The Advocacy Project: A Multi-modal Composition
In about 5 weeks from now (yes, you have lots of time!), you will turn in the final version of this assignment. Like the HCP Project, the main assignment here is a multi-modal composition that uses various rhetorical positions and different types of evidence to make arguments. This one, however, is a bit different from the first in that over the course of these next few weeks, as you research and evaluate various sources, and as you draft, craft and organize your thoughts and evidence, you will at some point have to make a decision to advocate for one or more specific solutions to a significant and current political/social/cultural problem. In other words, your arguments for advocating such solutions and the analytical reasons you provide for why you have chosen these solutions will together, after weeks and weeks of diligent engagement, become a richly-textured thesis statement.
When we think of the act of advocating and when we imagine a person or an organization who is an advocate for a cause, we think of strongly held opinions delivered with intensity from a rhetorical position that appears unshakable, deeply confident in the ethical rightness of its arguments and the accuracy of its knowledge. If we look at advocacy in such ways, we can understand why it takes time to become a convincing advocate, and that advocacy, even when it is delivered in the form of a thesis-driven composition, is a form of argumentation that can be quite different from the balanced arguments we often think of as academic writing even if it is as rigorous its presentation of evidence.
This is not to say that academic writers are not advocates. They are, and over the course of this project, you will become such an advocate—one who uses academic research and methods to deliver persuasive arguments convincingly to a public of one’s peers. Academic writers in many disciplines often write with the purpose of advocating for solutions to political/social/cultural/environmental problems. When they do so, they are expected to consider and present positions that run against theirs in various ways – call them counter arguments – in order to meet the expectations of their academic audience. They must demonstrate their mastery of established arguments and knowledge in areas of discourse and recognize the legitimacy of other perspectives, even if the author seeks ultimately to dismiss them.
In the realm of public advocacy, arguments and persuasion can look, feel, and sound quite different. Public advocates deliver strong and impassioned arguments by undermining counter arguments. They do so by choice and with knowledge about the various perspectives and pieces of evidence that may potentially undermine their case. When putting forth arguments in academic or public settings, the most convincing advocates do not simply put forward solutions without first comprehending the informed debates in which these solutions are situated. Rather, successful advocates draw from a deep well of knowledge when carefully selecting the evidence and rhetorical appeals that will make their case about how to address the profound social problems they put before their audiences.
The Rules of the Game:
This assignment challenges you to become that strong advocate, one who delivers convincing solutions to a current and pressing political/social/cultural problem. You cannot, in all likelihood, be this advocate at the beginning of the project. You will need to spend time researching and evaluating sources; you will need to explore various arguments and perspectives as you write proposals and drafts. At some point, however, after deepening your knowledge and maybe even after writing a full draft or two, you will need to choose a position to advocate.
The advocacy paper:
Good sources to use:
The solution must be a United States policy based solution that is proposed or supported by the following:
1- Politicians and political parties
2- grassroots orgnizations
3- Thinktanks or policy research groups
4- Scholarly journals
Thesis: Focus on the reasons WHY your policy is the best solutions to the problem comparing to other solutions. It can be several sentences.
The first 2 pages or the introduction: introduce the problem (given in the attached essay) from the previous draft. Use footnote to cite the largely taken paragraphs from the previous draft.
Other things to keep in mind and can be used to make the suggested solution (policy) better than other policies:
1- Rootcauses of the problem, the policy should be related to the root causes of the problem.
2- Coverage, comprehensiveness
3- Cost, does the benifit exceed the cost?
4- feasibility, “do-able?”
5- Comparison to other places around the world , if a similar policy worked. (Must be a country with the same or a close system to the US system).
Last page or the ending of the essay should be a how to guide to help people get involved with the proposed solution.
Samples and the other draft with the Private Prisons topic will be attached. But the rest of the sources are needed.