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500 Writing Workshop
Transcript of 500 Writing Workshop
What is this paper about?
Choose a contentious social issue of interest to you
Describe the issue
Analyze the public discourse/debate (or positions that sources take) using course readings
Conclude by articulating your position
This is a critical analysis of the positions, or opinions in the public debate, not just a summary of articles and concepts.
Potential Sources and Applicable Readings
Court Decisions - local, state, appeals and US Supreme Court levels
Cable new networks (MSNBC, Fox News)
Newspaper opinion/editorial sections
Washington Post, The Times, Wall Street Journal
Sunday morning talk shows (
This Week, Face the Nation, Meet the Press
Pew Research Center (www.pewresearch.org)
The Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org)
Pay attention to Sessions 2-3
Fraser, N., Harvey, D., Reisch, M., Rawls, J., Sandel, M., Steger&Roy, Taylor, G., Young, I.M., Glenn
Summarize the issue
: assume your reader knows nothing about it. You must be concise.
More than one source per side/opinion
Identify the social problem
: Why is this a social problem? What are the proposed solutions?
Use factual information here - you are informing the reader, NOT presenting your position.
Cite your sources, this is not an editorial
Who said what...who is speaking, their position, etc.
This is not a Pro/Con paper, aka argumentative essay.
You are using your critical thinking cap to analyze what is being said a particular topic, and once you've completed that aspect, giving your own opinion about the proposed solution to that social justice issue.
Quotes are good, but don't over-use
Your professors want to know that you understand the readings and can form your own ideas founded in the theories! Paraphrase the material, don't forget to cite.
Organization - use section headings
See Purdue OWL:
UW Libraries' citation guides
Picking your topic
Pick a topic with recent media coverage; one where you might find lots of different discourse (strong opinions on multiple sides)
Consult with instructor as needed
500 HUB Assignment #1
Present/articulate your argument
Do any of the frames represent your position on the issue?
If so, why? Is not, why not? (If "why not" make sure you also affirmative explain your own position
Maintain your commitment to "scholarly" writing - yes, this is your opinion, but you still must reinforce it with the readings
5-7 pages, double spaced
Liberalism, neo-liberalism, neo-conservative, conservative, social democracy, socialism, Marxism, social justice perspectives (ex. distributive justice)
Present/articulate one party's argument/position
Using the sources you found, present arguments on one side of the issue
Identify the party's underlying ideology
Use the HUB readings to identify the theoretical foundation for the argument
This is your opinion of the underlying ideology - there isn't necessarily a "right" answer, but you must defend your analysis
Present the other side
"THE drive toward a low-carbon future is gaining momentum.
China recently announced it will reduce its carbon emissions starting in 2017. This week the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy launched a drive in Washington state to enforce existing global-warming-pollution reduction targets, invest in the transition to a clean-energy economy and address the impacts of carbon. And earlier this month, the state Department of Ecology announced that it will regulate greenhouse gases as it does other pollution and enforce existing limits on carbon emissions to slow the impacts of climate change.
Whether all these efforts coalesce into an achievable, comprehensive approach will depend on how we — our community leaders, our businesses and our families — engage and weigh in to say yes to action, and shape a prosperous low-carbon future for all of Washington....
A winning approach to reducing our carbon emissions would marry the urgent need for meaningful reductions with the particular interests of Washington’s unique economy — taking into account the input not only from those entities proposed for regulation, but also interests like the timber industry, low-income communities, farmers and utilities. If we can do that, we could transition to a low-carbon future that would actually put Washington on a path to increased prosperity.
Mike Stevens is the Washington state director for The Nature Conservancy.
A new report from Citibank found that, at a global scale, acting on climate change by investing in low-carbon energy would save the world $1.8 trillion through 2040, as compared to a business-as-usual scenario. In addition, not acting would cost an additional $44 trillion by 2060 from climate change’s “negative effects,” such as drought and fire. Bringing those benefits here to Washington, and avoiding those costs, is imperative if we are going to evolve our economy for the 21st century.
To accomplish this broader vision, a regulatory approach is only a part of the solution. We also must embrace economic drivers to reducing climate pollution, and prepare our communities, our businesses and our infrastructure for increased fire risk, drought and flooding.
What does this look like? In part, it must include putting a price on carbon — that is, using market forces to drive down our consumption of fossil fuels.
We must also invest in our natural resilience. Carbon pricing not only reduces greenhouse gases, it creates a revenue stream that could be invested in cost-effective ways to adapt to a changing climate. A portion of the money generated could fund projects to prevent and reduce wildfires, ensure clean water and reduce drought and flooding in communities across the state already experiencing the impacts of climate change."
Please work in groups of 3-4 people, and identify the author's underlying ideology
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"THE ANTIABORTION movement seems to have gained new momentum. Thousands of protesters rallied outside Planned Parenthood clinics over the weekend. Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail are demanding a crackdown on the organization. Several Republican governors have moved to cut off funds, including Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a state with just two Planned Parenthood clinics that don’t even perform abortions.
Energizing the fight, which threatens to complicate this fall’s federal budget negotiations and could lead to a government shutdown, are notorious sting videos from the so-called Center for Medical Progress targeting Planned Parenthood officials. But for all the outcry the videos have caused, they reveal nothing that changes the substance of the debate over abortion. That, though, doesn’t mean there won’t be damage. Public time and money will be wasted in pointless efforts to investigate or defund Planned Parenthood. And, in some cases, defunders are likely to run afoul of federal law in their zeal to act on what so far have been phantom accusations of wrongdoing...
Defunding Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, would deny women access to all sorts of non-abortion services, such as contraception, cancer screening, sexually transmitted disease testing and so forth. Fortunately, Democrats in Congress are not likely to agree to a federal budget with defunding language. And, at the state level, attempts to end payments to Planned Parenthood would run into a major legal problem — Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries must be allowed to choose any qualifying provider of women’s health services. States that ignore this rule could lose a lot of federal public health dollars and would certainly open themselves up to lawsuits.
Americans, according to consistent public polling, oppose defunding Planned Parenthood. Republicans need to wake up to both that sentiment and the facts and end their wasteful fixation on Planned Parenthood."
(Editorial Board, 2015)