Who are your Senators and Representative that represent you in the U.S. Congress? This case study has
you look at each one of these individuals and has you exam the prominent stances that each have.
Using the web sites of the House of Representatives and the Senate, you will research the geographical
scope and demographic composition of your district, as well as the key issues that your congressional
representative member and Senators have worked on; you will find out where there offices are located;
how to contact them; what their interests are; the biographies; and construct a short letter contacting
them about an issue.
Consider the following questions as you prepare your essay: In which Congressional District do you live?
What are its major cities? Is it predominantly rural or urban? Does your Congressional District lean
Republican or Democrat? Why? Who is your Member of Congress? What is your representative’s party
affiliation, background, length of service, voting record, and key issues? Given what you have read for
this week, does your representative follow the delegate or trustee concept of a legislator? Would you
support your representative’s re-election to office? Why or why not?
What is the purpose of this type of assignment?
In a case study assignment, you don’t just give facts or explain ideas. The aim of this type of assignment
is to apply the theories you are learning to the person you are studying. You are putting yourself in the
role of constituent/voter, and thinking about things like – why is this person voting in this way? Does a
particular theory help to explain this behavior? What would I do to contact this person as a
constituent/voter? So this type of thinking prepares you for voting in the real world.
How do I know what to write in a case study assignment?
There is something special about writing a case study. You need to use the theories of government (or
political science) that you are learning about, and apply it to the people in the case. You are not just
explaining the theory; you are using the theory to explain what the members of Congress are doing. You
may also need to suggest how and why you would contact the member(s) to help them in their decision
How will my assignment be assessed?
All assignments, including case studies, have a set of marking criteria. This is a list of the things a student
must do in order to pass the assignment. You will find the marking criteria in the same document as
your assignment information. Here are the marking criteria for the case study example shown above:
Student clearly understands who their three (3) members of Congress are: the backgrounds,
their political views, and their reasons for certain stances on issues
Student clearly understands the demographic make up for his or her district
Student clearly understands the theory of representation based on their knowledge of
Student clearly knows how to contact their members of Congress, where they offices are
located, their members staff structure
Student understands the voting record of each members
Student has attempted to explain each member’s ideological leanings, alliances in Congress, and
networks for fundraising, reelections, and lobbying.
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