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ENGL101 Writing Project 1: Activism and Social Media

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Writing Project 1: Activism and Social Media


For our first writing project, I would like you to start by researching a social issue that is important you and relevant to what is going on in our country today. Some current examples include: Abortion rights, climate change, environmental protection, LGBTQ rights, gun control, gun rights, legalized marijuana, appropriate use of police force, health care policy, cost of higher education, hate speech, confederate monuments, bullying and cyber bullying, sanctuary cities, immigration policy and family separation, opioid addiction, campaign finance reform, flag kneeling, and many others. Report on what is going on in our country regarding your issue. Explain the current Karios surrounding your issue to an audience of English 101 students who may be somewhat informed, but as not fully informed as you are. Help your audience understand why they should care about it.

Next, figure out who is fighting for your issue. Research various activist groups, social media campaigns, or protest movements, that rely on the web or social media to spread their message. Consider hashtag activism like the #icebucketchallenge, #FakeNews, #metoo, #timesup, #BLM, #MAGA, #KAGA, #emptythepews, #RankedChoiceVoting, etc.; or consider the social media activism of formal protest movements like The March for Life, The Women’s March, March for our Lives, Indivisible, NRA, Unite the Right; or consider the activism on websites of groups like Planned Parenthood, Operation Rescue, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, PETA, Antifa, Proud Boys, NORML, and many others. Find one group with a specific focus; try to avoid broad-focused groups like ACLU or the Turning Point USA.

Research the background of the movement, group, or particular activism. Help us understand who they are and what their purpose is. What does this group do? How does it use social media? What particular hashtags do activists for this cause use to promote their message? How else do they find their audiences or get their message out? What arguments are they making? How are they making those arguments? How do other groups perceive activism from your group? Are there groups opposed to them? How do they engage with those who oppose?

Analyze the activism in vocabulary from our reading in Rhetorical Analysis. Use at least 5 of the following terms in your essay: Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Kairos, Exigence, Rhetorical, Presupposition, Stasis, Genre, Enthymeme, or Objection. (You may substitute for other relevant vocab from reading.) Be sure to boldface all rhetoric terms used.

Connect King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” a primer on activism, to some aspect of your essay. You should include a quote from King and in-text citation. Help us understand why the group you are looking at is doing dangerous or beneficial work. Would King approve or dissaorove of this group’s tactics? Would he agree or dissagree with their messaging or goals?


  • Explore how activism works in public and on social media (or web)
  • Research and document relevant and authoritative sources
  • Effectively integrate research into your essay to support your ideas
  • Connect King’s “Birmingham Jail” with contemporary activism
  • Show understanding of rhetorical vocabulary and concepts
  • Structure ideas in logical sequence, organized by concise and coherent paragraphing


  • Rough Draft: Due Monday, 2/17 (Complete at least 3/4 of project, which means around 3pp or 750 words. Be sure to include citations for quotes).
  • Final Draft: Due Wednesday, 2/19.
    • 4-source Works Cited/References/Bibliography
    • Reference to King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
    • Use of 5 boldfaced vocab terms in context (from Rhetorical Analysis, Chs 1-3)
    • 1000-word minimum (~4pp.)

    Useful source for your paper :

    • Dadas, C. (2017) “Hashtag activism” social writing and social media. Social Writing/Social Media.
    • Anderson, M. (2018) Activism in the social media age. Pew Research Center.
    • McCall, R. (2020, Feb. 2) #IMWITHFRED. Newsweek.

    The topic is The Cost of Higher Education in the USA


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