There will be two short written essays and a final paper.

  • Essay 1 (PDF): A 3-page paper analyzing the nature of public opinion on a salient policy issue.
  • Essay 2 (PDF): A 4-page paper examining an institutional factor in your home state or country that could lead to non-majoritarian policy outcomes.
  • Final paper (PDF): A 15-page paper analyzing the effect of one potential institutional reform that we discussed in class on representation.

As you compose your essays, please keep the following points in mind: Writing Guidelines (PDF)

Student Examples

The examples below appear courtesy of MIT students and are used with permission. Examples are published anonymously unless otherwise requested.

Student 1

Essay 1 (PDF): Divergences in Abortion Opinions across Demographics

Essay 2 (PDF): Unequal Policy Knowledge Amongst Voters and its Impact on Representativeness

Final Paper (PDF): The Impact of Voter's Guides on Responsiveness

Student 2

Final Paper (PDF): Is Direct Democracy a Perfect Panacea?

Student 3

Essay 1 (PDF): The NSA Party: Public Opinion on the NSA Leaks

Essay 2 (PDF): Malapportionment and Gerrymandering in Pennsylvania

Final Paper (PDF): Gerrymandering Reform in Pennsylvania