A policy brief is critical when presenting research findings and providing recommendations to an audience that isn't specialized in the topic. You'll use it to provide evidence-based policy proposals so that readers can make informed policy decisions.
An excellent brief condenses research findings to present them in a straightforward language while drawing strong links to policy initiatives. Based on its numerous requirements, it can be challenging to create a concise and clear stand-alone document that highlights a particular topic perfectly if you don't know how to write a policy brief.
Fortunately, this detailed piece has all you need to know regarding this crucial document.
What Is a Policy Brief?
Imagine you're a key official in a committee tasked with setting standards for vehicles to pass an inspection. This is a complicated issue, and you must dig deep to learn about the current policies, how emissions affect the surroundings and general public health, the financial implications of various potential solutions, and more.
But you don't have sufficient time to learn all these particulars and make an informed decision. In this case, you'll require a policy brief to go about the challenges and get it right.
In essence, this refers to a neutral summary capturing the known facts about a particular problem or issue. It can also be considered a type of report created for decision-making purposes. This concise summary may also cover objective research summaries, suggest possible policies, or provide facts to back specific courses of action.
What Are the Two Types of Policy Briefs?
There're two primary categories of policy briefs. The first is the advocacy brief, which you can use when arguing for a specific course of action. On the other hand, you'll go for objective briefs if you're looking for balanced details regarding various policy alternatives.
Both sample policy brief options can work for your submission. For instance, you'll write an advocacy brief when your findings suggest a single course of action. But if you have multiple suggestions, you'll go for an objective brief.
In either category, you must provide:
- Comprehensive background on a societal problem
- A succinct summary of your social research
- Additional evidence-based policy recommendations
How Do Policy Briefs Differ from Other Kinds of Writing Assignments?
You'll come across policy brief assignments in different fields of study. The options are vast, from the health policy brief example to business, finance, and manufacturing. Moreover, the document generally differs from your typical academic papers, and you must prepare adequately to get it right.
The most notable differences include:
- Target audience – You'll address most of your writing to your tutors, peers, and anyone in the academic field. But the policy brief is created for policymakers with a stake in the topic at hand.
- Terminology and tone – Most academic disciplines discourage unnecessary jargon, but policy briefs require more clarity in your language. Whenever you include necessary specialized vocabulary, make sure you explain it clearly and fast.
- Purpose –Research papers generally communicate findings from previous studies and use them to present an argument. But this paper distinctively informs a specific audience of the practical implications of research to help them decide.
- Structure – Policy briefs use distinctive formats to support tone, purpose, and audience changes. Most of them have several headings and relatively shorter sections. It might also include charts, graphs, and other visual aids.
How Do You Write a Policy Brief?
Great policy briefs are easy to read and come with a great structure. All a reader has to know should be on the first page, and its length may vary based on the content and discipline. The brief can be anywhere between one and four pages, but can't go beyond that.
The standard policy brief format comprises the following key sections:
Create a good, catchy title that quickly communicates the brief's content. It should be memorable and error-free.
This part may span one or two paragraphs and include the problem's overview and your suggested policy action.
The Problem's Scope or Context
Here, you'll communicate how critical the issue is and try to convince the reader of the importance of policy action.
You'll then discuss the available policy approach, then expound on your suggested options. Stay accurate and fair when convincing your reader why your proposed policy action is the most desirable.
In this section, you'll detail your clear explanations of the practical steps to address the issue in discussion.
Sometimes, the reader may require additional support to accept your point of view, but the brief limits may derail the discussion. In this case, you can include the supplementary details here.
Recommended and Consulted Sources
This section contains a list of reliable sources that have guided your recommendations and discussion.
Notably, you're free to combine or break down the different sections into more distinct ones.
Important Tips for Writing a Policy Brief
Consider the following tips to craft a winning policy brief:
- Be clear and concise in your language use and try as much as possible to avoid passive language.
- Highlight how your recommendations will benefit the policy system and those under the policy
- Anticipate the reader's questions
- Never present your evidence in a confrontational manner.
- Request the required layout and masthead or issue a brief template from your institution's communications department to understand what's expected of you.
- Bold your masthead and make it as eye-catching as possible
- Split your text into brief paragraphs and use bullet points and subheadings to break up text and make your content understandable
- Bold or italicize your essential points, but don't overuse them, or your paper will be cluttered and confusing
Policy briefs aren't like typical academic assignments in many ways, and writing a winning paper takes adequate research and remarkable writing skills. Fortunately, the above information and practical guidelines can help anyone write a great brief to convince the relevant audience.
It'll also be easier if you let an experienced policy brief writer guide you through the assignment.
The good news is you're on the right site, and there's no need to continue struggling with the sensitive document in between our time constraints. We're home to reputable researchers vastly experienced in crafting winning policy briefs. So reach out!