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Effective Writing for Public Health Change

Winter Institute
Health Policy and Management
Academic Year
2023 - 2024
Instruction Method
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Start Date
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
End Date
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Class Time(s)
This course will be offered January 9, 11, 16, and 18, 2024 from 11:00am - 1:00pm
Tu, Th, 11:00am - 1:20pm
Auditors Allowed
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
One Year Only
Next Offered
Only offered in 2023
Public health researchers and practitioners have life-saving knowledge to share but are often not trained on how best to share that knowledge so that it is easily understood and put to use at scale. Public health leaders and advocates learn how to translate their knowledge for individuals at all levels of health literacy, to achieve greater understanding and adoption of public health knowledge and solutions. Students leave the course able to distill what they know into a variety of communications that audiences can understand and act on in the pursuit of public health policy goals.
Sharpens writing skills for clear, effective public health communication. Introduces the key elements of successful writing, and how to successfully apply those fundamentals to different communication formats and goals, both traditional and modern. Writing and organization skills practiced through writing assignments focused on practical real-world examples students will face in their careers, including one-pagers, policy memos, and data summaries, including learning to edit, improve, and pressure test the work of others. Presents professional standards for accuracy, readability, structure, and style that help communicate more effectively and persuasively in the pursuit of public health goals.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and apply the fundamentals of clear, effective writing to document, paragraph, and sentence structure
  2. Analyze and edit writing to eliminate jargon, wordiness, and repetition
  3. Explain the structure and benefits of different formats for different audiences and goals, including how to write persuasively when needed, and apply writing skills to different formats successfully
  4. Apply key principles of integrity including how to properly gather credible information, attribute, and fact-check
  5. Write clear, well-organized, and concise persuasive documents for readers with varying levels of knowledge and expertise
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 15% Participation
  • 20% Quizzes
  • 40% Written Assignment(s)
  • 25% Final Paper
Enrollment Restriction
Graduate level students only
Special Comments

This course will require students to listen to pre-recorded lectures and complete assigned readings prior to the start of class.