This is a guide for anybody who wants to get involved in the WA, or more specifically write their own proposals. If you've considered doing it in the past, or may be interested in doing so in the future, this may be for you as well. I would've loved to have a guide like this to follow when I started out in the WA, because I had no idea what I was doing, made quite a few mistakes, and initially didn't see any success. After a few months, I was starting to learn and getting the hang of proposal writing. Fast-forward four months and I've written three resolutions and I'm confident enough to spread the knowledge to the rest of the community.
General Tips- things to keep in mind.
Ideas- different ways to come up with ideas for WA drafts.
Proposal Rules- Explanation of how the rules work in each council.
Researching for Drafts- How you should research before writing a proposal.
Drafting- How to write drafts.
Campagning- How to campaign your proposals after submission.
Credits- Credits to those who helped with this project.
Here are some important things to think about when writing drafts-
Join the WA discord! It is extremely helpful to be surrounded with experienced authors with interest in helping you. Remember- every author starts at the same place.
Talk to authors you know personally. If you are friends with WA authors, or there are some in your region, or you just know them in general, you should seek help when writing your proposals.
Get involved in WA programs within your region(s), if there are any. Having WA experience in any capacity (even if it's just regularly reading at-vote resolutions and voting on them) is helpful if not crucial in getting started writing your own.
Remember that people won't always like the concepts of what you write, that's just how ideology works. Write the best product you can and you may be able to find enough support to get your proposal passed.
Be nice on the forums! People (including me) are much more willing to give feedback when the author is being kind.
Do not rush your proposals! Proposals take time and effort to perfect, be patient.
All proposals start as an idea. Here are some ways you can come up with ideas for resolutions-
In the GA:
It is generally agreed that the best way to get started in the GA is to find standing resolutions you don't like, and repealing them. If you want to write a non-repeal but don't know what to write about, here are some ways to find inspiration-
Reading recent news articles.
Reading Historical resolutions that have not been covered in the GA.
Use the GA proposal ideas thread.
Just think of things that are important to you, or that you would like to change.
Find past repealed resolutions that have not been replaced.
Ask other people for ideas.
In the SC:
Think of nominees you have interacted with personally, and their actions compared to those who have received the recognition you think your nominee deserves. Do your nominee's actions measure up to what it usually takes to get commended/condemned? If yes, you've found your nominee. If no, you should try again.
Use the SC proposal ideas thread.
For declarations, think of some form of guidelines you would like all regions to follow, guidelines that would be illegal to pass through the GA.
Search through past resolutions and find one which commends or condemns a nation or region that has changed their actions enough to no longer deserve that recognition, or resolutions that are generally badly written. Sometimes it is appropriate to repeal a past resolution and then pass the same recognition of the same nominee, but covering actions since the original recognition.
All proposals must be legal to get anywhere. If you follow the proposal rules1 when you write your proposal, you can completely ignore this section if you so wish.
For the GA:
The rules for GA proposals can be found here. Part of the major importance in public drafting is to eliminate illegalities. Once a GA proposal is submitted, GenSec votes on whether or not the proposal is legal. If more votes are for "illegal" than "legal," the proposal will be labeled illegal, and unable to pass. When you begin to draft a proposal, legality is the first thing you should worry about. Even if an illegal GA proposal manages to reach the voting floor without being declared illegal, it can still be discarded due to a successful legality challenge.
For the SC:
The rules for SC proposals can be found here. Once an SC proposal is submitted, the NS moderators vote on its legality. The voting works the same way as the Secretariat vote works for GA proposals. There is no legality challenge system in the SC.
This step is crucial for writing good drafts. Writing proposals is hard, and you need to go into it knowing what you're talking about. Writing commendations and condemnations take the most extensive research. Everything else requires a fair amount of research though not quite as extensive as C/C resolutions.
For the GA:
If you are attempting a non-repeal, you will want to research the past GA resolutions on this topic, as well as how the topic is covered IRL. When looking through past resolutions on your topic, pay extra attention to any repealed resolutions, and see why they were repealed so you know what to avoid. Due to the proposal rules1, you must not contradict or duplicate any past legislation, so make sure to be original. The reason to research IRL coverage of a topic is to get a better idea of what exactly you like, don't like, and specifically want to change in the WA by seeing the actual effects of similar legislation.
If you are attempting a repeal in the GA, you will want to research the arguments for and against the resolution at the time of writing and voting, and the circumstances in which it passed. What about the resolution is bad enough to get it repealed? Get an idea of why the resolution needs to be repealed and then make your arguments. If you are doing a repeal and replace2, think of how your replacement can improve upon the original resolution. What do you like and dislike about the past resolution you are repealing and replacing?
For the SC3:
If you are attempting a Commendation or Condemnation, you must do extensive research into your nominee's history. You will need to research all of the nominee's major accomplishments and contributions, why they are notable enough to warrant a c/c resolution, and under what circumstances these actions were performed in. How did the community react to these actions? Why specifically are these actions good/bad and why do they deserve a commendation/condemnation respectively? These things must be taken into consideration during research. Before you start to write a commendation, it is typically best to ask the nominee if they are interested in being commended first.
