The effect of Nursing shortage in Newfoundland and Labrador

Learning objectives:
• Improved awareness of the need to write concisely.
• Exposure to a regular component of public administration.
• Development of a skill that may be required during the student’s placement and/or career.
Grading of the Briefing Note
The briefing note is graded by the designated Political Science faculty member. Its evaluation will be classified on the student’s
transcriipt as one of: pass or fail.
A briefing note is a tightly written summary that quickly but objectively informs the reader about key subject material. Briefing
notes are regularly used within government organizations as a means of conveying complex information in a digestible manner
to executives. To maximize efficiency and the approvals process all authors throughout the organization are required to strictly
adhere to a standardized presentation format.
Each student is required to prepare a briefing note on a topical political issue of their choosing, normally related to their work
term placement.
A briefing note is exactly 2 full pages. It must present accurate information in a simple readable style using all of the headings
below. A cover page is not needed. Your audience would be your work term placement employer or it could be a faculty
member. Basically, pretend that a supervisor—who doesn’t have time to read the article but who needs to know the main
points for an important meeting—requests a briefing note so that he/she can quickly become familiar with the major points and
concepts on an issue that s/he may know very little about. Students are expected to closely follow the required format and to
refer to the example provided.
• Topic (1 sentence identifying the issue using key words)
• Background (1 paragraph summarizing what led up to the situation)
• Status (1 paragraph describing what the latest situation is)
• Key Considerations (bullet points about important related facts)
• Recommendations (1 paragraph that identifies conclusions about the above facts and the general course of action that you
would advise to the policy decision-maker)
The policy issue needs to be researched using a variety of credible online news sources though it may be supplemented slightly
by academic materials. Briefing notes do not ordinarily provide a list of sources however the instructor will ask for this
documentation if it is suspected that information was not sufficiently presented in the author’s own words.
Further Guidance
“Write clear and effective briefing notes”, Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2010.

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