I have attached the requirements and instructions on writing a policy memo as well as writing tips


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I have attached everything that is required for this policy memo. Thank you .

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An important skill for professionals in all fields is the ability to concisely summarize complex issues. Urban planners, in particular, are frequently required to conduct research on proposed new policies and/or evaluate lengthy policy reports and present recommendations to their colleagues, supervisors, and/or other decision-makers. After these tasks have been completed, planners are often asked to present their findings in a clear, concise, and short (1-2 page) memorandum. For this assignment, you are required to thoroughly read a policy document and then prepare a memorandum based on hypothetical. 1) The State of the Nation’s Housing, 2016 published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The report is available for free at the following link: 2. State of the Nation’s Housing Hypothetical San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has a multi-pronged agenda that includes, among other issues, housing policy. He is dedicated to identifying and implementing strategies to promote a vibrant housing market for all San Diegans regardless of race, income, household size, and type of housing (rental or ownership). Mayor Faulconer has directed his chief of policy, Mike Hansen, to brief him on current challenges and issues in the national housing market as a way to gain insight into potential programs, policies, trends, and challenges that may impact San Diego. You work for Mr. Hansen as one of his research analysts, and he has given you an evaluation of national housing trends and policies to review and critique entitled The State of the Nation’s Housing 2016. It was prepared by Harvard University’s Joint Center of Housing Studies, which is regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent housing policy institutes. Mr. Hansen plans to use your review of the document in preparation for an upcoming briefing meeting that he has scheduled with Mayor Faulconer to discuss national and local housing issues. Your supervisor, Mr. Hansen, has asked you to prepare a 1-2-page memo that succinctly summarizes the report’s key findings and recommendations. He values your opinions and has asked you for the following: 1) a summary of the issues and trends; 2) identification and evaluation of the key challenges and opportunities; 3) and identification of the most compelling issues to be shared with Mayor Faulconer. As you present the material, make sure to draw connections between national trends and their implications for San Diego. Your memo should include the following: 1) Opening Segment/Statement of Topic: This should include the purpose of the memo and a brief overview of what the memo will contain. You should be explicit: “The purpose of this memo is to. . .” It should also contain a policy statement. Take a position on the issue – what do you think about The State of the Nation’s Housing? Are there any particularly compelling national trends and/or challenges that are of significance, particularly for San Diego? Think of this as your thesis statement. (1 short paragraph) 2) Brief Overview of Issue Area: This is background on the issue you are addressing – what is the main theme of the report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies? Briefly provide the background and state the problem/challenge/opportunity that is addressed in the document. (1 paragraph) 3) Discussion: This is the longest section of the memo. This is where you will provide a concise summary and evaluation of the issues along with identification of the key findings, trends, challenges and opportunities, and recommendations. What are the critical issues? What are the challenges? What are the opportunities? What are the recommendations? Incorporate critical thinking – if you feel strongly that specific issues should be emphasized in Mr. Hansen’s presentation to Mayor Faulconer, this is where you should make your case as supported by the evidence. Present the discussion so that the main points are clearly organized in a useful and easy to follow manner. You may use headings if this helps you effectively convey the information and your argument. It is important, even essential, to strategically include specific facts/data from the report to substantiate your argument and presentation of the material. Be very deliberate in your selection of factual material to incorporate into your memo. (2-3 paragraphs max.) 4) Closing Segment: This is a short segment where you state your main policy recommendations and the ways in which they will benefit your reader (your supervisor, Mr. Hansen). Re-emphasize your thesis and your main position/recommendations. Make sure to connect the findings of the report to San Diego. You do not need to be an expert in San Diego housing policy. Rather, it is up to your informed discretion to identify ways in which the Harvard study’s findings can apply to/inform San Diego housing policy. (1 short paragraph) Formatting the Memo As you prepare your policy memo, be mindful that your objective is to present your ideas in a clear, concise, and