If you are attempting to repeal a Commendation or Condemnation, you will still need to do some extensive research (unless the resolution you wish to repeal is simply poorly written). Find out what actions listed in the target proposal are not commendable/condemnable, and what has changed in the nominee's behavior. Find out why the nominee was liked enough for a commendation, or infamous enough for a condemnation in the first place, and why it is no longer the case. Essentially, you need to find out what has changed since a nominee was commended or condemned that makes them no longer deserving of a commendation or condemnation. Find your repeal hook, and make your argument.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to draft your proposals on the forums4 to get adequate feedback from the international community before submission. Even if you do manage to pass a resolution of sub-par quality, it will be at high risk of being repealed.Writing the draft well and getting adequate feedback on it is the most important step in getting a proposal passed. It is simply a necessity.
Now it's time to write your draft. Once again, be sure to follow the proposal rules1 for the respective council when writing. There are two basic styles to writing legislation: the UN style and Statute style. Here is a helpful guide written by Imperium Anglorum explaining those two styles. At the end of the day, every legislator likes to write in a certain way so you should write in whichever way best suits you.
For GA non-repeals:
Start with the preamble- justify your proposal. Try to keep it relatively short and simple as very few people will want to sit through reading a preamble as long as the operatives of a proposal (including me). Explain why your proposal is necessary and the basic justifications for your operatives. Then, write your operative clauses. Structure and format these however you want, as long as you get the point across and enact the policy you wish to enact. Or, you could write the operatives first and then the preamble. Or you could even go without a preamble entirely, it's not required.
For repeals in either chamber:
Structure the argument however you wish. You've done your research, now put it into an argument. Drafting doesn't typically take as much time for repeals as it does for non-repeals, but you will still want to improve your draft as much as you can before you submit it. As long as you follow all the pointers in this guide, you should have a good idea of how to draft a repeal.
For c/c resolutions:
Once again, you may structure these however you want. You've done your research, now include all of it in a draft. C/c resolutions have to be extremely detailed. Keep in mind there is a character count of 5,000 characters for all WA proposals. Take plenty of time to get feedback on these, especially from those close to the nominee.
For all resolutions:
Once you have a rough draft written, proofread for any errors in grammar and spelling, and make sure everything reads well and makes sense. Double check that everything is well written and covers everything you wish to cover. Then, once you are comfortable doing so, post the draft to the respective forum.
Wait for feedback. Remember that listening to feedback is one of the most important parts of maturing as a legislator and improving your drafts. Not all feedback will be helpful, but most will. DO NOT RUSH YOUR PROPOSALS. The drafting phase will often take several months. It requires effort and perseverance to write good laws, remember this. Make sure you are giving people enough time to comment on your draft and provide feedback. If multiple people are telling you that you're moving too fast, they're probably right. Listen to feedback, and implement what you find helpful. Keep in mind that the forums are not the only place to get feedback on proposals. I strongly recommend joining the WA discord, and talking to your region mates to ask for feedback.
Once you think that your proposal is ready, and others agree with you, you should announce your intention to submit. Do this in whichever way you choose, or don't at all, it's your choice. When the time comes, submit your proposal!
So what happens once you submit your proposal, and it gets marked legal? You first need to send a campaign telegram out. You can send it to the delegates manually (which can take hours), use an API program (more information on that here) or find someone to run it for you, or go the fastest route, using telegram stamps which can be bought here. Once you choose your method, write your telegram. It is best to keep these short, as people's attention spans are rather short. Briefly describe your proposal and then let it speak for itself. Provide a link to the proposal in your campaign. Once you have that done, choose to send the telegram to whichever tags are necessary for your method of choice, and mark it as a campaign telegram. Then, send! Once the delegates receive the telegram, you will start to see your proposal getting approvals. Once 6% of the delegates approve the proposal, it will reach quorum. Once the voting ends on the current at-vote, the next proposal in queue will be promoted to the floor. Queue order is determined by time of submission, not time of reaching quorum.
Thank you to Imperium Anglorum for allowing me to link his explainer of legislative styles.
Thank you to Grey county for inspiring this project.
1. GA proposal rules- SC proposal rules.
2. Note that it is not possible to amend resolutions, enact new legislation in a repeal of old legislation, and it is illegal to contradict past legislation in new legislation, thus the need for a repeal and replace instead of simply writing a new resolution in certain situations.
3. Declarations are too new at the time of writing for me to really understand the ins and outs of researching and writing them, and as such they will not be covered. In addition I have no experience with liberations and have never been all that interested in them to the point that I know nearly nothing about them. They will also not be covered.
4. GA forum- SC forum.
If you have any questions or need any help, telegram me on this nation (Jedinsto), or DM me on discord at Jedinsto#3023. Thank you all for reading!