How to write a policy brief

How to Write a Policy Brief

Policy briefs are one of the most common and effective written communication tools in a policy campaign or outreach.  However, many people find these to be the one of the most difficult things to write!  What is a policy brief? A policy brief outlines the rationale for a particular policy alternative or course of action in a current policy debate.  A policy debate is the ‘market place’ for competing policy ideas.  The purpose of a policy brief is to convince the target audience of the urgency of the current problem and the need to adopt the preferred alternative or course of action outlined, and therefore, serve as an impetus for action.  The purpose of a policy brief ranges from exploration (briefs that present a targeted discussion of policy alternatives without promoting a particular one) to advocacy (briefs that argue directly for the adoption of a particular alternative assignment help).  All briefs are focused, professional (not academic), evidence-based, succinct, understandable, accessible, practical and feasible, and action-oriented.




Next, organize the structure around the components in the table below 

Component Purpose Notes

Title Catch the attention of the reader – Descriptive, relevant, and impactful

Summary statement or brief executive summary Convey the importance and relevance of the brief, and compel the reader to read on – Describe the problem- Outline why the current approach isn’t working- Prescribe a new action

Context and importance of problem Convince the reader that a current and urgent problem exists and requires new action – Clearly state the problem or issue- Provide overview on the root causes of the problem- Describe the policy implications of the problem

Critique of policy option(s) Detail shortcomings of the current approach, to illustrate the need for change – Outline policy options- Describe why/how the current (or proposed) approach is ineffective

Policy recommendation(s) Describe the policy approach you recommend – Rationalize your recommendation with evidence 

Policy actions Suggest concrete actions to address problem or issue – Breakdown the specific practical steps or measures that need to implemented, and by whom

Notes (optional) To keep body of brief concise, a space to include additional support – Statistics, graphs, legislation- Author information writing help

Sources To lead readers to further reading – 1-2 sources, of greater depth and detail- Author contact information

Data Analysis Requirements:

You’re asked to design a mediation study based on the data provided. You’re free to design/model your study. In this report, you should create a study with strong theoretical model and make rational decision in designing the mediation study. You’re free to modify (or remove) the data if you need to. You can also use all or only some of the variables from the data to build your model. If you need to add more variables that is up to you. Remember! You will need to justify your decision (whatever the nature of that decision). Your justification should be based on what you know about the relationship between the variables via common sense and/or statistical investigation. There might be some missing data in the data set. Missing data is a fact of life. Your model (design) has to fit the theory and the moderation analysis has to match the model. 

You are free to analyse the model using PROCESS Macro or hierarchical regression. Please provide the correct reporting in the results section (i.e., PROCESS Macro reporting is different from hierarchical regression reporting). Remember to present descriptive statistics, correlations and relevant tables/figures, if required. You will need to use more than just the PROCESS/regression analysis in SPSS to do this.

Use APA formatting (7th ed.) throughout for reporting statistics, references, tables and figures. Please include any tables/figures (pertaining to the Results section) in the main body of the text. The SPSS output should be submitted as an Appendix (this should present the entirety of the PROCESS/regression output and other relevant SPSS output, if performed). This output in the Appendix does not have to conform to APA formatting. It can be ‘cut and pasted’ from SPSS. No annotation other than appropriate headings is required in the Appendix.

You will also be required to determine what kind of sample size you might need to have adequate power to run the study. Accordingly, you may want to note that a meta-analysis of TMT experiments found mortality salience manipulations to have a moderate sized effect on average (Burke et al., 2010).  

Information on how the study variables were measured is summarised below:

Variable Measured by 

Mortality salience A novel mortality salience manipulation has been used for this study. As part of this manipulation, participants were randomised into 3 conditions:

1. A mortality salience condition: Participants are presented with a magazine article to read on the topic of the need to prepare a will, and have funeral arrangements in place, given the unpredictability of death; the article includes an image of a man in an open casket

2. A non-death anxiety condition: Participants are given a magazine article indicating that most people are not saving enough money in order to afford a house or retire comfortably; the article includes an image of a man destitute on the streets

3. No article condition: Participants are not presented with any stimulus articles.

Both stimulus articles are about 500 words.

Interest in having a star named after you Assessed with a similar method to that used by Greenberg et al. (2010). Participants were told that they would be asked about their interest in a product or service selected at random from a larger list. Participants were then presented with an advertisement for “”. was described as “working with the Universal Star Council and NASA to ensure that each start is permanently registered with one name, allowing a person to ‘own’ a star.” The final line of the advertisement reads: “With humans may one day live on a planet orbiting a star named after you!” 

Following Greenberg et al. (2010), participants where then asked: 

1. “How interested would you be in finding out more about the advertised product or service?” (on a seven-point scale where 1 = not at all, 4 = somewhat, and 7 = very much)

2. “If you were to purchase this product/service, how much would you be willing to spend (that is, what is the highest dollar amount that you would still be willing to spend to make this purchase?)” (on a seven-point scale where 1 = $25, 2 = $50, 3 = $100, 4 = $250, 5 = $500, 6 = $750, 7 = $1000).

Scores for these items were then added to get a single “Interest” score. 

Self-esteem Measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). Total scores were then use to split participants into low and high self-esteem groups (using cuts at the 50th percentile).  

You can find a lot of information on the RSES online. 

Belief in an afterlife Single question: Do you believe in some form of afterlife in which an aspect of yourself continues to “live on” after your physical death (e.g., the Christian conception of heaven)? No; Yes 

Belief humans will colonise space Single question: “Do you believe that humans will one day colonise space (e.g., living on large colonies on other planets)?” No; Yes

Age Measured in years

Gender Single question: “With which gender do you identify?” Male; Female; Non-Binary

Nationality Single question: “Are you a Singaporean citizen?” Yes; No (if no, please write in your country of citizenship).  

In order to collect a sample, your research team approached a number of local social clubs/groups asking if they would post a link to the study on the groups’ Facebook page/put a study information sheet in the group’s clubhouse (if applicable) . 

The study was run online using the software program Qualtrics. This video provides an overview of how randomisation to groups can be performed in Qualtrics. You do not have to know the ins and outs of this procedure, but it may help you understand how random assignment is carried out in Qualtrics.

The order in which information/questions were presented are as follows:

1. Information sheet (which indicated to participants that the study is examining how news articles may relate to interest in products/services) 

2. Informed consent questions 

3. Mortality salience manipulation

4. Questions on self-esteem, afterlife beliefs, space colonisation beliefs and demographics

5. Questions on star interest 

6. Debrief in which participants were thanked and the exact topic of the study was made clear

In exchange for their participation, participants were entered into a prize-draw to win a gift voucher.  

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