Paper 2

This assignment asks you to produce a blog post (600-800 words) that advances an argument, position, or perspective about some aspect of your identity or an issue related to your identity and interests. Think about the sources you read for Paper 1; rather than analyzing those sources again, this assignment gives you an opportunity to produce a similar sort of text, to use those sources as a model for producing your own argument. Your post should address the following prompts:

  • To give some sort of context to your argument, you need to ground it in some way. You can respond to a recent event, to another text (including a source from Paper 1), or any other reference point. In other words, even though you are welcome to advance your own argument, you still need to frame your thinking in terms of a broader conversation around this issue or aspect of your identity.
  • Keep in mind your argument can go in a few different directions (see the prompts below). Your thinking on argument should draw on stasis theory. As we saw in our recent class readings, there are ways to combine conjecture, definition, evaluation, and policy arguments to make a larger argument. Also, be mindful of how you support your argument through reasoning and evidence: what will persuade your specific audience? Forwarding and countering other arguments, ideas, and perspectives will be relevant here. You don’t have to draw on each of these argument moves and types of argument (forwarding and countering; conjecture, definition, evaluation, and policy arguments), but it will help to draw on some combination of them.
  • Since this is a blog post, you should also draw on the functionality of WordPress by incorporating images, videos, and/or links. For example, it would help to include links to sources that you draw on or respond to; it would help to include an image or video that supports your argument.

You do not have to include formal citations in your blog post, although I would note that academic blogs normally do include them. Another option would be to embed links to any online sources you draw on.

Argument Prompts

If you are not sure what argument you want to make about your identity or an issue related to it, try drawing on one or more of these prompts.

  • Look back over your work on Paper 1. What did you argue in this paper? Can you extend that argument further in the blog post? What else can you do to further support and develop the argument?
  • Look back over your sources for Paper 1. Where do you agree and disagree with these sources? Can you forward or counter these sources in your blog post? What do you want to add to their thinking? How do you want to push back against their thinking?
  • Look back over our class readings from the semester. Where do you agree and disagree with these sources? Can you forward or counter these sources in your blog post? How does your experience and perspective help you build on or push back against these sources?
  • After looking back over your sources and our class readings, consider whether any of them can serve as a model for your blog post. For example, Hunter wrote a personal narrative about her experience with weight – can you write a personal narrative about some aspect of your identity? Thom wrote a letter to Caitlyn Jenner about being a trans woman – can you write a letter to someone about some aspect of your identity?
  • Think about an issue related to some aspect of your identity. For example, student athletes face issues related to how much they can practice, whether they should get paid, and what academic expectations they should face; women face issues related to the wage gap, employment opportunities, and body image in the media. For an issue related to your identity, what is your perspective? How would you frame the issue? How do you want people to think about it? What do you want people to do about it? What is causing the issue? How would you define the issue or a key term in the issue? How would you evaluate some aspect of the situation?
  • Look over student blog posts from previous semesters. Do any of these give you ideas for how you can develop your own blog post?