This paper asks students to create an informative essay about a protest-worthy event or topic in contemporary society. As a class, we brainstorm topics in contemporary culture that have garnered protest, and then I create a folder of acceptable resources for each of those topics. Students are required to choose and read at least two of those articles and use summary, paraphrase, and direct citations from them to craft an informative essay that gives an unfamiliar reader an overview of the topic and why it has been protested.
This paper introduces students to research skills without the task of having to conduct the research independently, and it continues to build on the skills of summary, paraphrase, and direct citation. It also teaches them to focus on the goal of informing rather than persuading, which shifts the tone of the writing.
I assigned this paper along with four particular chapters in the book, but since the topics are independent of the book chapters and only use the theme of protest as a connection, it could easily be assigned with different chapters.
Some of the topics my class brainstormed include Black Lives Matter, public breastfeeding, Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, Sea World, minimum wage increase, Planned Parenthood, gay rights, Mizzou’s campus climate, and Facebook’s real name policy.
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