Policy Memo: Writing Guide From Experts

policy memo

If you are reading this, then it means you have to write a policy memo (memo is an abbreviation for memorandum) and don’t know where to start. We understand, don’t worry. Every student had to go through this learning phase, so you are definitely not alone. Writing a policy memo, while not difficult, can take time. You also need to know a few basic things about this kind of paper. To help you out, we will do more than just show you how to write a policy memo. We will teach you how to properly format the paper. We will show you a few topics that you can choose, if you have not been assigned a topic already. We will even show you a few tips and tricks (as well as some frequently asked questions) that will enable you to do a great job on your next policy memos. Let’s get started!

What Is a Policy Memo?

Of course, before you write policy memo papers, you need to understand what they are. We will start with the beginning: what is a policy memo?

This paper is basically a document that analyzes a certain topic and makes some recommendations to a very particular audience based on the results of the analysis. In other words, your writing needs to pay attention to the purpose of the memo and needs to be very well organized. You need to know your audience and understand their level of knowledge.

Here are the two major scenarios when it comes to the audience:

  • If you need to write a rather technical memo for a public official, you can assume he or she doesn’t have a thorough understanding of the technical terms you need to use. This means you need to define the terms and provide enough information for the audience to understand the key concepts you are discussing and the terms you are using.
  • If you are writing a policy memo as part of a class assignment in college, you can assume the audience (your professor and your classmates) already possess the technical knowledge to understand what you are talking about without you needing to explain every term and concept. In some way, it can be similar to theoretical framework.

How to Format a Policy Memo?

The first thing you need to learn is how to format a policy memo. Improperly formatted memos show that you lack a basic understanding of this type of paper, plain and simple. Here are the 3 main things to do when you are working on the policy memo format:

  1. Almost all memos should use the A4 format (or 8.5 x 11 inch). The top, button, left and right margins are all one (1) inch.
  2. All paragraphs MUST be single-spaced. Also, you should use double space between paragraphs. This is very important.
  3. The top of the first page must address the memo (it should clearly identify its audience). You are free to use bullet points, numbers, indentation, and so on inside the memo.

Remember that, while in real life memos don’t necessarily have a length limit, your professor will surely set the length for your paper. Do not exceed this length, otherwise you will get penalized. And besides, a tightly written public policy memo has a greater chance to be read from start to finish by its audience.

Ideas of Policy Memo Topics

Now you have a general idea of what a memorandum is and how you should format it. But what about policy memo topics? Perhaps your professor did not assign you a topic and you need to come up with one yourself. This shouldn’t be a problem because, frankly, you can find interesting ideas everywhere around you. You can get some excellent policy memo topic ideas simply by watching the news. You basically learn about a problem, dig deeper to learn more about it, and then write a memorandum that proposes a solution to the problem. To help you save some time, we have some awesome policy memo ideas that will work great in 2023:

  • A memorandum that informs new employees of company policy regarding data privacy
  • Planning for energy needs in a specific county
  • Ways to tackle illegal immigration in border counties
  • Stopping illegal deforestation for wood fuel
  • Tackling global warming effects on farming in your county
  • Tackling the drugs in schools problem
  • Preventing drunk driving accidents

Getting a Policy Memo Example

OK, but what does a policy memo look like? We know, you don’t yet visualize the paper. You don’t have an example to base your writing upon. No problem, we can help you get an excellent policy memo example in no time. Don’t try to find on one the Internet because you will either find low quality papers or be forced to pay for a poorly written paper. To get an excellent example of policy memo, you should simply get in touch with us. We won’t copy and paste an example in an email. Our ENL writers (who have written hundreds of policy memorandums) will write a sample for you from scratch. Since the example is 100% original, you are free to use parts of it in your own paper. Nobody will ever be able to accuse you of plagiarism.

A Simple Policy Memo Template

If you don’t have enough time to get an example from us, we can at least give you a great policy memo template. You can use it to write any kind of policy change memo, of course. This template shows you the policy memo structure. In other words, it’s the correct format of a policy memo. Here is the structure:

  1. Introduction. Unlike all other essay types, the introduction of the memorandum contains both the conclusions of the analysis and the recommendations. Yes, you will be starting the memo with the call to action.
  2. Background. This is where you present the background information your audience needs to understand the problem and the solution. Be concise and to the point, but don’t assume your audience already know technical concepts and terms.
  3. Analysis. This is the part where you analyze the problem, present your arguments (why did you propose a certain solution in the Introduction?) and show your audience how these arguments and your analysis all lead to your logical conclusion.

We don’t have a policy memo template Word (Microsoft Office) yet, but we are working on adding several samples that you can download.

How to Write a Good Policy Memo

Don’t know how to write a good policy memo? Let’s show you the quick guide on how to write a policy memo Harvard students read every time they need to create a memorandum. Don’t worry, writing a policy memo is definitely not difficult. Here goes:

Write the header of the memorandum. This section contains the TO, FROM, DATE, and RE (subject of the memo). It identifies the audience and yourself.

  1. Write the introduction. As we’ve already said, you need to start with the conclusion of your analysis and include the recommendations in the intro. This is why you should open the memo by summarizing (briefly) the situation or policy you are discussing and then immediately discuss, in brief, the conclusions of your analysis. Add the recommended action and you’re done.
  2. Write the background section. It can contain multiple paragraphs, each one discussing a main idea, term or concept. In the background section, your aim is to explain key terms or important concepts to your audience so they can understand what you are talking about. Memos on simple topics generally don’t require a background section because there is nothing to explain.
  3. Write the analysis section. This is where you present the arguments supporting your conclusion and recommendations. Show your audience that the information you’ve gathered leads to the conclusion you’ve started your memorandum with. Remember, one paragraph per talking point. Be concise and to the point. Organize the ideas in a logical manner.
  4. Proofread, then proofread some more. Don’t lose points because of a few typos or grammar mistakes.


Q: Do I need a policy memo cover page?

A: You don’t need a cover page for your memo, even though some memos – under certain circumstances – may require one.

Q: Do I need a policy memo outline?

A: After you learn how to write policy memo papers, you don’t need an outline. Just use the template above.

Q: What are CMS policy memos?

A: CMS stands for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an institution that has a lot of policy change memos for information purposes.

Q: What is a policy memo header?

A: The policy memo header is the topmost part of the memorandum. The one which contains the TO, FROM, DATE and RE lines.

Need Some Help Writing Policy Memos?

Hopefully, now you know how to create a policy memo from scratch. However, there are times when you may need some more help. Maybe you need an A+ on your next memorandum to improve your GPA. Or perhaps you absolutely need a top grade to pass the class. No matter the reason, we can help you with writing policy memos. Writers from our custom dissertation writing service have extensive experience with this kind of school assignment, so they are your best choice on the Internet. We can help you pick a topic, write the paper, edit it, and then proofread it. You just tell us what you need and our awesome writers and editors will take care of the rest. What are you waiting for? Send us a message right now!

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