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Writing Policy Reports

  • Tim Raats
Chapter

Abstract

Despite the wide use of research reports as part of policy decision-making, for most scholars, academic publications (peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes or monographs) are the primary outlet for discussing evidence. Transposing evidence into specific policy reports therefore poses a challenge. This chapter specifically addresses the characteristics, advantages and difficulties involved in writing policy research reports. The chapter aims to fill a gap in policy analysis literature by combining insights into the logic and structure of policy research reports, as well as by providing specific guidelines for planning and writing them. The first part of the chapter contextualizes the increased use of policy research reports. The second part discusses the difficulties involved in translating academic research into comprehensible reports. The third and main part of the chapter deals with the actual structuring and writing of a policy report, presented in four different phases. Two cases of existing media research, a stakeholder consultation on impartiality of the Flemish public broadcaster, and a large-scale assessment of policy measures for audiovisual industries, are referred to as illustrative cases throughout the chapter.

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Further Reading

  1. Caulley, D. N. (2008). Making qualitative research reports less boring: The techniques of writing creative nonfiction. Qualitative Inquiry, 14(3), 424–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Majone, G. (1989). Evidence, argument and persuasion in the policy process. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Williams, J. (2008). Style: Lessons in clarity and grace. New York: HarperCollins. Google Scholar
  4. Young, E., & Quinn, L. (2002). Writing effective public policy papers: A guide for policy advisers in Central and Eastern Europe. Budapest: Open Society Institute and Local Government Public Service Reform Initiative. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Raats
    • 1
  1. 1.imec-SMITVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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