Briefing Book for Prof Tutor Only**

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HowtoPrepareaBriefingBookTOPOSTwithFAQ1.pdf

How to Prepare a Briefing Book

There are different types of briefing books. They can be used to prepare a speaker for a press conference, for an event (like a ceremony in which they are giving or receiving an award), for or a meeting, etc.

A briefing book can also be used to prepare an organization, a key committee, or a key representative or decision-maker to quickly gain a command of an issue. It should identify areas of disagreement, controversy, or tension; it should summarize the most relevant and compelling evidence that is required to engage intelligently in discussion, debate, and, of course, policy-making.

A briefing book for policy making purposes should include:

1. Executive Summary: a. What is the issue that this briefing book addresses? b. What is the background the reader needs to understand? c. Are there key tensions or tradeoffs the reader needs to be aware of

before reviewing the evidence? 2. Summary sheet for each cluster of articles, organized by issue or

intervention (in this case, two peer-reviewed research articles and two articles of perspective, editorial, or opinion for each section of the briefing book). The summary sheet should include:

Article name followed by bullet points that convey, as relevant:  Question:  Major Finding(s):  Methods (if relevant):  Key Facts:  Policy Implications (if relevant):  Feasibility/Scalability (if relevant):  Key quotes (if relevant):  Key stakeholders (if relevant):

3. A compendium of the articles (presented in the order in which they are

discussed in the summary sheet) in the event the reader wishes to dig deeper (or check your accuracy or summary!).

Briefing books are internal documents. In this instance, we are asking you to create a briefing book meant to allow another to make a decision. It should not lead the reader or suggest positions or make recommendations. This does not mean that creating a briefing book requires no analysis or judgement. You must determine

what evidence is credible and relevant to the issue. This requires you to frame the issue, too. What do Dr. Hernandez and Senator Walker need to know? The articles that you select for the book should be balanced. You would not want the group or person you are briefing to be broadsided by not knowing all the facts or counterarguments (in this case, you are not preparing a comprehensive briefing book, so a reasonable array of facts and counterarguments will suffice). In other words, you need to present the most relevant, credible literature/evidence that is available to inform both sides of an issue but do not overlook key, credible articles that do not align with a position you may have. That said, if 99 percent of the evidence leads to one conclusion and 1 percent contradicts that conclusion, make sure the reader understands the balance of evidence. Do not create a false sense of equivalence simply for the sake of achieving the appearance of balance. Finally, the writing should be professional, precise, concise, and show a high measure of regard for your reader’s time. This is not a novel. Focus on clarity and accuracy. And kill your darlings: if a piece of information or a journal or news article isn’t clearly relevant, don’t include it. Frequently Asked Questions The answer to most of your questions is likely to be—outside of the parameters we set out—that you should feel free to use your professional judgment about what’s required to produce the kind of product you would want to hand a supervisor. Q: The rubric doesn’t mention how many sources should be in each section, should it be as many as was in the first sample section each time or is there a range? A: You do not have to use any additional sources, but you may if you feel, based on your review of a whole range of papers, that you’d like to capture the work that you did to select the four articles that you highlighted. Q: In order to have a complete the overview section in its entirety, are we supposed to use additional sources other than the 4 articles we are providing a summary on? A: No, but see the above question. You may submit additional sources if you like, (we know that you did a lot of work and may want to show what you know), but it is not required.

Q: If we have additional sources, then are am I supposed to have the citation at the end of the section to make sure I have all of the information being properly cited and referenced in my section 2 briefing book? A: Yes Q: When I am turning in section 2 of the briefing book am I supposed to attach all four articles at the end of the section? Is this what you mean with the compendium of articles? A: Yes. When you turn in your draft of section 2, put them at the end of that section. When you turn in the final briefing book, please put them at the end of all of your summary sheets (this will make it easier for the reader to read through all of your summaries first). Q: Are we doing our assigned topic for section 3 as well? The instructions state a “wild card” and it makes it seem like we’d have a different topic (especially considering that section 1 sample was on the SSB tax). A: You get to pick your own option, but please note that the topic (how do we deal with this particular public health challenge) is the same. More instructions on the “wild card” option will be posted on eCampus soon. Q: Are we turning in a cumulative FINAL draft of the briefing Book, or is each section we turn in our one and only draft we are submitting A: Please reference the document titled “Your Briefing Book Assignment Timeline” for information about submissions. However, the entire briefing book will eventually be due. Q: For the assignment due on Sunday with section 2 of the briefing book, are we supposed to write a section overview with the same style as section 1? A: Yes. Please note that this is a draft, but this is your one option to get feedback to make sure you are heading in the right direction, so you benefit from making this as complete as possible. Also note that you will not turn in a draft of section 3 so this is your one chance to get feedback from your studio lead to ensure that you are on the right path. Q: In the section overview for section 1, can we make up information about why New Illabamafornica Department of Health is interested in the topic (menu labels for healthy eating) and what steps they took to develop policy to support healthy eating.

A: Yes, but make it credible based on what you read for class or what you identified in your search. Q: Where can I find the feedback from Cathy Pepper? A: Go to the grade book in eCampus and locate the column for this submission. Click on your grade and your feedback should appear. If it does not then please notify your TA and Cathy Pepper in the same e-mail. Q: I was wondering if our articles had to be based on the US? I have a few that are about policies in other countries and I wanted to know if I may have to look for articles based here or if I can use the ones I have. A: As long as the data is applicable then you are allowed. Q: Can the research articles for the briefing book include systematic reviews? How do I describe the methods? A: Systematic reviews are acceptable articles to include in your section of the briefing book. All systematic reviews have a research or design section that describes the strategy the authors used to search for and choose articles to include in the review. Q: Can I include more than one subtopic in my section of the briefing book? A: The short answer is yes. But know that this will require a separate search. This means you will have to present this other subtopic search as a separate option, not just as coinciding support for the first topic.