Throughout this semester, we have explored writing as a process that looks different for everyone, and how we might reimagine and strengthen that process. We have learned different invention strategies to generate ideas, developed research skills for popular media and academic sources, approached composing drafts from new angles, considered approaches to organizing and outlines, and engaged in revision at the macro and micro levels. We have discussed audience and counterargument, and how essay organization gives shape to the logical relationships between our ideas.
For our final essay, you will demonstrate all of these skills as well as your awareness of genre—including academic writing as a genre—as you investigate the current status of values and beliefs surrounding a particular social issue. We will also explore style and voice in our own
writing, and how these features give us options for communicating ideas in a variety of writing genres within and beyond the university setting.
Four to ten (4-10) outside sources
• At least three (3) of which must be academic sources (articles from scholarly, peerreviewed journals or a book published by an academic press)
• Any relevant popular media sources from WP3 may be included as well
In Unit 3, we considered the role of genre conventions in addressing a social issue through a specific cultural product, such as a TV show, song, film, or public service announcement. For this final paper, you’ll extend the conversation surrounding a cultural product in popular media to reach the academic realm.
Because academic writing is itself a genre—which you have encountered in research, as well as produced for your own essays—this culminating essay is an opportunity for you to demonstrate
your critical understanding and practical knowledge of these modes to communicate and express ideas with the power to shape larger cultural values.
Write a 1500-2400 word, thesis-driven essay that responds to the following (PROMPT):
How does your chosen cultural product uniquely contribute to the academic discourse on a particular social issue?
Things to Consider
• In what ways can the genre of your cultural product convey aspects of this social issue
more easily than academic writing might? How? Why?
• What can academic writing convey that your cultural product leaves unsaid?
• What new insights can we gain from the considering your cultural product from the standpoint of the existing discourse in academia?
• What new insights can we gain about academic discourse when we consider the products of popular culture as contributing to our understanding of a particular social issue?
• What role might producers of popular culture play in academia?
• What role might academics play in popular culture?
• How do you personally make sense of your role in an academic institution at the same time as being a consumer of popular culture? Where does one identity end and the other begin? How do these areas of your own life meaningfully overlap?
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