 

  • You should already have read Pennock (2019).
  • Pick a policy problem of interest to you (education, climate change, gun control etc.) Hint: you can get ideas from the policy memos we analyzed in previous assignments or the legislative acts you researched last week.
  • Conduct three research rounds:
    • Research legislative bodies (based on the level of government you choose i.e. federal, state, local) to see what policies have been passed or proposed to address this problem at that level.
    • Research for data and statistics on the problem.
    • Research academic sources such as journal articles that address the problem. Hint: Academic research that treats the problem broadly is okay. It does not have to treat the problem narrowly at the level of government you are focusing on.
  • Save your research and start writing.


Your document must include the following sections:

  • A short executive summary
  • A short background on the policy problem (cite at least 1 source in this section)
  • At least 2 policy options (cite at least 2 sources in this section, one per option)
  • At least 2 policy recommendations (cite at least 2 sources in this section, one per option)
  • Any other element you think is important to include.

Remember your document aims to inform and push for action. Write the document by focusing on a specific audience. Write clearly, concisely, and convincingly.


  • The assignment should be submitted as an attachment. It should be written in Microsoft word, times new roman 12pt, double spaced. The text of the assignment should be no longer than 2 pages. It should also include a third page in which you list your references in APA format.
  • The assignment should follow the policy memo format. Refer to the textbook and the documents posted in previous weeks for guidelines