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Writing for policy makers

We are passionate about publishing research that has impact beyond the world of academia – particularly findings and ideas that go on to influence and reshape public policy. Here's our guide to help you get started. 

Tips on how to write for policy makers

Build a relationship

Find out who the decision-makers are in your area of expertise and engage with them, either face-to-face at conferences or online via email and social media. The more you get to know them, the more you’ll begin to understand what level of information they require and the format they prefer to receive it in.

Make your report short and to the point 

Don’t waste time with too much preamble or explanation. There is a good chance your decision-maker is trying to evaluate possible solutions to a variety of problems – if you don’t attract their attention straight away, you might never get it. Lead with your conclusion so that they can quickly decide whether your work has relevance for them.

Lose the jargon

It isn’t as though policy is a jargon-free zone, but remember that they may not be familiar with academic jargon, terms or acronyms. Clarity and accessibility are key.

Highlight the benefits

Focus on the practical, positive benefits that your recommendations will bring. Identify the group of people the policy is aimed at and explain how their lives will be changed by your findings. Emphasise any wider, societal benefits such as positive economic or environmental outcomes. And, if your work has an interdisciplinary element, explain how the integration of disciplines has helped you achieve this solution. Include links to further research to support your point.

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