Page one assignment.
one-page explanation of the legislator-district pair you’ve chosen, a (very) brief description of each, and why you chose them. You’ll have much more room in the actual paper to go into much greater detail, but I just want to get everyone on a track towards finishing the analysis since it is due on 11/29. This one-pager will comprise a small portion of your eventual grade for this project (so it won’t be graded as a separate assignment), so it’s not optional! But it should take a bit of the pressure off of the final version of the paper that you turn in on 11/29 after Thanksgiving break. This, paired with the workshop we’ll have on the 10th, should make writing the full analysis a great deal easier.
– One page, double-spaced
– Very brief discussion of the legislator and district you’ve chosen; Include basic facts (where the district is, who the legislator is, very brief background like how long they’ve been serving)
– And, what you find interesting about them/why you chose this pairing
– Informal writing style, no need for citations/sources/intro and conclusion
Representational Analysis Assignment.
POLS 408 – Representational Analysis Assignment – Due November 29, 2021
Overview: You will write a paper (6-8 pages) assessing the descriptive representational connection between a U.S. congressional district and their current representative in Congress. You may choose any congressional district, including either of Idaho’s two districts. It could even be your home district! In writing this paper, you will need to cite at least 5 works of political science research in your discussion, which can and should include at least some of the readings we have completed in the course.
Final Paper Content – due 11/29
Your paper should include the following elements:
District Analysis (1-2 pages) – Description of the district based on the representational characteristics discussed in class, such as race, geography, gender, partisanship, and economic status. This should include more than just simple statistics (though these will help), but rather a description of the “character” of the district. Is it urban, rural, or suburban? What cities, towns, and communities comprise it, and what are they like? What are its major industries or employers? You will be given a number of sources to help you find these details, but are welcome to delve deeper into reliable data and narrative descriptions from other sources.
Legislator Analysis (1-2 pages) – Description of the representative’s background and personal history on many of the same measures. These should include at least a few of the following: race, gender, geographic upbringing, party loyalty, ideology, economic status, occupational background.
Representational Assessment (2-3 pages) Overall assessment on how strong a connection the representative has with their constituency. This assessment should answer at least a couple of the following questions:
Is the legislator a “good fit” for their district based on the characteristics you chose? In the areas he/she isn’t, what effect might this have on how the legislator represents? What effect might this have on the voters?
Does this legislator face any serious competition in their elections? Why or why not? What are their strongly supportive groups of voters?
How might the legislator’s descriptive overlap with the district (or lack thereof) affect constituent opinion of their representative?
What kinds of representational activities – either in Washington or at home – might the legislator do to improve their relationship with the voters? Be creative if you want to!
Data Sources
your sources of specific information about your district-representative pair should come from outside sources. You are welcome and encouraged to obtain and use your own data sources, including empirical data, case studies, press releases and other communications (including social media) from the representative, and news accounts about the representative or the district. If it’s your home district, you’re also welcome to bring relevant personal experience into the mix.