Resolutions begin with "Whereas" statements that offer the resolution's fundamental facts and arguments, and end with "Resolved" statements that define the precise suggestion for the requestor's course of action. These can be as simple as "I resolve that the restaurant serve food that is not covered in grease." or as extensive as "We resolve to reduce our carbon footprint by using fewer plastic bags at the grocery store.".
They are written by politicians as guidelines for future behavior, and they usually take the form of promises that the politician will or will not do something if elected to office. For example, a political candidate may make a resolution to stop smoking cigarettes if he or she is elected; this is known as a "resolve" or "resolution".
A resolution is different from a goal in that resolutions are intended to be permanent changes in behavior, while goals are simply things that someone wants to happen.
For example, a person who has a goal of losing weight might resolve to eat healthier and exercise more. A resolution could also be making a commitment to stop drinking alcohol entirely. Resolutions are often made at New Year's Eve parties when people make promises about how they want to change their lives.
What are the fundamental guidelines for authoring a resolution? Rule number one is that every resolution must contain a title, "whereas" clause(s), and "resolved" clause(s), as well as the author's name (s). The title should be straightforward and simple, conveying the basic notion of the resolution's content. The "whereas" clauses give background on why the resolution is necessary or important, and can include references to other resolutions or statutes. The "resolved" clauses summarize what action will be taken by the body to resolve the issue raised in the resolution. These can also include references to other actions or procedures that may be taken as part of the resolution's implementation.
A resolution cannot simply express an opinion or make a statement of policy. It can only propose a specific course of action. Therefore, resolutions often begin with words such as "Resolved," "That," or "I." They then go on to state specific things that the body wants to change or end up proposing solutions to problems. For example: "Resolved, That the Congress shall have the power to require the states to provide equal treatment for all citizens within their jurisdiction." Or, "Resolved, That it is the sense of this Council that cities should have the right to regulate or prohibit smoking in public spaces."
It is important for resolutions to be concise, clear, and readable. Try to avoid using long sentences or complex language.
A resolution is divided into three sections: the header, the pre-ambulatory clauses, and the operative clauses. The title comprises three pieces of information: the name of the committee, the topic of the resolution, and the country sponsoring the resolution. The committee name should be defined by statute or by rule of the body creating it. A committee may have any number of members, but no more than five individuals can serve on the committee at one time.
The header usually takes the form of introductory language that identifies the subject of the resolution and often calls attention to its importance. For example, the header of a United States congressional resolution reads as follows: "Whereas, the government of Iraq has requested United States assistance in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks against civilians; and Whereas, these attacks threaten the peace efforts being undertaken by the United States and other countries throughout the world."
The preamble is included for informational purposes only and cannot be used to limit or expand the application of the resolution. For example, a preamble to an international treaty might state that the signatories intend to prohibit nuclear weapons tests in their territories, while at the same time allowing for the testing of nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes. The operative clauses set forth the action that will be taken by Congress or the organization's body of representatives.