Writing in Public Affairs

Graduate Student Resource Center

Books and Guides

Books and Guides

Bardach, E. (2000). A practical guide for policy analysis: The eightfold path to more effective problem solving. Chatham House Publishers.

The Center for an Urban Future. (2002). The big idea: A step by step guide to creating effective policy reports. City Limits Community Information Service, Inc.

Dunn, W. (2007). Public policy analysis: An introduction (4th ed). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1994

Smith, C. F. (2005). Writing public policy: A practical guide to communicating in  the policy-making process. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Writing Effective Public Policy Papers: A Guide To Policy Advisers in Central and Eastern Europe [PDF]—A detailed, 100-page guide to writing policy papers in English. Written for non-native speakers of English but still very useful for native English speakers.

Introduction to Policy Writing for Public Policy Professions [PDF]—A resource from The Harris School of the University of Chicago.

The Policy Analysis Exercises: A Writing Guide [PDF]—Written for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Communications program, this 25-page PDF covers organizing your materials, writing a first draft, executive summary, final draft, and charts. Another handout from an instructor of the Harvard Kennedy School, The Craft of Memo Writing [PDF].


Suggestions for Writing Policy Analysis—A one-page list of tips for writing policy documents, from Philip Doty of the University of Texas.

Presentation on Policy Analysis—A brief online presentation on how to write policy analysis, from the Writing Center of American University.

Guidelines for Preparing Briefings—A manual from the RAND Corporation on structuring a presentation and preparing graphics.

This page was created by Andrea Olinger. To suggest a resource or report a broken link, email the GWC at gwc@gsa.asucla.ucla.edu.