Spring 2022 - 59210 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy


Learning Objectives

This section of PA 388K will introduce the student to communication in a policy context. Though policy can be communicated in any number of ways, we will primarily concentrate on writing and oral presentations. The student will become familiar with the basic types of written policy projects and will consider the impact that policy reports have had (or have failed to have) by reading influential or important policy reports. 


Course Overview

The class turns on the notion of a tight relationship between writing and argument: it presumes that clear thinking begets clear writing and vice versa. Though a skills-based course, students will have the opportunity to investigate subject areas of their choice through the selection of their writing assignments. The class will also introduce content in the form of a series of policy papers that have been influential in the recent past (broadly understood) of the United States. Students will be encouraged to read these important works for ideas about what makes them effective vehicles for the ideas they convey, and to consider the relationship between presentation and the merit of a policy proposal.

Assignments will be standard written policy deliverables: an op-ed, a policy memo, a policy brief, as well as spontaneous writing assignments. Students will also give two oral presentations. They will be introduced to writing best-practices by participating in topic selection conferences, frequent peer-review and many opportunities for rewriting. At the end of the semester, students will present an oral presentation summarizing their policy briefs.

Instruction Mode