If you’re not familiar with the idea of the echo chamber, it’s that each of us isolates ourselves from opposing points of view. We naturally chose friends who share the same opinions, read news articles that echo what we already believe, and rarely seek out ideas that challenge our world view.
Echo chambers are intellectually lazy.
Educated people are willing to consider ideas that make them uncomfortable, even if they don’t find that idea convincing.
This paper is an opportunity for you to research an issue in society that you are passionate about and would like to learn more about. We will use the definition of a controversial idea to mean a subject that has more than one side.
Identify a conflict that interests you. For example:
The antivax movement
There are a broad range of subjects to choose from but, by definition, conflict as at least two sides. Your informational paper must do at least three things:
- Identify the issue
- Identify the two, or more, conflicting perspectives on the issue.
- Attempt to persuade your reader/audience
- cite a minimum of two sources
- upload your paper here as a PDF by 10 February.
Rather than a conventional research paper, we’re going to use a corporate memo structure called BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front). Imagine that you are a communication adviser to some sort boss who is very interested to learn about these issues, but is too busy to do the research personally. They’ve entrusted you to give them a very clear understanding of this issue- and to suggest how they should feel about the subject.
The BLUF format is essentially the email you would send your boss at the end of this assignment- for our purposes this will be a PDF document uploaded by 10 February.
An example, say I chose the Sovereign Citizenship movement, would be:
BLUF: The Sovereign Citizenship movement advocates that Americans should not have to pay taxes, among other freedoms that run counter to the ideas of the US judicial system.
Background: Here, I would explain the background, based on research, of where the Sovereign Citizenship movement came from.
Conflict: In this paragraph, I would briefly describe the side that I agree with. For example, maybe the US Court System has historically struck down challenges from the Sovereign Citizenship movement. Find a spokesperson and cite research to explain this perspective. Briefly describe the opposing side (which you disagree with and why).
Belief #1: Argument number one for your position. Explain logically why you take this view point.
Belief #2: Argument number two for your position.
Belief #3: Argument number three for your position.
Conclusion: This is the closing 3-5 paragraphs that summarize why your boss should agree with you on this controversial topic.
References: Cite a minimum of two credible sources.