All information contained in the paper must come from academic sources unless your instructor tells you otherwise.
The purpose of the paper is to provide the reader with a synopsis of the policys or programs history, purpose, goals, target population, and activities or elements; thus, you must include the following information in your paper:
a description or definition of the program or policy, including a brief discussion of the scope of the problem (e.g., statistics) that the policy or program is trying to address;
a discussion of the history of the program or policy, including why, where, and when it was created;
a discussion of the purpose(s) or goal(s) of the program or policy (i.e., what it is designed to accomplish, who or what it is targeting); and
a discussion of the elements of the program, including activities or actions designed to accomplish the programs goals.
In addition, you should summarize empirical studies that have evaluated how effective the program or policy has been in achieving its goals. For each study, you may, but are not required to, include the following information:
a summary of the research question examined,
a summary of the population examined,
a summary of how the data were obtained (i.e., the type of information collected),
a summary of the findings as they relate to the thesis statement (e.g., evidence the author[s] found that supports it), and a brief discussion of any significant limitations to the findings.
Policy reports directly reflect the different roles that the policy analyst commonly plays, i.e. from researcher to advocate. The type of report that you are writing is one from the more action-oriented, advocacy end of the continuum (but that is nevertheless based purely on evidence and not your opinion). Although there is much variation even at this end of the scale, the most common elements of the policy brief are as follows:
Title of the Policy Report
Context and Importance of the Problem (also called the Introduction)
Pre-existing Policies, Policy Options, and Research