Letter to Representative

In this assignment, you will write a letter to your state or federal representative on a sexuality-related issue. While personal values, attitudes, feelings, and assumptions can be shared, you are to rely on evidence-based, primary, scholarly research and/or theory in supporting your stance on the argument you are trying to make. This assignment encourages the use of scientific data versus emotional argument in supporting social policy/legislation that impacts the sexuality issues fielded by sexuality counselors and therapists. It further provides you with an opportunity to evaluate resources and to educate your political leaders, going beyond the effort of a position paper in helping you enhance, elevate, and improve your advocacy skills.


  • Think about a sexuality issue about which you are passionate (or at least have a strong opinion). Possible topics could be sex education (e.g., abstinence-only or comprehensive sex education), pregnancy termination, pornography, sex on the Internet, gender discrimination with regard to sexual issues, or same-sex union rights. The issue you choose will determine the point/goal of the letter, for example, whether you are asking for or discouraging funding, supporting a lobbying effort, encouraging the representative to vote a certain way, asking for a judge to resign, discouraging the nomination of a federal judge, or suggesting or discouraging legislation.
  • Identify your state or federal representative. This can be found at http://www.senate.gov/ or http://www.house.gov/. Research your representative’s position on your issue of choice (i.e., his or her stance or voting record). You will sound better versed and more informed if you incorporate this information into your letter. If your representative has not taken a public position on your issue, then point this out in your letter.
  • Draft a 1- to 2-page, single-spaced letter, in Times New Roman 12-point font, to your representative. You will not be graded on your point of view but, rather, on how you support it. This will require some research on your part.
  • Give at least two solid arguments for your opinion, providing research-based facts in supporting your rationale.

In writing the letter, be sure to:

  • Include a heading with your address, the date, and your representative’s address. Even if you send your letter via e-mail, this information makes your correspondence look more professional.
  • Grab your reader right away with a “hook,” and in place of an introduction such as “My name is . . .” in the first sentence or two, address your topic. Do not be long-winded getting into it; these people are busy and receive many letters every day.
  • Try to provide three references. Depending on your topic, you may not have that much to work with; see what you can do.
  • End your letter politely by using words such as “Cordially,” “Sincerely,” etc.

Note: You do not need to explain that you are doing this for a class assignment. For our purposes, you need to include citations for any referenced content and include a reference list at the end of your letter.

Your final product will be in a Microsoft Word document, written in APA format, and approximately 1–2 pages in length. Your letter should be written in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

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