How to write for policy makers

Are you writing an education story for policy makers in particular?
Great! But keep in mind that, despite the wonderful story you have to tell, it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know. Know your audience. What does your audience need? Why should they care about your work? What do they need to know?
Dan Laitsch, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, shared some hints in a writing workshop at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association this week.
Policy makers are a broad group that could include university department chairs, principals, a legislators, and legislative staffers. If you want to influence policy makers with your education story, take time to learn What are the needs of policymakers? What do they already know? What is their vocabulary? How much time can they give you?
How complex should my writing be? How simple should it be? Laitsch recommends, just to be safe, that you write for an eighth grade reading level.


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