you will take a journalists approach to explore the subject that you ve selected, which is likely one of the three from your Constructive Argument Discussion Board Post.
Journalist questions work well because they help writers think through their topic in a familiar and systematic way. This is a method that is easy to remember and use in future assignments. Just as it helps you generate ideas, it helps you organize them and identify gaps in your understanding.
Part One: Asking and Answering Questions
Many of us are familiar with the six traditional journalist questions: Who? What? Where? Why? When? and How? These questions help journalists identify the details of an event so that it can be reported on clearly and accurately. However, when using journalist questions for other writing projects, these six questions can be applied with more variety. After all, you are not just reporting on an issue; you are also analyzing arguments and constructing an argument of your own.
So how does a writer apply these six questions in a more expansive way? In our discussion board, we imagined a writer considering the argument that Omaha Public Libraries should eliminate late fees. In generating ideas for this argument, we might first begin by asking Who is affected by this policy? Thats clearly a useful question to ask, but it is not the only who question we might ask. If we push ourselves further, we could ask a variety of who questions: Who has the power to change this policy? Who is hurt by this policy? Who is helped by this policy? Who needs to be informed about this policy? Who might be conflicted by this policy? Who is debating this policy in my community? Who uses library resources the most? Who doesnt use these resources? Who funds the library? Who are the readers of my argument? Who is unexpectedly affected by this policy?
As you can see, our list of Who questions can go on somewhat indefinitely. The same applies for the other five journalist questions: What is the current policy? What is the proposed change? What steps are needed to enact the changes? What would be the effect on patrons? What would be the effect on librarians? What would be the effect on taxpayers?
By viewing journalist questions in this expansive sense, we can explore our understanding of subjects thoroughly and systematically.
In the first part of this assignment you will explore your issue by creating a list of journalist questions and answering them completely. Your questions and answers should demonstrate that you are building a big picture of the issue in your community, not simply approaching your argument from a one-sided perspective or as an intellectual exercise. You should use all six journalist questions, and for each, you should generate 2-3 useful varieties of the question, along with your answers to each. For example, you should write 2-3 useful who questions, 2-3 useful what questions, etc. and then write a brief answer for each question. You are free to and encouraged to write and answer more than 2-3 questions for each if it helps you build a greater understanding of your issue, but at a minimum, part 1 should contain 12 questions and answers.
Part Two: Analysis
Now that you have a big picture view of the issue in your community, it is time to review your answers and to analyze how you can apply this knowledge to build a constructive argument.
For the second half of your assignment, you will fully answer the following questions:
Which different groups or stakeholders share common ground on the issue and can form alliances? What is this common ground, and why do they share it?
Which different groups or stakeholders hold opposing views? What common ground or shared realities, as Dhar calls them, do these opposing groups or stakeholders have? How might these shared realities be used to build bridges between opposing stakeholders?
What reasons in support of your position will be most persuasive to your readers, and why? What counter-arguments (reasons against your position) do you think are most convincing, and why? How might you rebut these reasons? What counter-arguments will you concede in order to build bridges and show that you are an arguer of good faith?
Submitting Your Work
After completing these steps, please submit your 1-2 page response in one file to the Canvas Dropbox. Your assignment should be submitted in MLA or APA format, double spaced, with 12-point, Times New Roman font.
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