recall guest speaker michael bakal H u m a n i t i e s

recall guest speaker michael bakal H u m a n i t i e s

Part 1: Op-ed

Write an op-ed, 800 words or less, on a topic of interest that is currently criminalized. Your piece will argue why it is appropriate or inappropriate for this issue to be treated as criminal, and if alternatives are needed, propose and justify an alternative response. Note that I’m less concerned with your political stance than your ability to make an informed argument.

Recall guest speaker Michael Bakal’s recommendations about writing op-eds: how to select a topical “news hook,” establish credibility, make concrete recommendations to a person/institution that has power over the issue, etc. Bakal_10 Keys Op-Ed Writing.pdf Download Bakal_10 Keys Op-Ed Writing.pdf

For basics of structure, take a look at this website’s formula: https:// (Links to an external site.)

Part 2: Behind the scenes!

In up to 500 words OR a 5 minute video file, explain the analytical and strategic choices you made in writing your op-ed. This is a way to communicate to me your level of engagement and demonstrate knowledge that is not in the main document. It could address things like:

1) Who are you trying to reach? Why them, as opposed to a different audience?
2) What ideas from class and readings informed the op-ed (since they may not be mentioned directly due to space constraints or avoiding jargon)?
3) What did you wish you could have included but had to cut? How did you make decisions about what is the most important material for audiences to know?
4) Did you make any political compromises (e.g. re-worded your actual beliefs so as to seem more or less radical, convince a broader audience, etc.)? 


Your final grade will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1) Demonstration of engagement with class ideas (social construction, social causation, criminalization, abolitionist theory, etc.)
2) Mastery of of op-ed form (e.g. readable structure, complex ideas made straightforward)
3) Persuasiveness of argument

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