logical manner. Your main points should be easily identifiable by the reader. Use facts to support your assertions, but do so in a way that will enhance your memo rather than “clutter” it with too much minutiae. It is acceptable to include tables and charts in a memo, but only do so if they enhance your argument. In the real world you would likely find it necessary to conduct additional research. This is not necessary for this assignment. Memos typically do not contain footnotes or a bibliography, but if you cite a source (in this case the Lincoln Institute report), make sure to reference the source in the text. For example, “In the report, High Speed Rail: International Lessons for US Policy Makers, the authors draw attention to. . .” or “Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies report from 2016 entitled The State of the Nation’s Housing 2013 draws attention to. . .” Format The memo should use the following heading segment: MEMORANDUM TO: (Intended Reader’s Complete Name and Title) FROM: (Your full name, USP 100) DATE: (Current Date – assignment due date should be used) RE: (What the memo is about) The memo should be singled spaced, use 12 point Times Roman font, and have 1-inch margins. The only exception is the formatting of the heading, which should have an extra space in between each line as illustrated above. Separate each paragraph with an extra line and do not indent paragraphs. The memo must not exceed two pages. Memos that exceed the page limit will receive an automatic 2 point deduction. Memorandum TO: USP 100 Students FROM: Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell DATE: April 26, 2017 RE: Memo Writing Guidelines The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with some guidelines for writing effective memos. Included are general guidelines as well as ones specific to writing a policy memo. Writing a professional memo is very different from writing a research paper. Although the details may vary somewhat depending on the memo’s purpose and intended audience, these general guidelines should serve you well in virtually any context. Begin by stating the purpose of your memo. The first sentence should identify the problem you are trying to solve or remind the reader of your assigned task. Effective ways to begin the first sentence include: “The purpose of this memo is…” or “In response to your request, this memo provides recommendations on…” Summarize your conclusions in the introductory paragraph. A memo is not a mystery novel, nor is it a joke—do not wait until the end to deliver the punch line! Since your reader may be too busy to read the entire memo, you must get your main point across immediately. Journalists refer to this style of writing as an “inverted pyramid”—the most important information appears at the top and is followed by less important details, so that the reader can leave the story at any time and still understand the main point. State the basis for your conclusions in the introductory paragraph. Briefly summarize the considerations you took into account or the methodologies you used to arrive at your conclusions. For example, you might explain that your recommendations are “based on analysis of leading theories on education policy as well as empirical evidence on student performance in charter schools.” Begin each subsequent paragraph with a thesis statement. The reader should be able to understand the entire outline of your argument by simply scanning the thesis statement of each paragraph. Ideally, the thesis statement should be concise enough to fit on a single line, or at most two lines. It should be action-oriented and written in an authoritative voice. An example of an effective thesis statement is: “Investing now in infrastructure improvements is desirable for both economic and political reasons.” Support the thesis statement in the body of the paragraph. Supporting information might include more detailed arguments, statistics, citations, and so forth. After writing 1 each paragraph, read it over carefully, asking yourself if every part of that paragraph supports the argument in the first sentence; if not, it does not belong there. Be concise. Flowery language has no place in a professional memo. If you find that a paragraph is taking up half a page or more, it is either not worded concisely enough or it contains multiple ideas that should be split into separate paragraphs. A typical singlespaced memo has five or more paragraphs per page, as this one does. (Professional memos are typically single-spaced) Know your audience. As you write your memo, keep asking yourself what the reader already knows and what additional information they need from you in order to make an informed decision. For example, if you are writing a memo to President Obama about the upcoming expiration of the Bush tax cuts, you can safely assume that he is already familiar with the tax cuts and that a lengthy description is unnecessary. Avoid jargon. Use plain language that an intelligent non-specialist can understand. When using technical language is unavoidable, provide a brief definition. For example, you might say “some health-reform advocates support the creation of a public option—a government- run health insurance agency that would compete with private health insurance companies.” Stay