US Government-Topic: Becoming an Informed Voter – Researching Your Congressional Delegation

Research Paper Instructions

The purpose of this paper is to provide practical application of material learned by developing concepts learned in the presentations. The body of the paper must be at least 6 pages in current APA format and include level 1, 2, and 3 headings. In addition to the body, you must include a separate title page and reference page. Do not submit an abstract with this assignment.

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Do not write the paper without carefully studying the related presentations. To achieve more than a passing grade, you must demonstrate a mastery of the presentations and factual information and incorporate those ideas into your paper. Naturally, stylistic points such as grammar and spelling will be considered in grading. Your paper must adhere to the current APA formatting guidelines. Doing the minimum amount of work does not guarantee a perfect score.

Topic: Becoming an Informed Voter – Researching Your Congressional Delegation


The research paper has two steps. First, you will analyze the recent political background of your congressional district and your U.S. Representative. Second, you will analyze the recent political background of your state and one of your U.S. Senators. Note that these are United States Representatives and Senators. Do not use members of your state legislature.

Begin by reviewing the presentation on “Becoming an Informed Voter.” If you have a newly elected representative who has not yet received interest group ratings, use the interest group ratings of a representative from a neighboring district. You may choose which senator to study; however, if one senator is newly elected and does not have interest group ratings, study the other one.

After reviewing the presentation, the first part will deal with your congressional district and representative; the second part will deal with your state and senator. As explained in the presentation, interest group scores may be found at Vote Smart. They may also be found in the interest group website – the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Democratic Action, American Conservative Union, and Conservative Coalition (or the Family Research Council) – or other cites which compile voting data.

A helpful source to find information for this paper is The Almanac of American Politics by Richard E. Cohen and James A. Barnes.

A minimum of six sources are required for this assignment. Wikipedia is an unacceptable source.

Address and elaborate on each of the following questions in paragraph form:

What is the political history of your district and state for the past 25 years?
How has your district and state voted in recent presidential and congressional elections?
Can your district or state be considered to be leaning Republican or Democrat?
Are the political parties relatively even, or does one party dominate the elections?
Does your district have a long tradition of supporting one party, or has it been changing in recent years? Why?
How did your representative and senator come to power? (Briefly describe their political backgrounds.)
What are some bills that your representative and senator have sponsored or co-sponsored? How does this legislation align with biblical principles? Explain.
How do the interest groups – ADA, ACLU, ACU, and CC (or FRC) – rate your representative and senator? These interest group ratings scores are required. (Note: If the Christian Coalition score is not available, you may substitute the Family Research Council score. Include the exact scores from each of these groups.)
Based on these ratings, would you classify your representative and senator as conservative or liberal? Justify your answer.
In your conclusion explain whether or not the representatives and senator you discussed reflect your values.

Do not submit your paper in the form of a series of questions and answers. Organize this information into a standard research paper (paragraph form with level headings) utilizing the current APA format. The Writing Style Guide is a useful resource to properly format your paper. Consult the grading rubric to make sure that all the necessary information has been included.

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