Writing Project 3: Solving Public Problems

First Draft Due: Thursday, April 26
Final Draft Due: Thursday, May 3

For your third and final sequence, you will build upon the research you completed during the second sequence by providing a solution to the issue/debate you researched to a specific and local community. Keep in mind, you don’t need to solve the problem; rather, you need to find a solution that helps chip away at that problem. You will have to make rhetorical choices regarding form, shape, mode, medium, genre, etc., in order to successfully address the community that you believe will benefit from your research. Thus, your project will be multimodal in nature. The only stipulation is that this project needs to matter to someone outside of this class—it needs to DO something besides being practice for future coursework or work beyond this class.

Because you are required to continue the work done in the second sequence, you will have to consider what form will help circulate your ideas while providing a proposed, manageable solution. To do so, you should think about the communities and groups you already operate in or communities that you aspire to work with in the near future. While your project may be hypothetical, you should plan to demonstrate all avenues you will take if you were to enact this solution.

During our final sequence, we will unpack the risks and capacities we have to respond in public. Entering a public can be intimidating; however, participating with the civic and public dimensions of writing provokes us to consider what the available means are for interrogating public problems.

Here are some examples to engender your own brainstorming:

  • Build a website that provides information your topic directed towards a specific audience. Outline how your research calls for new or modified approaches to your issue at hand. You may use sites like WordPress, Weebly, Tumblr, etc.
  • Design a series of advertisements that address the crux of your argument and visually distribute that argument to a community that needs to hear your research.
  • Craft an infographic that illustrates the history and data behind your problem.
  • Create a video compilation that mashes up that content of your research.
  • Record a podcast or audio essay that narrates the contents of your research and rethinks the necessary audience(s) for your research
  • Write a letter to a politician or academic administrator that proposes a solution.
  • Construct a game (whether interactive, card, board, or video) that forces players to consider how this problem becomes a public problem in a procedural fashion.
  • Execute a series of social media blasts that address an amalgamated audience with the intention of gathering voices for a cause.

Public writing implies an element of judgment while recognizing the audience at hand. As you can see, you have many options for this project; however, you have to decide the type of solution you want to offer, as well as the medium and audience through which you will describe that solution. You have invested much time and energy to your research, and now you have the opportunity to reach the communities that matter for that research. I want you to choose something that you can use for more purposes than just this class. Take risks! All yourself the freedom to glitch!

Your final portfolio will include:

  • A proposal outlining your plans for the project.
  • A 4-5 page Statement of Goals and Choices (SOGC) that explains to your instructor and anyone else examining your project your intentions for the project and the specific choices that you have made to best reach your audience and achieve your goals. This justification of your work ensures that you are able to thoughtfully make and defend the rhetorical choices you make and show how those choices are aligned with your purpose and audience.
  • A short presentation of your project.
  • All drafting materials, plans, and revisions (including peer review comments).
  • The final “draft” of your project.

Grading (I will look at your work as a process deeply involved in design and grade you on the following aspects, in no particular order):

  • Are all parts of the portfolio present?
  • Does this project matter for a particular community? Does it DO something?
  • Is the writer effective in using rhetoric, format, mode, genre, etc. to reach her/his audience?
  • Did the writer connect the research done in sequence 2 to a particular genre or mode?
  • Is the work polished? Are there many errors or problems?
  • Is it clear that the writer was deeply invested in planning, researching, writing, and revising the project?
  • Was the presentation interesting, professional, and effective?