Length: 2 pages typed double spaced
Grade: Required for approval
Within the context of our place-based theme, this assignment requires you to choose a topic related to Birmingham that you would like to know more about/research over the course of the semester, in order to be able to make recommendations for change. As you choose a topic, I encourage you to think beyond moral or political issues that are often discussed in black and white terms. These issues are not only too personal but will likely lead you to polarized discussions, or the ends of conversations rather than their beginning. Instead, I want to encourage you to introduce us to an issue or conversation that we might not have thought about in great depth.
Do a preliminary library search to ensure that you will be able to find sources on the topic. In the synthesis essay, you will establish the scholarly conversation on this topic; in the academic argument, you will take a stand and present an argument on an aspect of this topic; and, in the multimodal project, you will recommend solutions to the problem that you identified in the academic argument. For instance, if you choose the issue of public transportation in Birmingham, in the synthesis essay, you can focus on gathering information regarding public transportation, ease of use etc.; in the academic argument, you can consider the issue of accessibility to education caused by the lack of a sufficient developed and sustainable public transport system; and in the public argument/multimodal project, you can recommend solutions to this problem by suggesting the implementation of zyp bikes, shared rides etc.
Choose a topic that will engage you and your audience as well as allow you to go into such depth. In this short writing activity, I am asking you to explain your topic, why you are interested in it, how you will be able to sustain it throughout the semester (as in, does it have enough complexity, is there enough research, is it argumentative enough etc.), and how you will be to work on different aspects of this topic in each of the three major assignments. Write freely in the first person.