Policy Brief Format
Research Paper (Policy Brief Format) – The full policy brief is due in Week 8. You are building it out in parts.
Congratulations! You have been appointed by the President as the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
Samantha Power is the current US Ambassador to the UN. You may google her to understand some of the duties that she has as Ambassador if it will help you in assuming the role.
As part of your duties, you have been asked to write a policy brief [on the]relative merits of two countries (China & Japan) that have been nominated to fill a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council and specifying which of the two you believe is the best choice for the position.
In your role as Ambassador, you’re going to need to write a policy brief supporting two candidates to fill a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. You should look up the Human Rights Council to see what it’s about and who these candidates might be. You’ll notice that there are 47 states and that members serve in three-year terms. They can have two consecutive terms but then they have to sit out. Obviously, the United States wants to have members from regions that are of interest to the US – and also states that will be helpful to the US as well as the Human Rights Council. You’d need to do some research to see who the members are and the regions that they are in. Here’s a link that takes you to that research (to be done in Week Two when you chose your two countries): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/Membership.aspx
Even better, if you look at the regional memberships, you can see who the current members are (there are 47). http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/MembersByGroup.aspx
Although this paper may differ a bit from a policy brief that you might write if you were a researcher or lobbyist, the assignment will give you important background on how to research and write this format, which is commonly used in government-related positions. You will also be presenting your views in a multimedia format, something that is increasingly expected by employers.
Things to ask yourself in choosing the countries: what does the UN Human Rights Council do? What are some of the issues that countries face if they want to become members? Why are some countries members and some are not?
paper (the policy brief) and the information in the “Sources” section indicate that 10-11 sources are required to achieve full points in that part of the rubric. That means you may have some movement in sources as you continue to research the countries. Also, when you turn in your Annotated Bibliography (AB) assignment, the professor may say, “This is a good source to use; this one is not.” The whole point of presenting an AB before the actual policy brief is to make sure you are on the right track with the types of sources and the depth of research. Your professor’s feedback will help you understand how to refine your ultimate bibliography or references list.
Stage 2: Executive Summary (ES) – due Week 6.
Prepare an executive summary your policy brief. Your executive summary is a one-page statement of the problem, the purpose of your policy brief, and a summary of the results, conclusions and recommendations.
Single-spaced, 12pt. font is okay for this assignment.
Be sure to use subheadings to set off the various parts of the ES. Okay, so in Week 6, you need to present a one-page summary of your policy brief. It has several sections: statement of the problem, the purpose of the brief, summary of the results, conclusions, and recommendations.
Statement of the problem – well what is the problem? Better go to the policy brief instructions (Week 8) to figure out what you’re presenting from all this research? Reading the link “helpful background paper” is crucial. Also, I agree that the background paper link suggests that papers should be professional and not academic, we are in an academic environment so everything you argue in support of your two countries needs to be documented with research.
Stage 3: Multimedia- due Week 7.
Prepare a short multimedia presentation detailing the position you are advocating in your policy brief. If you use PowerPoint, this should be at least five content slides, plus a title slide and a slide listing sources. If you create a video, please keep it under five minutes, as this will make it easier for your classmates to access your file for commenting.
Your multimedia presentation should be posted both in the Assignment Folder and in the Multimedia Discussion Forum. Creativity counts, but accuracy and legibility are at least as important. See the rubric under Course Content for specific details on how these will be graded.
Stage 4: Policy Brief- due Week 8.
-First, read this helpful background paper that explains the nature of a policy brief and how to write one effectively. Please note, however, that this is an academic assignment. While the guidelines in the background paper suggest that most executives and policymakers prefer limited documentation, an academic assignment needs to be fully and accurately cited.
-Papers should include 6-8 pages of content (1750-2500 words). The title, abstract and reference pages do not count toward that total. Okay, so the final paper is 6-8 pages or 1750-2500 words. The first thing I would do is figure out in Word how many pages (for sure) is 2500 words. That document would be my model. Then I’d set it up based on the categories given in the “background paper” – noting also the categories in the Week 6 Executive Summary. The Executive Summary does this all in one page – but then the Week 8 policy brief expands on each of those categories. When you’re finished, the ES sits as the top page of the report, with the Week 8 full brief presented after.
-Papers should be double-spaced, with standard 1-inch margins and a standard 12 point font and there should be no additional spacing between paragraphs. Avoid excessive subheadings.
-You may use either APA or Chicago Turabian, as long as you use parenthetical citation (author year, page #), rather than footnotes. See the sections below for information on source selection, and proper use of materials.