Perspective Analysis Assignment Directions

Due Dates:

  • Written summary of each source (at least six) due 3/31
  • Written analysis of each source (at least six) due 4/2
  • Source Analysis (7-9 pages) draft 1 due 4/5
  • Source Analysis final draft due 4/7

In this writing you and your collaborative group will begin by deciding which issue you are going to pursue for the rest of the quarter. Once you have made your choice you will further explore the question(s) you raise by finding and analyzing at least six outside articles that offer different views. The purpose of this analysis is to help you use writing to think through the multiple perspectives people have on the issue you have chosen, and especially to think through why people have so many different perspectives. Though you don’t have to answer all of these, the following are some deliberative questions to consider incorporating into this assignment. You should also be asking your own questions as you read and write.

  • What individuals, groups, or communities would you consider to be stakeholders in this issue?
  • What are some of the major perspectives they hold on this issue?
  • What motivates them to see or believe in the perspectives they hold?
  • Where did this issue come from: what history of experiences and debates led to this becoming an issue?
  • What different experiences do various stakeholders, including yourselves, bring to this issue, and how do these experiences help shape these perspectives?
  • What implications or consequences are there for individuals who hold these various views?
  • How might these implications or consequences affect society at large?
  • Are there any places where perspectives overlap or agree on things? Where are these agreements and why do they happen?
  • What points in the various arguments you have read are most important to consider in formulating your own position on this issue?
  • What more do you want to find out about this issue?

It is important to recognize that this writing assignment is most likely different from any that you have done before. Its purpose is not to prove that you can do library research. Instead, it is an opportunity for you to explore and critically investigate the multiple and complex perspectives that people hold on your issue so that you will be able to deliberate about your own position. Don’t just settle for the first related articles you find, but instead focus on finding sources that will help you more fully understand the disagreements over the issue you have chosen. Consider the questions above carefully when you begin to read and write. In addition to your six outside articles, you may also want to draw upon other sources, such as interviews, movies, surveys, images, and personal experience.

Finally, this writing should include a discussion of how this research can help you to revise and develop the ideas and opinions your group originally decided to investigate. In light of this material and your new understandings, what new questions and ideas do you have? What directions do you see your group pursuing in the final project?