Module Learning Objectives
- Complete a research project related to one of the Standard Course objectives. (CO 3, 4, or 5)
- Analyze the influences on American National Government in policy decisions. (CO 5)
- Demonstrate proper application of APA formatting and reference documentation. (CO 6)
Letter Writing Project
This is a semester long research project which involves researching a federal issue or concern and addressing that matter in a letter to a member of the United States Congress.
Part 1: Define the issue – 50 points (200 Words)
Define the issue – This is the first step in completing this assignment and actively engaging as a citizen. In paragraph form clearly articulate a concern that is important to you and within the authority of the United States Congress. Explain your concern, how this impacts the United States and specifically the source of the Congress’ authority to address this issue. Please review chapter 3 in your textbook, for sources federal authority, ie. Constitutional authority and through the use of federal grants. Please support your position with two research sources.
Part 2: Research (50 points), Analysis (25 points) and Letter (25 points points) – Total value = 100 points
Part 2 is divided into three separate sections – Please identify each section by separate title and submit as one document.
- Annotated Bibliography – Provide a summary and analysis of five separate sources. 50 points (approximately 500 words).
- “An annotated bibliography is a list of sources with information that describes and makes a value statement about each source. It is a research tool to assist you in synthesizing and reviewing your sources.” (umuc.edu) This will involve five separate summaries with analytical evaluations of each source. Each citation must be in proper APA format.
- Preparing an Annotated Bibliography
- How to Write an Annotated Bibliography (tutorial)
- In addition to the proper citation format, the above links provide important information regarding your analysis, which should includes an analysis of the intent and perspective of the author. Bias for the purposes of this assignment, is about understanding the perspective of your source. Almost all articles about political issues have some bias. This does not necessarily discredit the source but it does require your recognition of that bias or perspective for a meaningful evaluation.
- Analysis – 25 points – Summarize your research and explain role Congress’ role in addressing this issue. What action would you like to see your Representative or Senator and the Congress as a whole take in this matter. Include in your discussion the obstacles to the outcome you are seeking. (Approximately 250 words)
- Letter to Congress – 25 points – Write a letter to your Representative or Senator explaining your concern and specifically identifying what you would like to see your Representative or Senator do regarding this matter. (Approximately 200 words)
Letter Formatting Tips:
- Please make sure your letter is in the proper business letter format.
- The purpose of your letter should be stated in the first paragraph.
- Parenthetical references are not necessary within your letter.
- If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it accordingly. House bill: H. R. ____, Senate bill: S.____.
- Keep your letter courteous and to the point. Include key information, using examples to support your point.
- Address only one issue in each letter; and, if possible, keep the letter to one page.
USE THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES TO PROPERLY ADDRESS YOUR CORRESPONDENCE:
TO A SENATOR:
The Honorable (full name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
TO A REPRESENTATIVE:
The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
How to find your Congressman or Senator, and their address:
- Go to the website: Contacting the Congress
- Type in your zip code
- Click on the name of your Representative or Senator to find their mailing address.
How to format a Business Letter
Please review the following guidelines and requirements in preparing your paper.
- Look over the Research Project Grading Rubric to understand how you will be scored.
- APA Research Analysis, including proper citations and reference list.
- You cannot cite the American government textbook we are using.
- If you have extensive citations from one source, you will have to rewrite the paper. Remember, at least five sources used throughout the paper.
- Personal interviews, statements on television, radio, and in videos or movies are not acceptable.
- 1,200 words or 5 to 6 pages in length, 12 point traditional font.
- A minimum of 5 relevant and legitimate sources, documented within the paper and properly cited in a reference list.
- Clear application of research to the assignment requirements.
- Type your name, date, and the section number of your class in the upper-left-hand corner on the first page of the paper. You do not need a title page and abstract.
- Well organized paragraphs, clear and complete sentence structure, proper word usage and grammar.
- The Research Papers need to be submitted to the Research Paper Dropboxes (Part 1 and Part 2). Please do not email your document
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