Short Paper 3

Hi everyone. This short video will give you an overview of Short Paper #3.And like with the other papers, you can find all the details on Canvas. So make sure to download and carefully read the full paper assignment,which is linked below. And read through the grading rubric, which is there if you scroll all the way to the bottom of this page. And those documents will likely answer many of your questions. The final short paper will ask you to analyze the website of a member of Congress using David Mayhew’s framework from Congress: The Electoral Connection. You should make sure to go back and reread that reading and watch the mini-lectures on Congress before you start working on this paper, especially the mini lectures on representation and on the electoral connection. The first step is to find the website of a member of the House of Representatives. Be sure to use the search tool linked in the assignment sheet. This will ensure that you end up at the official government website for the member, rather than a campaign website or an unofficial website.You might want to choose the member that represents you, but you’re also welcome to choose any member that interests you if you prefer. Then you’ll explore the member’s website to look for evidence of advertising,credit claiming, and position taking. As you look, be sure you are usingMayhew’s specific definitions. For example, advertising should not include policy positions. Keep in mind that it’s possible. You won’t find a lot of evidence for all three activities. That’s ok. Just be sure to give a thorough look through the website for all of them. Now it’s time to write up your findings. Your paper will have three parts. The first part simply describes what you found. You’ll have three paragraphs, one for each activity, and you’ll summarize what you found in that category. If there were a lot of examples in a particular category, you don’t have to include all of them.You can include one or two illustrative examples and then provide an overall summary. Then you will interpret the evidence you just presentedconsidering which activities were most or least common and whether any were entirely missing in your interpretation. This should not be onlyabout your personal opinion. You should reference specific material from readings and lectures such as some of the things that have changed since Mayhew wrote his book, like strict limitations on earmarks, and the rise of polarization and the importance of parties. Finally, you’ll considerwhether or not the evidence that you collected indicates whether the member you’re analyzing is a good representative. Again, this is not just your personal opinion, and it should contain explicit discussion of coursematerial such as all the different definitions of representation that we have discussed, as well as Mayhew’s argument about how the electoralconnection leads to a collective action problem. This final section must draw on readings or lectures in some way. It can’t just be a general impression. Finally, read through your paper to proofread and make sure everything is clear. And include a bibliography that lists the Mayhewreading as well as the member’s website. There’s no need to cite my lectures in the bibliography. If you need help with your writing, you can schedule a virtual appointment with the Writing Center, and I’ve included a link to that below this video. And of course, you’re always welcome toemail questions or set up an Office Hours appointment. Good luck with the final paper — We’re almost at the finish line! And please be in touch with any questions.

Citation information for Congress: The Electoral Connection.
Mayhew, David R. 1974. Congress: The Electoral Connection. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Note: This is in Chicago Style (Author-Date).  If you use a different citation style, you would need to edit the citation.  Make sure you cite the member’s website and any other sources you have used using the same citation style. You do not need to cite course lectures. You can find more information on Chicago Style (Author-Date) here.

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