Writing support at the Ford School
Year after year, alumni confirm that writing is one of the most essential skills that they developed at the Ford School. It makes sense: no matter how much you know about a given policy problem, it does neither your colleagues nor your clients much good if you cannot articulate that knowledge in writing that is logical and concise.
The Ford School believes the cultivation of sound writing skills to be an essential component of a public policy education. Since we hired our first writing tutor in the 1980s, we have offered one-on-one policy writing instruction to more than 1,000 aspiring public servants. We now employ three lecturers with advanced training in writing who work with students at every skill level, helping them through every stage of the writing process--from creating a preliminary outline to polishing a final draft.
The level of commitment our school has made to writing instruction is a point of pride, and it sets us apart from many other policy schools. We invest heavily in this skill because we know that it's not enough to discover an actionable policy solution. To improve policy in a noisy world--a world where innovative solutions are regularly thwarted by partisanship, spin, and gridlock--might take a 100-page technical report, a one-page executive summary, a formal policy memo, an op-ed article, or all of the above.
Advanced communication skills are essential to catalyzing real and lasting change in education, economic development, and other vital policy areas.