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Checklist for Writing Policy Documents

Use this checklist when writing policy documents, such as for government agencies, state departments or public sector organizations.

Nothing is more frustrating than discovering errors or omissions when it too late. You may have lost the proposal before they even opened you document.

With that in mind, make sure that you have included the following:

Checklist Yes/No
Document structure is determined by audience requirements
Facts/Figures are accurate and complete
The document scope is stated
Present situation is explained
Issues are explained
Policy options are stated
Preferred policy is identified
Overt risks stated
Policy takes account of political and legal repercussions
Feedback accepted from the appropriate people
You personally understand every sentence you have written
Executive summary can be understood by the general public at first reading
Used Plain English
Objective writing style
Third person only (no use of  'you' or 'we')
Concrete nouns outnumber abstract nouns
Consistent verb tenses
Verbs as simple as possible
Sentences clear even if quoted out of context
Passive verbs avoided when possible
Editing has removed inconsistencies of style
Perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation and layout

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