DHP D218: Influencing Policy and the Global Debate: Writing Analysis and Opinion
Informing and influencing the course of public affairs requires an ability to write clearly, explain accurately and be convincing. It also requires an understanding of your audience, including its cultural values and how to reach it through social media. Whether you choose to go into government, the non-profit sector, business or the news media itself, you will have to master these skills for success in the public arena, be it to lead or to affect policies. In this course, we will study how to write analysis, which generally attempts to address questions of why or how or to explain something, and opinion, which focuses more what should be done. Opinion can include value judgments, but you must back both analysis and opinion with facts. You also must provide context and be complete, weighing contradictory but relevant information. You will be asked in the first class to submit a theme, region or country on which throughout the course you will write disciplined, well-written essays of 800 to 1,200 words. Your pieces must have some relevance to public policy today, but can focus on economic, legal, historical, military, business or political matters.