As you continue to think about how your sense of self (â€œI Am,â€ e.g.) connects with, shapes, and deepens your engagement with the world around you (final projects, e.g.), we ask you to step outside yourself for one assignment, to imagine what it might be like to think very differently about something than you really do. A good argument often takes account of opposing viewpoints. Anticipating those opposing viewpoints, developing a deep understanding of them, and taking them very seriously might be one step toward not only empathy, but also a deeper understanding of your own position.
This provides you an opportunity to practice a particular set of writing conventions: those that produce the classic academic essay. We will discuss those conventions in in class. (But, in the meantime, check out this Academic Writing LexiconÂ
.) But the academic essay, at its essence, is one that makes an argument via the deployment of evidence and the close analysis of that evidence. You will no doubt be asked to write more of these essays during your college career and, for some of you, beyond. But the academic essayâ€™s demand that you develop skills in clear expression, the use of evidence, and close critical analysis are relevant in almost any conceivable career, not to mention life itself.
Our journey through LCGW involves encounters with a range of important social issues, presented with the most focus in our five case studies.
For example, we read about recent school reform efforts in Newark, efforts that involve many different stances, including ones with which you may strongly disagree. Issues you might consider include: the role of private philanthropy in public education; the role of mass media (like Oprah) in social reform; the value of charter schools; how charter schools are funded, organized, or assessed; the place of public deliberation in school reform. These are some examples. Youâ€™d no doubt come up with your own angle.
Each of our case studies presents a range of issues, one of which you might engage in this assignment. The choice is entirely yours. But we do encourage you to work from the case studies, as you will have already thought about them deeply and explored some sources relevant to them. Soâ€¦
Please choose one issue about which you have passionate feelings and argue, convincingly, against yourself. In constructing your argument, you must include evidence from at least three sources.
You do not need to state your own position. You need only state and argue for the other position.
The Nuts & Bolts
Â Please choose one issue about which you have passionate feelings and argue, convincingly, against yourself. In constructing your argument, you must include evidence from at least three sources.
I feel passionately that not all african american men are dangerous as they are stereotyped to be.. I also feel that being poor is NOT a choic
Since I must argue against myself the essay would be focused on: You can write about these two topics intertwined- my belief is that black men are not dangerous and that being poor is not a choice so the essay would be about â€œblack men are dangerous and being poor is a choiceâ€Â