Carnegie Mellon University

Writing for Political Science and Policy

Course Number: 84-250

Writing and briefing are essential skills in the policy discipline. This course will equip students with the tools necessary to enter professional policy-related domains. We will use a workshop format that promotes classroom discussions, small group work, and practical exercises simulating real-world experiences. The workshop format is intended to emphasize communication, writing effectiveness, and leadership, as well as to increase students' comfort levels with both receiving, applying, discussing, and delivering constructive feedback and criticism. It is also intended to make this class fun and engaging, creating a safe and welcoming environment for students to reflect on their own work, and their colleagues'. During the course, students will write a policy memo, an op-ed, and a National Security Memo (as well as some smaller additional writing assignments) and deliver multiple professional-style briefings for a variety of audiences.

This is a writing-intensive course, with a heavy emphasis on professional briefing and presenting. As such, students should expect to write and brief ... a lot! This workshop-based model allows students to incorporate and give feedback in real time. The intent is that students will develop the skills necessary to enter future professional environments and hit the ground running. Students will work within small groups and with the professor to identify a topic Area of Interest (AOR) that will be the basis for most of their course work -- allowing students to focus on an area in which they would like to develop subject matter expertise (SME), as well as one they find interesting and stimulating.

Academic Year: 2022-2023
Semester(s): Spring
Required/Elective: Required
Units: 9
Location(s): Pittsburgh

Spring 2023
Tuesday and Thursday
9:30 - 10:50 AM

Required course for the following IPS degrees:
BS International Relations and Politics
Additional Major in International Relations and Politics
BS Economics and Politics
Additional Major in Economics and Politics