The editorial that the essay will be constructed from: “The America We Need” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-inequality-america.html
This assignment has multiple steps. The following steps are required:
Start with an issue that interests you, but that is not too big and not too ideological. Ideological topics are ones that it’s really difficult to change people’s minds about, like free speech, capital punishment, abortion rights, etc. Do NOT choose a topic like that. Instead, think of more narrow, less discussed topics, like medical supply and equipment waste, Chico’s Sit Lie ordinance, threats from fracking, how the wealthy are keeping the public from accessing public beaches (like in Malibu), etc. Research your choice online–the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee have useful websites. Any reliable source is appropriate for your research (like op-eds, letters, articles, blogs and video) but only actual editorials (full editorials or columns at around 700 words) that follow the “Editorial Guidelines” handout should be considered as models for your own writing. If you have a hard time choosing a topic, go to the Project Censored website and choose one of the topics from their archives: Project Censored (Links to an external site.)
Unlike typical editorials, this requires an “annotated bibliography” with a minimum of six reliable sources following MLA format. Once you’ve chosen the topic, the annotated bibliography is the next step because research comes before writing. Use the Purdue Owl website to help you construct the annotated bibliography accurately: Purdue OWL MLA Annotated Bibliographies (Links to an external site.)Unlike typical academic essays, this does not require in-text or parenthetical citations. Instead, name sources using signal phrases: Signal Phrases (Links to an external site.)
Once you’ve completed your research, construct an editorial draft that takes a stance on the issue you chose. Because the issue is publicly debated, you will need to understand the debate’s history, and you will need an understanding of the various views on the issue, but you cannot include all of that in the draft, so choose what you include based on its necessity to understand the issue and its persuasiveness. You will need a thesis statement that is a “call to action.” A call to action is a thesis that asks people to do something, usually something important for the community or society. A good call to action does these three things: clearly states what action you wish the reader to take, makes that action easy through offering ways to do it, and explains the benefits of taking the action. If you’re not sure how to create a call to action thesis, try this pattern: “We should do __X__ because __Y___.” Then, follow the “Editorial Guidelines” handout in Modules to help you create a persuasive draft.
I will ask you all to post one annotated bibliographical entry so that I can help you make sure it’s accurate, and we will all share our call to action thesis statements in Discussions before you develop the final draft. You can also share any questions or challenges you’re having in Discussions in order to get some feedback and assistance.