The Public Policy-Making Process

Draft Memo due to Pearson Tutor Services by 11:59pm, March 19, 2019
Final Memo and Pearson Tutor’s Feedback due in Blackboard by 11:59pm, April 2, 2019
Decision memos are “documents that focus decision makers on a pressing problem on which they need to take action and persuade them to take a particular action using evidence and logic” (Pennock, 2019, p.177). Decision memos “frame the problem, discuss options for action, and make a recommendation about what to do” (Pennock, 2019, p.177).
This assignment asks you to prepare a decision memo on a pressing issue about a public policy that calls for action by decision makers. The memorandum must be addressed to a real decision maker in a relevant organizational position that has the capacity to act on the recommendation you make. You will do two drafts. The first will be submitted to Pearson Tutor Services in MyWritingLab Plus. You will then revise it and submit the second one along with the Pearson Tutor’s comments to the instructor in Blackboard.
Instructions about MWLP (including Pearson Tutor Services) and MWLP Headquarters are available at The following video on how to use MyWritingLabPlus might be helpful:
• Read Chapter 10 of Pennock, and pay attention to the examples and comments;
• Follow the principles outlined in Chapter 7 of Pennock in creating professional quality work;
• Write this assignment as a memorandum. The outline for the policy decision memo is on the next page.
• References and in-text citations:

  1. Provide at least five references from at least three different, balanced sources (such as peer-reviewed journals, books, book chapters, government publications, research reports, etc.);
  2. Make sure the in-text citations match the references;
  3. Use APA properly for the in-text citations and references.
    • The memo is approximately one to two pages long (single-spaced, excluding the references), and should be typed, edited, and proofed (using Times New Roman point-12 and with one-inch margin on all sides).
    • This assignment should be saved in MS Word. Do not submit PDF files or iWorks documents without converting them to MS Word.
    • Steps in completing the decision memo:
  4. Save your completed draft paper as a MS Word document and submit it to Pearson Tutor Services in MyWritingLabPlus by 11:59pm, March 19, 2019;
  5. Revise your paper based on the comments from Pearson Tutor Services;
  6. Submit the final memo and Pearson Tutor’s comments to Blackboard by 11:59pm, April 2, 2019.
    • The decision memo is 18 points (or 18% of the final grade), including
  7. 6 points for the draft memo and Pearson Tutor’s comments: You will get 6 points if you submit the Pearson Tutor’s comments on the draft memo to Blackboard by 11:59pm, April 2, 2019. Per our class policy, one letter grade will be deducted per day for late materials.
  8. 12 points for the final memo: The final memo is due to Blackboard by 11:59pm, April 2, 2019. I will grade your final memo using the writing (GWAR) and content (problem solving, critical thinking) rubrics. The writing rubric will represent 50% (or 6 points) of the grade and the content rubric will represent 50% (or 6 points) of the grade of the final memo. Per our class policy, one letter grade will be deducted per day for late materials.
    Outline for the policy decision memo:
    To: Name and title (of a real decision maker in a relevant organizational position)
    From: Your name and title
    RE: The subject should serve as the functional title of your memo.
    The memorandum should include the following sections:
    Executive Summary:
    • The executive summary allows decision makers to overview the memo quickly.
    • The executive summary is one paragraph. It contains all vital information and should be clear and concise.
    Background and Problem Definition:
    • This section brings decision makers up to speed about the problem.
    • This section consists of two paragraphs. The first paragraph provides relevant and precise background information about the problem. The second paragraph starts with a clear, brief statement of the problem, followed by evidence to support the problem statement and a brief discussion of its implications.
    • This section provides decision makers clear, distinct, and specific alternatives (or options) to consider in addressing the problem mentioned in the previous section.
    • Include two to three alternatives and discuss them using two to three criteria. Have one paragraph for one alternative.
    • Based on the analysis in the previous section, you will make a recommendation to the decision maker in this section.
    • Have one paragraph for this section in which you state clearly your recommendation and provide the rationale for the recommendation.
    References: List all references cited in the paper in the APA format.