Influence impact by writing compelling policy stories.

It’s easy to think that data speaks for itself. But data alone often isn’t enough. Analysts, advocates, fundraisers and policymakers must be skilled writers who can convey policy stories that persuade readers to take meaningful action to address a pressing policy challenge. 

The Persuasive Writing Credential is a six-week course to practice evidence-based writing and strategies that incite meaningful action. Through interactive lectures and case studies, you will cultivate a robust toolkit to write, revise, and polish persuasive policy stories tailored to meet the unique needs of your audience.

The application for the 2023 program is now open. Start your application today!


Enhance Your Writing Portfolio

Course assignments enable you to build a customized portfolio including pieces like a policy brief, memo, op-ed, and grant proposal. Your portfolio will grow using the strategies gained in the lectures, case study exercises, and personalized support from peer groups and individual coaching. You can use the new profile for pitches, publications, and applications to graduate school or professional positions.

You will engage in weekly lectures, discussions, and office hours with faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and group of peers.

The six-week, part-time program format is compatible for those who are working full-time or enrolled in school full-time.


Subject: Persuasive Writing , Policy Writing

Level: All levels are welcome with adaptable content and customized teaching

Duration: 6 weeks, 5-8 hours per week

Dates: Summer 2023

Cost: $1,500


  • No prior experience in professional writing or editing required
  • 100% online with interactive, synchronous lectures
  • Capstone writing project and deliverable
  • Shareable certificate of completion to showcase your skills

Who Will Benefit

This program is a fit if you:

  • Are interested in policy, data journalism, storytelling, or communication
  • Are writing policy memos, briefs, grant proposals, op-eds, advocacy or official correspondence 
  • Seek a skillset to write for media, government, non-profits, or private organizations
  • Have no or limited experience in policy or persuasive writing
  • Are considering a graduate degree or professional path in the field of data journalism, public policy, or public administration

Headshot of Lauren Manning
Lauren Manning

“David provides a home for writers-turned-policymakers, and policymakers-turned-writers, to develop and hone the skills needed to ensure their policy stories make a difference.”

Lauren Manning, MPP’20

What You Will Learn

By committing to this program's rigorous process of reading, writing, discussing, collaborating, and editing, you will be able to demonstrate your ability to:

  • Read actively, interrogating texts to understand and test the author’s claims, opinions, and evidence.
  • Generate research questions that are complex and nuanced enough to allow for inquiry and discovery, not just summary and illustration.
  • Write engaging and compelling policy stories that provide useful and persuasive recommendations to address root causes of policy challenges.
  • Develop sound strategies to cogently structure policy stories—using various conventions of logic, syntax, and formatting—that anticipate the audience’s needs.

Program Details

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