Project Proposal Assignment Directions

Due Dates:

  • Think Piece due Monday, March 15
  • Draft due (5-6 pages) for outside readers Friday, March 19

Your first writing project is to propose an issue related to technology that you would like to explore for the rest of the quarter and to explain why it is an appropriate issue to consider deliberatively. Remember that in deliberative writing, you contemplate thoughtfully others' ideas and positions, trying to understand the reasons why they hold those ideas and positions. By working to understand these perspectives you will be better able to make a convincing and reasonable argument about the issue in a way that benefits all the people involved and your community as a whole.

What makes an appropriate issue?

  • an issue that matters to you and to others in your community, that has significant effects on how you live your life
  • an issue that there is genuine disagreement over
  • an issue that is complex and about which people or groups hold many different perspectives
  • an issue you can find credible written and other kinds of sources of information about
  • an issue that you are unsure about and want to learn more about (one that you are willing to change your mind about)

In defining your issue, pose it in terms of a question that invites a deliberative answer.

  • NOT a question that can be simply answered 'yes' or 'no':
    Should the Internet be censored?
  • NOT a question that offers only two alternatives:
    Should the Internet be censored or should it be completely unregulated?
  • NOT a pro or con question:
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of Internet censorship?

A deliberative question instead seeks to find out things about your issue that will help you make a good decision about it:

  • Who is calling for Internet censorship and what are their reasons?
  • What would be the effects of Internet censorship?
  • How would the infrastructure of the Internet have to be changed to enable censorship?
  • In what ways could the Internet be better regulated so as to protect certain groups while still maintaining freedom of speech and expression?

In your proposal you should discuss such things as:

  • Why is this issue important?
  • How does it affect you and others?
  • What do you want to find out about this issue?
  • What ideas and arguments in the readings so far relate to this issue and how?
  • What different perspectives do people hold on this issue and why?