produce an essay that critically engages a specific social issue.
The project will focus on an analysis of source materials and the development of a well supported position related to the topic and the source materials. In addition to locating and
analyzing written sources, you are required to find and analyze at least one visual source (comic
strip, commercial, video, etc.) in relation to your position. Special attention should be given to
how the representation of the visual source conveys meaning differently than the written
The essay should include a positional thesis statement, well-integrated source
material, and complete citations for all materials used.
dentify a complicated social issue that lends itself to many different positions. For
instance, homelessness is a recognized social problem, but there are countless
approaches to combating it. Choose a similarly rich social issue.
2. Research the issue to determine your position. As you conduct your research, be sure to
keep careful notes on your resources. They’ll be crucial later in the process.
3. Create a positional thesis statement. This should clearly reflect your position on the
4. Once you have created your positional thesis statement, return to your research. You
will most likely need to conduct further research, having established your position, to
How you actually conduct the writing “pre-writing, outlines, revisions, edits, etc.“ is entirely up
to you. Your final paper, however, should have the following:
1. An Introduction: This briefly introduces the social issue you are examining and
presents your positional thesis.
2. Concise Overview of Topic Background and Issues: This sets the background for the
reader so that he or she will better understand the context of the social issue.
3. Explanation of Your Position: Using your positional thesis as a starting point, lay out
the primary argument for your position. This will support the argument using the
resources you selected.
4. Justification of your Position: Use your resources to justify your position. You will
need to quote directly, or summarize, from your research and provide clear citations.
You should pay close attention to how the resources work together to strengthen your
position. The support should also include an analysis of the validity of the sources;
explain why they are valid or important.
5. Visual Source: As part of your justification of your position, one of your resources
should be a visual source (cartoon, video, advertisement, etc.). Be sure to explain the
unique impact of the medium when discussing this source.