Name __________________________ Letter to Congress Revision Page 1 Strength: Editor’s Name 1 Weakness: Topic Format Proofreading Arguments A The topic is well thought out, is a current issue, and is clearly stated. The topic is specifically pertaining to a bill before congress. The letter describes the position of the writer and the actions the congressman is being asked to take. A The writer uses letter format, has an opening paragraph that describes the topic and the writer’s views on the topic a body paragraph with thought out reasons in support or against the topic, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes and restates the purpose of the letter. A The letter is free from grammatical or typographical error, and is written in a professional matter. B The topic is well thought out and stated clearly. The topic is not referring to a specific bill, but is still relevant to congress today. The position of the writer is known, but less clear. C The topic is well thought out but is not a current issue in congress. The reader is unsure of the position of the writer, and a member of congress can take no real action. B The writer uses letter format, and the opening paragraph describes the topic and the writer’s views on the topic. The body of the letter offers limited rationale for the position taken on the topic. Formatting mistakes may be present. C The writer does not use letter format, and the opening does not describe the topic. The body of the letter is missing any rationale for the position taken on the topic. Formatting mistakes may be present. B The letter has less than three grammatical and typographical errors. A (Weighted x2) The letter contains several well thought out arguments (3) in support of the writer’s position. The arguments are well researched and fact based. Arguments are complete, fully answering and reader’s questions and address at least one counterargument. B The letter contains a well thought out argument in support of the writer’s opinion with only 2 reasons. The argument relies more on opinion than facts. A counterargument is not addressed. C The writer has shown little effort in proofreading. The mistakes made distract the reader from the argument. C The letter contains arguments for the position of the writer, but few supportive statements are found. Only 1 reason is given to support argument. The argument is otherwise underdeveloped. D The topic is poorly thought out, and is not a current issue in congress. The reader makes no statements to describe their own position on the topic, and no real action can be taken by congress. D The writer makes a minimal attempt to follow any formal letter format. There may be only one paragraph. The letter is not written in block letter style. F No topic is present. D The writer has clearly not proofread letter. F More than twelve errors. D The letter contains an argument for the position of the writer, but no supportive statements are found. The argument may contain factual errors and is based on opinion. F No arguments present F Letter format not used. Name __________________________ Letter to Congress Assignment Step 1: Congress Webquest Use the House of Representatives website to discover your representative for the 17th Congressional district in Illinois. https://www.house.gov/ Use the House of Representatives finder at the top of the page. Represenative’s Name Political Party Legislation they are sponsoring or co-sponsoring 1. – 2. – 3. – Issues- Pick two issues that they care about and explain their views 1. - 2. - Name __________________________ Use the Senate website to learn more about your senators from the state of Illinois. https://www.senate.gov/ Find your state’s senator at the top of the page. Senator’s Name Political Party Legislation 1. – 2. – 3. – Issues- Pick two issues that they care about and explain their views 1. - 2. - Name __________________________ Use the Senate website to learn more about your senators from the state of Illinois. https://www.senate.gov/ Find your state’s senator at the top of the page. Senator’s Name Political Party Legislation 1. – 2. – 3. – Issues- Pick two issues that they care about and explain their views 1. - 2. - Name __________________________ Step 2: Letter to Congress Purpose of this assignment: The purpose of this assignment is to allow the student an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the United States Congress, the purpose and function of Congress, the issues that are currently facing the nation, and how to research and develop political arguments. The student also has an opportunity to demonstrate civic responsibility and advocating for political causes. This assignment satisfies Illinois State legislation requiring a service learning addition to the curriculum. Format Requirements 12 Point, Times New Roman Font, and Double Spaced Follow Google Docs Letter FormatYou may refer to sample letters to congress posted on Google Classroom for ideas and guidance, but ultimately make sure that you follow the structure requirements listed below! No spelling or grammar errors and it is written in a professional manner Minimum 1 page in length Structure o Opening Paragraph- You need to describe the reason for writing, the topic that you care about, and your view on the topic. Be sure to include why you care about this topic, and how this issue impacts the nation. The topic that you discuss must be a current issue, and you must clearly state the issue. The topic should specifically pertain to a bill before Congress. You will have to research bills or legislation before Congress. o Body Paragraph- You are trying to get the congressman/senator to support or not support the bill about your topic. Be persuasive. You should research your congressman/senator’s view on this issue and/or legislation. You should have at least 3 arguments to support your position. The arguments are well researched and are fact based. Arguments should be completely explained and fully discuss the topic. You need to address at least 1 counter-argument on this topic. o Conclusion Paragraph- You need to summarize and re-state the purpose of the letter. You need to sum up your letter by asking your congressman/senator to take action on this issue.