Write a policy memo for Vajda that provides him with an opinion that is backed up with a strong economic rationale. Also, make sure Vajda is well-versed in opposing opinions so that he can hold his own in a discussion with ministerial officials in Delhi.

Pretend you are the senior economic attach to the American embassy in Delhi. Consul General Thomas Vajda has been contacted by Prime Minister Modis office to get an American viewpoint on promised upcoming tax hikes. The new Goods and Services Tax (GST) is planned to go into effect on July 1, and the government hopes it will boost both economic growth and state revenues. However, there are calls within the Indian business community to delay its start date. After all, the Indian economy has been dealing with considerable turmoil this year, including an abrupt change in the value of the rupee, higher inflation, and Prime Minister Modis ban on large-denomination bills.

Write a policy memo for Vajda that provides him with an opinion that is backed up with a strong economic rationale. Also, make sure Vajda is well-versed in opposing opinions so that he can hold his own in a discussion with ministerial officials in Delhi.

Your memo should be of high quality, which will likely take about 5-10 pages to accomplish. If you choose to use analytical charts or tables to make your point, do so knowing that Vajda has limited economic training. Make sure you translate everything into English, in other words.

Ideas about how to write a policy memo can be found from the following websites:

http://wws.princeton.edu/admissions/wws-blog/item/policy-memo-writing-tips

https://www-cdn.law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Policy-Memo-Guidelines-2.pdf

http://guides.library.duke.edu/c.php?g=289293&p=1929319

Applicants often ask us to provide some guidance in writing a policy memo. Steve Frakt, WWS writing advisor, has been advising WWS undergraduate and graduate students for the past 17 years. Steve meets with students one-on-one during his office hours to advise them on their various writing assignments. Graduate students in our Masters in Public Affairs program are required to take a core course entitled \”The Politics of Public Policy\” in which special attention is given to writing skills as they apply to the roles of advisers and decision makers in public-sector organizations.

Below is an excerpt from Steve\’s policy memo writing guidelines he provides to the graduate students in that course:

Purpose. A policy memo provides information, guidance or recommendations about an issue or problem to a decision-maker. It must be well-organized, clearly written and succinct, with a logical connection between the background information, evidence and conclusions/recommendation. The reader should be able to identify the essential points in a quick scan of the memo (particularly the section headings and topic sentences).

Structure. The format of a memo should enhance its readability. It is not written as one lengthy essay. Rather, it is divided into sections, with headings that identify the content or major point of each section. Each paragraph should begin with a significant point (the topic sentence), to be supported or expanded upon in the rest of the paragraph. Each major point should be the focus of a separate paragraph. Do not bury major themes in the middle of a paragraph.

A typical memo may include the following sections:

Description and significance of the issue or problem you are examining.
Evidence of the scope of the issue.
Factors contributing to the issue or problem.
Recommendations or conclusions about the issue.
Counter-arguments against your position.
Rebuttal to counter-arguments.
Implementation issues for any recommendations (i.e. political, economic, environmental, technical, etc.).
Language. Policy memos require brevity and specificity. Each sentence must serve to advance your presentation. Be concise and do not waste words. Use clear, direct language, free of bureaucratic jargon, pompous language or clichs. Eliminate unnecessary words and avoid repetition. Write in the active voice, keep sentences relatively short, and minimize the use of adjectives and adverbs. Avoid vague language and sentences that have no substance or state the obvious. Also, refrain from dramatic embellishment, hyperbole and emotional rhetoric (you are not writing a political speech or an op-ed article).