Your memo should be no longer than 700 words. Issue memos are a very common form of communication in the public policy world. (Please note that this type of memo differs from the memo assignment in the next unit. In the next unit, we will focus on decision memos, which are directed to your superior and typically lead to a decision.) For this unit, we will learn about a memo that policy professionals can use as tools to inform and prepare themselves and their staffs. If you work for an association, a nonprofit organization, a think tank, an advocacy group, or any other part of the policy community, you will frequently create issue memos to inform policymakers about issues that are timely and important to you. They tend to take a neutral tone. Sometimes these can take the form of an infographic. THIS MEMO SHOULD BE NEUTRAL, AND THEREFORE USEFUL TO POLICYMAKERS OF DIFFERING VIEWS. This week’s readings and lectures teach you about the goals of the issue memo, the necessary components, and how to effectively write it. Use subheads to separate sections. Start with a power sentence (or two) that provide an introduction to your memo. You will need to be very specific about what the issue or problem is and why this is timely. The next section should clearly state the problem and fully explain all aspects of it. Provide data, evidence and facts that indicate the impact of the problem. The next section describes why this issue is timely. For example, is the problem getting worse and policymakers are now paying attention? Is there a vote coming up? Did something happen? This section indicates the positions of the various stakeholders. This section outlines possible solutions (not your own solution, but the scope of solutions that exist). The conclusion recaps your main points about the problem, solutions, and why this is a timely topic.

Writing Planning Worksheet

(Each response should be a few words to about one sentence. This is to help you

plan your writing, so don’t worry about writing great sentences.)

1. What is the public policy topic you have chosen from this week’s readings and lectures? Choose a topic that presents a problem in this policy area.

Effects of monetary policy and stagflation and how to prevent

2. What is the problem?

Monetary policy tightens demands of goods. Affect both consumer decisions and business spendings.

3. What is the impact of the problem, and who does it affect?

Stagflation slows down economic growth, brings higher prices while unemployment is weak.

4. What solution could you recommend? The solution can be an original idea, or you may use a previously-proposed solution, as long as you credit the author.

Robert A. Mundel: “The correct policy mix is based on fiscal ease to get more production out of the economy, in combination with monetary restraint to stop inflation. The increased momentum provided by the tax cut will cause sufficient demand for [money] to permit real monetary expansion at higher rates.”

5. Who is your audience? (Is this an educated audience? It makes a difference in how you write.)

Big corporations who can make a difference if stagflation comes.


Silver, Nate. The Signal and the Noise: Why so Many Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t . The Penguin Press, 2012.

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