Mapping the Conversation Essay Prompt
In a scholarly essay, introduce the background and context of a current public issue and demonstrate its importance, and then analyze at least five relevant stakeholders (individuals and groups invested in or affected by the issue), employing stasis theory to understand the arguments being offered on your issue in the public sphere.
(I chose mental health as my topic)
In writing this essay, you will locate and analyze a variety of academic and popular sources in order to understand the scope of the conversation and various stakeholders’ perspectives surrounding your issue. This project is meant to help you challenge the tendency to oversimplify current social or political issues as two-sided (left vs. right, blue vs. red, right vs. wrong). Issues have multiple perspectives, and our goals with this project are to understand and explain the background and context for the issue and to understand and explain how various stakeholders perceive and argue about this issue.
Because you will be exploring the complexity of this issue, you should find, evaluate, and incorporate a variety of sources that are complex. Avoid sources that oversimplify or provide only surface-level overviews or arguments, and find sources that explore the issue with complexity and perspective.
Because this essay covers a lot of ground, it might be quite long (the minimum is 1500 words, but you’re welcome to go longer). You might consider using headings to help a reader navigate the essay. But in short, your essay should first set up the context and history of this issue or problem, and then discuss and analyze at least five stakeholders.
For your analysis of these stakeholders, you should find stakeholders who represent the full complexity of the issue. While many stakeholders are active advocates, others are may be silent stakeholders, unaware of how the issue impacts them or unable to argue on their own behalf. However, so that you can analyze the nature of the public debate, you should choose at least four active stakeholders (out of a total of at least five) to research. For each stakeholder, you should identify 1) who they are, 2) their relationship to the issue, and 3) where possible, what they are arguing and the values that connect their position.
This essay shouldn’t make an argument about which stakeholders are correct or which ideas and positions you personally agree with or like best. Instead, you should explore some of the following questions in your discussion of stakeholders: Why or how do the different stakeholders disagree or agree with one another? Who is or isn’t speaking? What are their primary concerns or goals for their ideas or positions? What values are informing their perspective? Exploring why each stakeholder acts on or reacts to the issue as they do, you will apply stasis theory to better understand the nature of disagreement among the groups who are weight in on your issue.
Minimum Expectations & Guidelines
In order to earn a C, your project should conform to these guidelines:
In order to earn an A or B, your essay should conform to the following degrees of excellence: