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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. 

The schedule for the 2014-2015 academic year will be posted by September 1st.


Spring 2014 Seminar Schedule


Writing the Policy Memo

Friday, January 31: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

The seminar will cover key elements of the policy memo, including use of formatting and recommended styles of writing. We will discuss strategies to achieve brevity and concision. We will also look at different approaches to the policy memo. Learn what elements are common to all memos and how to use them to greater effect.


Practicing Citations and Paraphrasing (Advanced Ethical Research and Writing Seminar)

Friday, February 28: 12:15-1:30 pm— SRH 3.314/3.355

This session will expand upon the fall seminar about ethical research and writing, though you do not need to have attended that session to come to this one.  We will go over different citation styles and discuss how to integrate citations gracefully, especially when you are using quotations. Students will have the opportunity to practice paraphrasing that fulfills ethical standards.


How to Write an Op Ed

Friday, March 28: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

Op-eds allow you to influence the attitudes or actions of a larger community. They are a vital tool for anyone who wants to shape public dialogue. This seminar will cover general tips for writing op-eds and present successful examples from recent years.


Oral Presentations (led by Dr. Ken Matwiczak)

Friday, April 4: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

Description will be added by early March.


Writing Grants

Friday, April 18: 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.


CANCELED: Using Visual Material to Persuade

Friday, April 25: 12:15-1:30 pm — SRH 3.314/3.355

The beta version of this seminar will look at the ways visual materials help or hinder your message. Drawing on the work of Edward Tufte and other theorists, the seminar will recommend ways to use presentation software (PowerPoint etc), graphs, tables, and images to achieve the strongest impact.