Policy FAQs

If you're thinking about getting involved in writing for TWS, the following may help answer some of your questions.

What counts as a writing sample?

 

Absolutely anything! All we want to see is evidence of strong writing skills, especially the type that would be suited to writing policy papers. If you think this is best displayed by a supervision essay or an article entirely unrelated to the topic at hand, feel free to send those in ! We’ve had successful applicants send in samples of papers they’ve written on medicine, law and even mathematics, just to name a few.

Who can apply? 

 

Anyone who is a member of the Wilberforce Society is eligible to apply! To be a member, you need to be a student or alum at the University of Cambridge. 

 

Do we need any experience working in policy?

 

We recruit members from very diverse academic backgrounds. It is not a prerequisite that you have policy experience. While it may add to your profile if you do, more often than not, we look for enthusiasm, dedication and a genuine engagement with the work that we do. 

 

What does the timeline look like? 

 

The bulk of the writing process usually lasts around 3 months, culminating in the production of the first draft. The subsequent review stages should last about two weeks each. In addition, some time will be needed to work on edits. Therefore, the commitment for an entire policy paper should last around 5 months. In cases where substantial edits are required, however, please be prepared for the process to stretch slightly beyond this.

How many people will I be working with?

 

You can expect to have a team of one editor or two co-editors, in addition to anywhere between 4 to 8 writers. Team sizes vary and entirely depend on the nature and scope of the paper being worked on. 

 

How does the writing process work?

 

  1. Research and synthesis

  2. Writing

  3. Submission of first draft

  4. Internal review by TWS Policy Team and Subeditor Panel

  5. Edits and Second Draft

  6. Expert review

  7. Edits and Third Draft

  8. Trustee review - this part of the process is required to ensure that the paper remains non-partisan and adheres to TWS’ standards

  9. Final edits 

  10. Publication

 

Do note that if there are no major issues with the paper, most of the edits are usually done by the third draft that follows expert review.