Skip Navigation

Communicating Policy Seminars

The Writing Center offers seminars in Communicating Policy exclusively for currently enrolled LBJ School of Public Affairs graduate students. Communicating Policy seminars address different types of public affairs writing, including policy memos, op-eds, and grants. 


Seminars for 2015-2016 will be posted in August.


Spring 2015 Seminar Schedule


Editing Policy and Academic Documents

Friday, February 6: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

This seminar will give you practice in editing and copyediting texts. The activities will help you identify where you need to brush up on grammar rules. Becoming a better editor will also help you revise your own work more effectively. If you plan to attend, please email the writing center by 5 pm, Thursday February 5th, to receive the editing samples we will be discussing.


Practicing Concision and Active Voice

Friday, February 27: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

Many public policy genres require you to be concise and use active voice. In this seminar, you’ll learn ways to identify and revise both wordy text and the passive voice. We’ll also discuss the conceptual importance of these tools in policy analysis.


Writing the PR Abstract

Friday, March 6: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

In preparation for the March 20th submission of your first draft, this seminar will help you write a strong abstract. Having a clear overview of your project and findings can also help you structure your PR effectively. There will be time to address any problems you are encountering as you work.


Introduction to Writing Grants

Friday, April 10: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

Learn the differences in applying for public and private funds and become familiar with general tips for successful proposals.


Writing the Policy MemoRESCHEDULED

Friday, April 17: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

This seminar will cover key elements of the policy memo, including the recommended formatting and writing style. Participants will examine different approaches to the policy memo and evaluate their effectiveness. We will discuss strategies for writing clear, concise memos.


MANDATORY FOR PR WRITERS: Introduction to the Professional Report for August 2015 and December 2015 Graduates RESCHEDULED

Friday, April 24: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

You should attend if you are planning to graduate in summer or fall and are writing a Professional Report. This is for all students completing the PR, whether you are registered for PR hours through LBJ or through another department as part of a dual degree. This session will introduce resources for completing the PR and will allow members of the PR cohort to meet each other. The session will cover basic information for successfully completing the PR, using the PR template, and meeting PR deadlines.


Professional Report Fair: GPAC Brown Bag Event

Wednesday, April 29: 12:15-1:45 pm — SRH 3.124

Curious what your colleagues have been working on this year? Students finishing their Professional Reports will present their findings and give advice to others who are planning on completing PRs. Learn about the writers' discoveries and difficulties along the way. This event will be particularly valuable for dual-degree students or anyone considering writing a Professional Report in 2016.

Presenters include: Michelle Buckholtz —"Cost-Benefit Analysis for Climate Engineering Research;” Nkechi Charles —"Maternal Resilience: Rethinking Maternal Health for the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda;" Mary Dory —"Best Practices for Building and Sustaining an Ethical Environment in Local Government;" Noelle London —"Moving Beyond Policy: Ecuador’s Innovation Initiatives and the Challenges and Opportunities for Implementation;” and Ben Mauro —"An Evaluation of Rural Sanitation in India”