pols101—-Writing Assignment Bureaucracy




Office of the President of the United States

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500



Dear Cabinet Member:

Prior to the next cabinet meeting you must submit a report on your highest priority program. The purpose of this report is to inform me of your priority program for the upcoming fiscal year. Please give me details on why your highest ranking program should be included in this year’s budget proposal. In your report, include necessary documentation including any supporting graphics and testimonials that you believe necessary to make your case for support of this program.

I look forward to seeing your report and I await your recommendations on how the federal government can continue its most critical programs in these times of economic restraint.

Sincerely yours,


The President of the United States



Washington, D.C. is an extremely competitive, political town and you must work hard to keep your agency an important part of government. It’s the beginning of the legislative calendar and you must compete with other agencies and departments for a part of the budget and a high profile emphasis from the president.  

Choose which federal executive department you would like to represent (see list below).  Identify a current or new program that you will present to the president as a priority for your department.  Write a report to the president describing the problem and the program that will alleviate the problem.  You may prepare charts, tables and graphs to explain your plans to the President.


1.  Submit a written report addressed to the president.  A quality report will probably be between 750-1000 words.  However, the president cares more about clarity and detail than length – charts and other visual aids may be more valuable than word count.

2.  You should use at least 5 quality sources to research and clarify your report.  When appropriate, the sources should be cited within the report using MLA or APA style.  A complete bibliography should be attached to the report. A bibliography includes all sources from which you gathered information.  

3.  The president wants to focus on your ideas, not your errors.  Be sure to check for clarity and appropriate word usage; complete sentences; correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. 

4.  As the head of your department you should demonstrate substantial understanding about your department and your priority program. 

5.  In order to get a favorable response from the president, be sure to follow all guidelines as outlined in the attached rubric.  

6.   In the report describe the top priority program for your department:

·      How does this program fit into the official mission of your department? 

·      Why is your department best suited to run this program?

·      Is this a new program or an existing program?

·      What problem does the program solve?  How significant is the problem?  Give evidence, not anecdote.

·      What is the estimated fiscal impact of the program and how does it fit into your department’s budget?

·      Why should the program be important to the president?


The Federal Executive Departments can be individually accessed through the following homepages:

The President’s Cabinet:          http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/cabinet.html

Department of Agriculture:       http://www.usda.gov/

Department of Commerce:       http://www.doc.gov/

Department of Defense:            http://www.defenselink.mil/

Department of Education:         http://www.ed.gov/

Department of Energy:              http://www.energy.gov/

Department of Health and Human Services:     http://www.hhs.gov/

Department of Housing and Urban Development:  http://www.hud.gov/

Department of the Interior:        http://www.doi.gov/

Department of Justice:              http://www.usdoj.gov

Department of State:                  http://www.state.gov/

Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.gov/

Department of the Treasury:    http://www.ustreas.gov/

Department of Veterans Affairs:       http://www.va.gov/

Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/












This assignment was based on a Cabinet Meeting Simulation written by Bob O’Conner and available on the SCORE website.

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