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Writing Public Policy: A Practical Guide to Communicating in the Policymaking Process (2022)

(Publisher : Oxford University Press)

Author(s) : Catherine F. Smith

Catherine F. Smith is Professor Emerita of English at East Carolina University and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill


"Any course that deals with policy and expects students to write policy papers could use this book. The focus on succinct writing and ethics gives the book advantages."--Anna Marie Schuh, Roosevelt University"


I added Smith's book two years ago and it has been a great hit. I have seen improvements in [students'] ability to communicate in written form in more appropriate ways (context specific) and in appropriate forms given the context of policy professionals providing their assessments, etc. This is a well-done task-forward, example-driven text on techniques for better written communication (and required knowledge for competence in this area) for Public Policy courses and other related courses." -Dennis Patterson, Texas Tech University


"I highly recommend this text to colleagues. Its ability to explain meaning-making and why this is important in public policy messaging is a vital component of training students to be future public service leaders."--Matt Bagwell, Tarleton State University


Writing Public Policy is a practical, concise guide to writing and communicating in public policy processes. Designed to help students understand and perform common types of communication used in solving public problems, this text explains the standards and functions of communicating in the public sector and teaches the use of selected public policy communication genres. Catherine F. Smith presents a general method for planning, producing, and assessing communications in a variety of real-life contexts and situations of public policy work.
Hands-on and accessible, Writing Public Policy, Sixth Edition, teaches know-how and techniques needed to effectively communicate in the democratic process of making public policy. It is a particularly useful tool for any student preparing for a career in politics, government, public relations, law, public policy, journalism, social work, public health, or any role concerned with public affairs.

Table of contents


Preface Acknowledgements Introduction List of Illustrations and Examples

Processes Chapter 1 Public Policy is Language Use Illustration 1: Administering Policy - Milk Labeling Illustration 2: A Policy Cycle - Financing Government Operations Illustration 3: Legislating Policy - State Constitutional Amendment

Chapter 2 Communicating in Policymaking The Policy Communication Culture-Actors, Practices, Functions General Method for Communicating in Policy Work Two Checklists: Features of Effectiveness and Measures of Excellence Example

Practices Chapter 3 Definition: Describe the Problem How to Get a Problem On (or Off) the Policy Agenda Four Examples

Chapter 4 Evaluation: Analyze and Advise Sketch: Critical Reading and Writing in Policymaking Culture Illustration: Congressional Committee Hearing (Agroterrorism) How to Critically Evaluate Policy and Analyze Policy Discourse Two Examples

Chapter 5 Legislative History: Know the Record Illustration: Searching Government Records Strategically for a Purpose How to Conduct Government Records Research and Write a Legislative History Two Examples

Chapter 6 Position Paper: Know the Arguments How to Argue Policy Illustration: Arguing to Propose Changes in University Policy on Alcohol and Drug Use Illustration: Arguing to Oppose a Change in Federal Drug Control Policy Illustration: Arguing to Permit or Not Permit a Municipal Zoning Action Three Examples Chapter 7 Petition, Proposal, Letter: Request Action How to Request Action on Behalf of a Group Three Examples Chapter 8 Brief, Opinion, Ordinance: Inform Governance How to Inform Policymaking in a Briefing Memo, Opinion Statement, or Ordinance Three Examples

Chapter 9 Testimony: Witness in a Public Hearing How to Deliver Oral Testimony Based on a Written Statement Three Examples

Chapter 10 Public Comment: Influence Administration How to Write a Public Comment Three Examples Conclusion Ethics for Policy Communicators

Appendix: Writing Clearly Suggested Reading Index

Bibliographic Information

ISBN: 9780197643495
ISBN-10: 0197643493
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 9th August 2022
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.32 x 13.97  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 6
Edition Type: Revised


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