Chapter 7 and 8 of American Government Edition: 14th

1.Essay 1 (Part 1): Legislative Letter

Letter writing can be an effective way to communicate with legislators. Communicating your concerns, stances, or opinions about issues can help mold legislation that affects you. Essentially, your letter helps your representatives understand your perspective about various issues and that you are monitoring his/her activities on that issue.

The purpose of this project is for you to research current legislation that is of interest to you. First, you will research the bill of interest identifying the bill number and contents. You will then draft a letter/e-mail to you congress person asking for his/her support or opposition to the bill. Your letter/e-mail should be written in a professional manner.

The following guidelines apply:

  • Your letter should be addressed to the member of congress who represents your district (open with the proper salutation). Note which congressional district you reside. Always address the letter as:

    Honorable State Representative (or Senator) XXX

    State House

    State Capitol

  • Dear Representative XXX or Dear Senator XXX

  • Your purpose for writing should be stated in the first paragraph of the letter. Do not state that you are writing the letter to fulfill a class requirement, as you want your letter to be taken seriously. Focus on one issue; do not ramble.
  • Always ask your representative to clarify his/her role on the issue you are discussing; this will encourage him/her to reply to your letter.
  • Identify the bill by its correct bill number. Note if he/she is a sponsor of said bill.
  • State in two or three paragraphs why this bill is of interest to you and why you are asking for their support or opposition to the bill.
  • If possible keep the letter to one page. Stating that this is a course assignment is not an acceptable reason for writing the letter/e-mail. Thank him/her for their attention to this matter and state that you are looking forward to their reply.

You will not need to turn in anything at this time, but keep copies of your letter and any responses you get from your legislator.

The following web sites may help you:

2.In the previous module, you wrote to your congressman. In this module, you will write an essay that summarizes and evaluates that experience. Use the following to guide you:

Summarize (in your own words):

  • the bill including bill number
  • the content of your letter
  • the response of said congress person

Evaluate the experience:

  • What did you learn from the assignment?
  • Did you get the response you were expecting?
  • Did he/she respond to your specific points or was it a general/ non-specific response?
  • Who do you think replied to your letter: the congress person his/her self or a staff person?
  • If you had to do this assignment again, what might you do differently?

The following web sites may help you:

Create your assignment in a word-processing program, such as MS Word. Your document must be in .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf format. See the Essay rubric for grading criteria.

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