objective. To keep your arguments as objective and unemotional as possible, avoid referring to yourself in the first person (“I believe”, “I think”, “I feel”, etc.) unless absolutely necessary, and if you are the sole author of your memo, definitely avoid the imperial “we”! Use active verbs. The passive voice obscures responsibility for making and acting on recommendations, and often makes writing unnecessarily wordy. Instead of saying “it is recommended that a reduction in U.S. military forces in Afghanistan be taken under consideration,” simply say “consider reducing U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.” (See the earlier point about using an authoritative tone.) Anticipate counterarguments. Presumably your recommendation is not the only potential course of action, so explain why it is preferable to the alternatives. Do not pretend that your recommendation is perfect; acknowledge its imperfections but explain why the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. For example, you might begin a paragraph with: “Opponents argue that a cap-and-trade policy will not reduce carbon emissions significantly; however…” Provide “road signs” as needed. It may be useful to provide brief headers for each of the memo’s main sections, especially if your memo is more than two pages long. A memo on housing policy, for example, might include the header Options for Funding Low-Income Housing Initiatives. Cite your sources. As with any written assignment, you must not claim credit for other people’s original ideas. If your professor provides instructions on how to format citations, follow their instructions. Otherwise, it is typically acceptable to cite sources within the 2 text of a professional memo. For example, you might say, “… as reported in the Congressional Budget Office’s 2010 Budget and Economic Outlook.” Alternatively, if you have a large number of sources, you may put citations in footnotes or endnotes. Never include a “bibliography” or list of references at the end of a professional memo, however. Number your pages. Providing page numbers makes it easier for the reader to refer to the text when responding to your memo with questions and comments. End with a concluding paragraph. Never end a memo abruptly after making a new argument. Finish with a concluding paragraph that briefly summarizes your major points and discusses their significance and implications. You may wish to add a final sentence offering to answer questions or to meet with the reader in person; however, this does not make sense in all contexts (for example, you would not propose a personal meeting with President Obama). Assistance is Available Please visit me during my office hours and/or email me, Josh, Vince or Isabel to discuss any remaining questions you may have about this assignment. POLICY MEMOS Policy memos are not like other academic papers. They should focus on a policy recommendation. In general, they should be organized as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Statement of topic Brief overview of issue area Overview of existing policy(ies) or policy discussions Pros and cons of existing policy(ies) or policy discussions Proposed new policy Arguments about why this policy should be adopted and what weaknesses in existing policy it addresses. Policy memos do not need to be footnoted or have a bibliography, but if you use supporting information in a memo, reference the source in the text. For example, you might refer to some research to support an assertion and introduce it this way: "a 2000 study by the Pew Center showed that . . ." Writing criteria for policy memos Good policy memos should present strong ideas clearly and logically. If you always assume that your reader only has time to skim your memo, you will not go too far astray. There are seven criteria to consider: (1) content, (2) overall clarity and brevity, (3) structure, (4) grammar, (5) tone, (6) style, and (7) presentation. Content: Content, of course, is the most important determinant of a good policy memo. 3 Weak or illogical ideas, no matter how well presented, do no one any good. Here are some things to keep in mind. First, present opinions AS opinions not facts. Opinions presented should also be substantiated. Second, avoid logical fallacies such as appeals to authority, slippery slope arguments, hasty generalizations, faulty causation, etc. Third, when citing facts, be correct. Fourth, use logic and facts to support each of your main points and/or to refute opposing points. Fifth, important ideas are better than trivial ideas. Sixth, present your ideas in some sort of useful order. Start with the most important ideas unless there is a compelling reason not to. Seventh, draw on course content. Make as many relevant points that support your thesis as you can, given the constraints of the assignment. Overall Clarity and Conciseness: Clarity should be the goal of all writing. It is the second most important criterion of a good policy memo, next to content. Your ideas should be presented so that readers can understand your points easily and without having to read any sentence twice. If you use effective headings and structure, your clarity will increase immensely. But you also have to have good grammar, style, content, and presentation. Conciseness