Introduction (including your summary recommendation or recommendations—you might well provide more than one option for the principals to consider).
Background on the issue and the current state of affairs and policy on your topic, including using scholarly arguments from the literature in this course as well as your own research. Cite your sources.
2-3 options together with an analysis of pros/cons of each option, including an analysis of continuing the current approach
Your Policy Recommendation: choose one of your recommendations as the best in your view and reasons why your policy is the best of the alternatives, including addressing the likely counterarguments – be as detailed as you think it appropriate based on the policy issue, include hard data (rough cost estimate, etc.) if applicable
State out your basic predictions/assumptions and what real world events would make your recommendation no longer appropriate.
The memo must be 10 pages in length, 12-point font, double-spaced. Write formally with excellent sentences and paragraphs but you may use bullet points sparingly and as appropriate. This is still a research paper in the sense that you are writing it for readers who read academic and practitioner journals that expect strong formal writing. Normally in a government setting when briefing principals you would not include research (that is, you would not present a research paper); nevertheless, for this exercise I want to be sure students get another opportunity to prepare a research paper.
Center for Strategic and International Studies (where I am a Senior Advisor)
American Enterprise Institute
Council on Foreign Relations
Center for a New American Security
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
United States Institute for Peace
Center for American Progress
Example of Practitioner Journals: Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, The National Interest.