Policy Letter

Topic: Every year, our elected representatives consider thousands of bills.
The policy areas they are responsible for are broad, impactful, and important. Your task is to identify a topic from the class you are interested in, research it, and draft a persuasive letter to your elected official in the House of Representatives concerning that topic. The key here is to be persuasive. You should focus on calling your congressperson to action on an issue that you personally care about. For instance, we will discuss healthcare reform in this course. You could take a side for/against universal healthcare and discuss the benefits/detriments to systemic changes and existing healthcare policies. You should also discuss important bills on your specific topic. If no such bills exist, urge your congressperson to draft one. This means you pick the topic of your letter first, and then you search for bills.
Citations/Research: You will be judged on your ability to identify good quality sources concerning your topic. Peer reviewed journal sources are the preferred type of citation. News articles are fine, too, but will not be as impactful with respect to the quality of your arguments and overall grade. Consult the librarians for help with searching databases if you’re unfamiliar with academic research and peer-reviewed journal articles. Instead of a works cited page, cite your sources using footnotes in the letter (see the next page for an example of a proper citation). Any instance of plagiarism will be caught, reported, and result in you failing the course.
Additional Formatting Instructions:

  • 12 pt Times New Roman font
  • One-inch margins all around
  • Two to three pages in length
  • Single-space, block format (see next page)
  • Address your letter to the closest office near you (not the office in D.C.)
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