is also important. Use as many words as you must, but write your memo in the fewest words possible. Focus on the most important points, and be aware of your reader’s time constraints. But do NOT cut out vital information just for the sake of brevity. Again, keep in mind what the reader needs to know. You will likely have to rewrite your papers more than once to get full credit on clarity and conciseness. Structure: Your policy memo should usually have an introduction that contains a thesis statement. A thesis statement gives the reasons behind the recommendation(s) you are making. For instance, a thesis might read: “Of these three explanations, I accept explanation A because (1), (2), (3).” Such a thesis accomplishes two goals. First, it explains the purpose of your memo. And second, it outlines the direction the remainder of the memo will take. The remainder of the memo should then follow the structure outlined in the introduction. These supporting points should be organized as internally consistent paragraphs. Within each paragraph, you should lead your reader from old to new information. By that, I mean you should usually build on previously introduced concepts in the first part of a sentence and say something new in the predicate. It is also important to use helpful transitions between sentences. Finally, you will conclude. For this assignment you will include a separate paragraph to conclude your policy memo. Grammar and Punctuation: Proofread more than once. Poor grammar and punctuation do more than obscure ideas. They blind the grader. Tone: Tone refers to the author’s voice. Writing can sound angry, indignant, cheerful, humorous, cautious, etc. It can range from stilted to formal to informal to conversational to just plain old colloquial. Sentence length, bolding, italics, capitalization and punctuation affect the voice that comes across. And don’t forget it! You should choose your own tone. But here is some advice. First, be aware that angry tones are rarely persuasive. Second, your writing will sound more reasoned if you avoid painting yourself as an extremist -- even if you are. Third, indignation can at times be effective, but more 4 often it makes you seem ridiculous to people who disagree with you. Fourth, humor is often inappropriate. By all means, experiment with tone. But use wise judgment, and be prepared to lose points if the reader doesn’t think your tone works. Style: Style is similar to tone and is difficult to define. So let me describe what I mean by giving you concrete advice. The first advice is to write actively. To do that, make the grammatical subject of your sentence the agent and make the verb the agent’s action. Ex: John hit the ball. John is the subject and the agent. Hit is the verb and John’s action. Passive ex: The ball was hit by John. Second, use strong, descriptive verbs. Ex: John tapped the ball or John smashed the ball. Third, avoid turning perfectly good verbs into nouns. Ex: The smashing of the ball was performed by John. This will help you with the next piece of advice. Fourth, avoid stringing prepositional phrases together. Ex: The smashing of the ball was performed by the bat of John. Save your passive voice for those rare occasions when it’s actually helpful. For instance, passive can be used to move a previously introduced concept to the beginning of a sentence so that you continue moving from old information to new information. Ex: After a sentence on President Kennedy, you might write, “He was assassinated later that month by the CIA.” And that might flow better than saying, ”Later that month, the CIA assassinated President Kennedy.” In the latter example, you are introducing new information before the “old” or previously introduced concept (President Kennedy). Passive is also appropriate when you want to hide the agent of an action to avoid assigning blame. Ex: “My car was wrecked” sounds less accusing than “My boyfriend/girlfriend wrecked my car.” In short, I’m not telling you to blindly cut all passive voice from your papers. But I do want you to avoid it when it’s unnecessary, which is most of the time. Above all, be conscious of what style you’re using. Eloquence and catchy “leads” are also ...
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Tutor Answer

School: Cornell University


Running head: MEMORANDUM


Policy Memo



TO: Mr. Mike Hansen
FROM: Dona Specter, USP 100
DATE: 3 May 2017
RE: San Diego Housing Policy
Statement of Topic
The purpose of this memo is to examine the current challenges and issues in the national
housing market with the aim of providing recommendations for programs and strategies that the
county can use in the development of its housing policy. In spite of the progress made by the U.S
economy regarding recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, recovery in the housing sector of the
economy is slow as evident by shortages in the construction of new rental homes and low
homeownership rates despite an increase in household income and growths. The implication of
this national housing trend that is projected to continue is that the housing policy of San Diego
must include new funding sources so as to meet its affordable housing demand and compensate
for the lack of federal assist...

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