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Examples

The examples available from the links below include documents written by students and professionals. While they may help give you ideas about the ways specific writers responded to communication tasks, they are not meant as models.

Make sure to read the accompanying analyses that discuss the purposes, contexts, strengths, and weaknesses of the examples.

The Public Policy Process

Case 1: Milk Labeling

Case 2: A State Budgeting Process

Framing the Problem

Example 1: Obesity and the Role of Fast Food.
This problem description is an essay of informed opinion that advocates a chosen policy instrument.
Example 1 Analysis

Example 2: Educational Funding in New York State.
This problem description is a memo describing a problematic condition, identifying its causes, and enumerating proposed solutions.
Example 2 Analysis

Example 3: Issues surrounding air pollution regulation.
This is a policy analysis without recommendation. Students were asked to prepare a policy memo that a senator can use to develop his/her opinion on a problem chosen by the student.
Example 3 Analysis

Example 4: Military Pay
This description of problematic conditions with recommendations is a report written by professional policy/ program analysts in the United States General Accounting Office (GAO), an investigative and auditing staff of the Congress.
Example 4 Analysis

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Knowing the Record

Example 1: The Legislative History of Nutritional Labeling
Here is a student’s legislative history written for a course assignment.
Example 1 Analysis

Example 2: Charter Schools in America
Here is another student’s legislative history of an educational reform. This history was also written for a coursework assignment.
Example 2 Analysis

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Knowing the Arguments

Example: Higher Education Act (HEA) Amendments of 1998 (memo)
This position paper was written in memo form by a student. She produced the position paper in a public policy writing course based on analysis she had performed in a policy studies course.
Example Analysis

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Requesting Action

Example 1: Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
Here is a policy proposal by a nonprofit organization advocating an amendment to proposed legislation. The student author, wrote the proposal for a course assignment in public policy writing. She used her experience as a volunteer ‘ghost’ writer for the organization’s spokesperson to recreate an actual proposal for the assignment.

Example 2: National Charter School Evaluation (memo)
A student wrote and presented this proposal as the spokesperson for a nonprofit organization in a (simulated) roundtable held annually by a coalition of nonprofit organizations to set the coalition’s lobbying agenda for the year.

Example 3: petition for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Here is a petition to a government agency by auto safety experts.
Example 3: Letter of Transmittal
In a letter of transmittal, they address the petition to the head of the agency responsible.

Analysis of Examples

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Informing Policy Makers

Example 1: Clarity emerges as court closes its doors
Here is a London newspaper’s summary of investigations into the decision in 2003 by Tony Blair (United Kingdom prime minister) to join George W. Bush (United States president) in a war against Iraq. Investigation was prompted by the apparent suicide of a UK government staff member involved in the decision-making.
Example 1 Analysis

Example 2: CAFO E-mail and Attached Memo
Here is a memo written by a community resident to a local official about a local zoning issue. The memo was sent as an attachment to an e-mail message, also included in the example.
Example 2 Analysis

Examples of ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Tone
Here are several examples that illustrate ‘good’ tone and ‘bad’ tone in statements of opinion. These examples were e-mailed to an elected official in county government regarding a proposed merger of city and county schools.
(Analyses included)

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Providing Testimony

Example 1: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (simulation)
This example is written and spoken by a student in a classroom-simulated Congressional hearing. The student is here enacting the role of spokesperson for a policy analysis think tank. In that role, he presents his own message on the importance of labeling. Shown here is the one-page oral summary that he also submitted (with appendices) as the written statement for the record. (Not shown here are accompanying charts detailing the impact of nutritional labeling on consumer choice and the compliance with labeling requirements by fast food industries.)

Example 2: Living with Exceptional Value
This example is by written by a citizen testifying in state environmental protection agency field hearings. Shown here is the written statement for the record (edited to reduce length). An oral summary was delivered.

Analysis of Examples

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Influencing Administrations

Three example documents responding to two different scenarios illustrate the concepts discueed in this section.

Example 1: Comment to the Docket Concerning Amendments to FMVSS 208, Occupant Crash Protection.

This written comment is a technical analysis of a proposed change in motor vehicle safety standards. The comment was written by professionals in the field of automotive safety and submitted during the rule-making process. Read the Scenario and then use the link at the end of the scenario to view the Comment Document

Example 2: Penns Valley Conservation Association (letter)
This is a technical analysis of a mining permit application. Prepared by a local environmental conservation group, the comment is written by the group’s attorney in response to a call for public input on the permitting process. Read the Scenario and then use the link at the end of the scenario to view the letter.

Example 3: Aaronsburg Civic Club (letter).
This is a letter by a citizen’s group requesting a public meeting. Read the Scenario and then use the link at the end of the scenario to view the letter.

After you've read the scenarios and examples, review analyses of the examples.

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