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This assignment asks you to demonstrate the course competency of Global Engagement by considering different perspectives on a problem or controversy related to Modern US History and attempting to reach a resolution about it. The ability to understand different perspectives is not only a critical skill for historians, it is a skill that is essential to functioning as a well-informed citizen in society today. This assignment asks you to write an editorial piece that attempts to persuade your audience on an issue of contemporary relevance.
Imagine you are writing a ‘letter to the editor’ or an editorial on a very specific issue pertaining to civic engagement in our contemporary world. Demonstrate respectful disagreement or persuasion.
1) Write a letter that consists of a minimum of 500 words.
2) Demonstrate in your letter how some incident, writing, or challenge from U.S. History (that we have studied this semester) may provide some guidance in addressing this contemporary issue
3) Your letter should demonstrate expertise and a high level of research. You may include endnotes and references if you so choose.
4) Advocate in your editorial a specific course of action that may help to address the challenge you wish to address. The specific course of action you advocate should be informed by the lessons of the past.
5) Your editorial may certainly engage in critique, but it should model civility, respect for alternative views, and, above all, it should address theory, science, and/or policy, and not engage in ad hominem attack or obloquy.
Your editorial will be evaluated on the quality of your analysis, on the relevance of your recommendations to U.S. History, on the clarity, complexity, innovative nuance, and persuasiveness of your argument, on its adherence to basic mechanics of writing (good grammar, spelling, organization, etc.), and on its tone (civility and respectfulness). You will NOT be evaluated on whether or not I, personally, or anyone else in the class agrees with your position. Nor will you be evaluated on the degree to which you, personally, agree with what your editorial advocates.