Deliberative Course Project

Due Dates:

  • Discovery Draft due 4/23 (bring 3 copies)
  • Second draft due 4/28 (goes to outside readers)
  • Revised draft due for in-class activity 5/7
  • Final draft, Group Cover Memo, and Individual Experience Reports due Monday May 17th

In the final course project, you and your group will continue to deliberate about your chosen issue and you will develop and argue for the position you believe is the most reasonable given what you have learned. Your project should discuss and analyze all the reasonable perspectives on the issue and should include ideas from at least eight outside sources. In doing this, you should attempt to offer new ways to resolve some of the differences and conflicts of the perspectives that you discovered in doing your research for the previous assignment. Remember that deliberative writing is not about debating a pro-con argument, but instead is a careful consideration of multiple perspectives and the beliefs that motivate them. This means that you will need to examine and discuss all perspectives so that you can express a strong belief or stake in your position and offer adequate, convincing support for your readers. Equally important, your project should convey an understanding of the beneficial effects of your position for the diverse people involved in the issue and for the community as a whole.

One useful way to think about this course project is as a conversation with your audience. As in a conversation, you want to present your perspectives concerning this issue to your audience in ways that will be clear, interesting, and persuasive. You want to provide enough information so that others understand the context of the issue, without bogging them down with simplistic, repetitive, or otherwise unnecessary details.

Who should you consider as your audience?

  • people who are concerned about this issue
  • people who have a stake in this issue
  • people whose lives will be affected by your decisions about the issue
  • your teacher
  • your classmates
  • the outside readers

Questions to consider as you prepare to write your final course

  • What possible perspectives does this issue have? Have you explored them all?
  • How can you integrate the perspectives from your outside reading with your original perspective on this issue?
  • What have you learned about this issue through your writing and reading this quarter that would be useful for your audience to know?
  • How can you best present the information from your sources to convey to your readers an understanding of the complexities of this issue?
  • What is the most interesting information you gathered and how might you convey this to your readers?
  • What ideas from your previous papers can you draw on for this project?
  • What new ways of understanding the issue will your position offer?

Note: These questions are meant to help you develop material for your project, and should not be used as an outline for writing the project. Remember too that the purpose of working in collaborative groups is to use each other to generate ideas and solutions to problems, and to learn to rely on the strengths of others as resources to accomplish collective goals.