Project 1

Project 1 | Finding Common Ground

Terms You Should Know

  • Compromise: an agreement reached between two opposing sides of an argument
  • Empathy: the ability to understand the stance of an organization or individual with which you do not agree
  • Negotiation: the act of finding a compromise between competing stakeholders
  • Rogerian Argument: a style of essay that presents two, seemingly incompatible perspectives on a topic and a possible compromise between the perspectives

 

Project Description

In Project 1, you will learn how to present an unbiased analysis of two arguments created by stakeholders with seemingly incompatible goals about an issue or topic. You should clearly identify both stakeholders, fairly represent their perspectives using evidence, and then find and discuss what the two stakeholders have in common. Building on this common ground, students should then propose and clearly argue for a feasible, objective compromise wherein each would be asked to make concessions that would ultimately benefit both stakeholders, provide contexts in which the compromise will work, and demonstrate that the compromise appeases both stakeholders.

 

Project Assignment

You will write an essay of 1200-1400 words based on the following requirements:

  1. analyze two stakeholders with seemingly incompatible goals regarding the same issue or topic
  2. provide background on the stakeholders (context)
  3. include a thesis that presents the point of contention between the stakeholders and explains a proposed compromise
  4. identify why these two stakeholders have not yet come to a resolution
  5. establish common ground between these two stakeholders
  6. propose one specific, concrete solution by considering
    • the stated goals and concerns of both stakeholders,
    • current or past solutions, and
    • the feasibility of your solution’s implementation
  7. defend this solution as a workable compromise
  8. incorporate at least five sources a:
    • at least one primary source material from each two stakeholders being discussed (i.e., information from the stakeholder websites, etc.)
    • at least one credible, scholarly source for each stakeholder that supports the validity of the stakeholder’s position
    • at least one credible, scholarly source that supports the viability of your proposed compromise

 

Assessment

This project will be evaluated using the Project 1: Finding Common Ground Rubric (see sidebar).

 

Important Dates

September 4: Early Draft (MyReviewers)

For the early draft of this project, you will complete the Project 1 Early Draft Guiding Questions, which includes a space for brainstorming possible solutions. You may use this space to outline, free-write, mind map, or otherwise thoughtfully express insightful ideas.

September 11: Intermediate Draft (Canvas and MyReviewers*)

The intermediate draft should be a working draft (1200-1400 words) that explains the perspectives of two different stakeholders on a given issue or topic, identifies common ground the two stakeholders share, and proposes and argues for a compromise that benefits both stakeholders. This draft should include a thesis, all major points, evidence to support these points (including in-text citations from appropriate sources), and a Works Cited page.

September 18: Peer Review (MyReviewers)

September 21: Revision Plan (MyReviewers)

September 25: Final Draft (Canvas and MyReviewers*)

The final draft will be a polished essay (1200-1400 words) that explains the perspectives of two different stakeholders on a given issue or topic, identifies common ground the two stakeholders share, and proposes and argues for a compromise that benefits both stakeholders. This draft should include a thesis, all major points, evidence to support these points (including in-text citations from appropriate sources), and a Works Cited page. The document should be free of organizational, grammar, and style errors and should follow proper MLA structure both in formatting the paper and citing sources.

Note: Final drafts that have not been significantly revised will be lowered one letter grade.

*It is your responsibility to upload your project drafts to both Canvas and MyReviewers. Assignments will be counted as late until they have been turned into both sites.

 

Role of Research

Research for this project will involve moving beyond the stakeholders themselves to a consideration of the issue or topic and a potential solution. You may need to consider the following: basic historical information about the issue or topic; the factual accuracy of the stakeholders’ claims; research that supports your proposed solution; research that challenges or complicates the issue or topic or proposed solution; research about previously attempted solutions; other research surrounding the chosen issue or topic.

In total, the minimum number of sources (and Works Cited citations) should be five: two primary sources from the stakeholders, one source per stakeholder supporting the stakeholder’s position, and one source supporting your compromise.

 

Role of Peer Review

Using MyReviewers, you will provide feedback via peer review. The peer review process allows you to respond to your peers’ drafts as fellow writers working toward the common goal of producing properly formatted, useful and insightful essays based on the FYC Rubric. Both you and your peers will be using each other’s comments and recommendations to improve your work. Thus, your individual commitment to peer review has a real impact on the success of the entire class.

In this project, peer review will be particularly valuable because it will provide an outside perspective regarding students’ biases. Moreover, you will engage with peers’ writing to evaluate their empathy and assess their compromises, therefore reinforcing the empathy that this project fosters.

 

Future Considerations

Project 1 fosters an understanding of viable compromises tailored specifically to the goals of two stakeholders with disparate objectives. In subsequent projects, you will build on various skills developed in Project 1, particularly in regards to demonstrating empathy when describing stakeholder perspectives and finding common ground between those perspectives. In Project 2, you will analyze visual material from stakeholders using rhetorical strategies and analysis of rhetorical appeals. In Project 3, you will use visual design and layout, rhetorical devices, and audience awareness to compose your own multimodal project that persuades your unengaged audience to take action in some way and become involved.

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