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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. 


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 Sasha West ( 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.


Writing the Policy Memo

Friday, March 27: 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

Friday, April 3: 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.


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.