Government Memo Project



This project is an opportunity to discuss what you think should be the highest priority (national interest) in the future of American foreign policy. There are three steps to completing this project.

Step 1: Identify the issue and how the US government is currently addressing it. Then, identify strategies that could be used to improve those efforts.

Step 2: Gather three scholarly research articles that address the issue you selected and offer suggestions for improvement. There is a great deal of scholarly writing dealing with various policy issues, and you should absolutely avail yourself of it. 

Step 3: Prepare a formal policy memo for the President of the United States (POTUS). This is the only part of the project you will turn in.


Step 1 – Identifying the Issue

A. Throughout chapter 17 of the textbook, you will find traditional methods and core issues used to create a foreign policy agenda. Use this information as a starting point for identifying the subject of your own research.

B. Next, identify a single issue that you feel should be the highest priority in American foreign policy and specifically how the nation should go about pursuing that policy.


Step 2 - Gathering Sources

A. Find three high-quality reference materials (articles published in an academic journal) using the following criteria:

  • The article must be no more than 10 years old, a minimum of five pages in length, and should meet the standards of college level material.
  • Carefully choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
  • Newspaper articles, magazine articles, textbooks and items of the like are considered "supplemental sources" on the collegiate level and are not quality research materials.
  • Dictionaries, Encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), Almanacs, or an Atlas are reference materials and should not be listed in any works cited page on the collegiate level.
  • Properly document your sources in your memo and on a works cited page. 


Step 3 – The Memo

A. Your paper should quickly explain how the President can take your advice and put it into action. He is a busy man, so keep it short and to the point.

B. This document should quickly articulate (in 2-3 paragraphs) the relevance of the issue, your policy position (citing the supporting evidence) and conclude with a suggested course of action.

C. The memo is to be 1.5 - 2 full pages in length using single spacing (using the formal formatting protocols for a memo). No more and no less is necessary for this activity. If you need help with the formatting, simply do a web search to find a style guide. Failure to meet the minimum writing requirement will result in serious penalties.

D. Finally, add a cover page to the front of the document and include the works cited page at the end.

Submit all pages together as one file


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