What party does the representative belong to?

Congressional Role

4 pages double spaces APSA styles

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Your paper should be four pages, typed and double-spaced, with size 12, Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins.



Your task for this assignment is to apply what we have learned about Congress to analyze the behavior of a particular member of the House of Representatives, including his or her policy activities, constituency service, and public relations efforts. Your first step will be to choose a member of the House of Representatives (any member is fine; it need not be your representative) and go to http://www.house.gov to locate that representative’s web site. The information provided there, the course materials (lecture and the textbook), and extra information about the representative and district available through the Almanac of American Politics will provide all of the information for the paper.

The 2016, 2018, and 2020 editions of the Almanac of American Politics are available online from the University library, so you need to choose a current House member who has a profile in at least one of those editions. Please consult whether the House member you select has a profile in one of the available editions before proceeding.

Some questions your paper should address include:

  1. What are some basic background facts about your representative (e.g., What party does the representative belong to? How long has he or she been in office? Did he or she win the last race by a close margin or was it a landslide?) and his or her district (e.g., Is the district urban or rural? Relatively racially/ethnically diverse or homogenous? Rich or poor?, etc.)
  2. On which committees does your representative serve? What issues fall within these committees’ jurisdictions? What sorts of issues does the representative introduce and cosponsor bills and resolutions about? Is there correspondence between committee assignments and the content of his/her activities? Do these assignments and

activities seem to match up with issues of particular relevance to the constituency?

  1. Does the Congressperson’s website describe his or her constituency service? What types of things does the member do for the district?
  2. How do these activities map on to the general strategies of advertising, position-taking, and credit-claiming?
  3. Based on the various standards discussed in class, is the member “responsive”? Evaluate the member using your research, and justify the response using ideas from class.

Your paper should be approximately 4 pages, typed and double-spaced, with size 12, Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins. Other than exploring the legislator’s website and the Almanac of American Politics, you are not expected to do outside research. Instead, your grade will be based on the extent to which you demonstrate that you have read and understood the readings and lecture material and that you have put some independent thought into analyzing the behavior of your representative. Your grade will also depend on the quality of writing. Writing should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. The framework of the paper should be carefully thought-out, and the paper should be coherent and well organized with a clear argument. References and citations should be consistent with the American Political Science Association (APSA) Manual of Style (https://mk0apsaconnectbvy6p6.kinstacdn.com/wp- content/uploads/sites/43/2020/07/Style-Manual-for-Political-Science-July-2020-Revision.pdf ).

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