Resources and Guidelines for Briefing Paper
A briefing paper is a concise summary of the published, current scientific knowledge on a topic and is written for an informed, although not necessarily an expert, audience. Briefing papers update readers on an issue’s current status and get readers up-to-speed on the background of an issue. Typically, briefing papers are presented as a 4-page summary. Each paper reaches a clear conclusion based on evidence and concise argument. This tends to result in a pace of writing that could best be described as â€œswift.â€ Yet, coherency and substance are the hallmarks of a briefing paper. You can think of these papers as densely written because while they are short, they are full of information. Carefully worded subheadings that point the reader to more detailed information and bulleted points that highlight quick overviews of essential information are two writing conventions that facilitate the swift style of the briefing paper.
Your briefing paper must include:
Title, date, and contact information (name, email, and student ID): 3 lines
Issue: 1 page
â€¢ Clearly describe a problem that relates to the poverty and inequality topics presented in the course. Describe what population (i.e., youth, racial/ ethnic minorities, undocumented immigrants, women in underdeveloped countries, etc.) is primarily affected by the problem and how they are affected. Why is the issue so problematic? What are some of the causes and consequences of the issue?
Present and evaluate 2-3 policy solutions: 2 Â½ pages
â€¢ Present 2-3 policies that may solve the issue that you presented. You do not need to develop your own policy solutions. Rather, you may discuss policies that other researchers or policy advocates have proposed. In your evaluation, be sure to describe the pros and cons of each policy.
Recommendations: 1 page
â€¢ Given the policy solutions you discussed, what recommendations do you have for addressing the issue you described? Why is this the best solution?
Works Cited: (not included in final word count)
The briefing should be 4-5 double-spaced pages. Text should be 1,000-1,200 words. Papers with total word counts that are not within the limit listed above will not be graded (total word count does not include works cited). The key is to produce a document that is well-written, accurate, and compelling. This is a valuable skill to develop and is used widely in the government, business, and non-profit sectors.
Here is some helpful information about writing a briefing paper: