At the end of each chapter, a “how to” guide, referred to as a skillbox, gives step-by-step instructions on an essential skill drawn from the subject matter covered. From memo writing to public speaking to manipulating spreadsheets to accounting for inflation in cost forecasts, the skill is described, instructions are provided, and a sample exercise is included that provides an opportunity to practice. These skillboxes focus on the foundational tools that public service professionals need: effective communication, critical thinking, grant writing, program evaluation, conducting cost-benefit analysis, and more. We use the opportunity presented by an introductory course textbook to draw attention to and impart basic competency in the most critical public service skills.

  • How to Write a Memorandum
  • Effective Public Speaking
  • Running a Meeting
  • Starting a Nonprofit (or not)
  • Hiring the Right Person
  • Data Management and Presentation with Spreadsheets
  • E-mail versus in-person communication
  • How to Compare Costs and Benefits
  • How to Calculate Inflation Adjustment
  • How to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request
  • Grant-writing Essentials
  • How to dissect a legal decision
  • Tips for Ethical Decision Making
  • Essentials of program evaluation
  • Is Public Service the Right Career for You?