The Current Event Project:
The main goal of the Current Event Project is to demonstrate comprehension of a key conceptthat we studied about democracy in class by applying it toward understanding and explaining anissue that played a role in a recent event. The purpose of studying democracy as an ideaexpressed in art and writing is not just to learn about the past or memorize facts, but to use theideas to better understand topics and issues in our present day democracy. With thisknowledge, we can become more informed participants who can better articulate and advocatefor our beliefs.
For this project, you will choose one major concept that we have studied from a list near the endof this prompt and then research a current event that shows how this concept plays a role in acurrent day democracy. For example, we have studied civil disobedience, so you could find anews item about a demonstration in which participants used civil disobedience to make theirvoices heard. Your project will explain the concept in depth, cite how the author we read usesthe concept in their text, summarize the current event, and then apply the concept to the currentevent and explain how the concept allowed you to better understand what happened and why itmattered. Use the model below. Note that a section isnt the same thing as a paragraph.
Section One: The IntroductionAll good introductions in a college paper perform three functions:1. Provide background information2. Explain why the subject matters3. End with your main argument in a thesis statement
Since this papers goal is to apply a key concept from the class toward better understanding acurrent event, your introduction should briefly contextualize and explain the significance of yourchosen concept and how it helps explain your current event. Your main argument should besomething along those lines. Heres a completely made up example:
The student groups sit in at the mayors office showed the effectiveness of civil disobedience inbringing attention to their cause.
Section Two: How The Concept Is Applied in the Text:
What specifically does the author of the text we read have to say about this concept? How didthey explain and express it? How might they have applied it personally, either in their ownparticipations in democracy or the opinions and research they expressed on the concept in theirwriting? Use at least one quote or description of a specific scene to aid your writing. You canuse multiple texts if you want. For example, if you write about natural rights, you could useJeffersons definition and then explain how Lewis shows what happens when people are deniedtheir natural rights.
Section Three: The Current Event:
Explain your current event. What happened and what does it have to do with democracy? Whatimportant things did you learn about this event? In short, explain its significance. Why does itmatter? Use at least one quote from your chosen article in summarizing this event.
Section Four: The Application
In this final section, explain how your chosen concept applies to the current event you chose.What role does this concept play in the current event? Did the people involved directly use thisidea? Did their actions illustrate this idea in action? How did knowing this concept allow you tobetter understand how and why this event happened as it did? Make a specific connectionbetween how the idea is expressed in your chosen text and how it shows up in your currentevent. What might the author of your text say about the role that their idea played in the currentevent? What do you personally think? This section should be the longest because it is theculmination of the ideas you expressed in the previous three sections.
The projects that go into the most depth and detail in explaining their chosen concept and how itapplies to and helps illuminate the significance of what happened in their current event will earnthe highest scores. Feel free to be creative. Add your own voice and your own perspective. Feelfree to do additional research and look deeper into the concept. For example, if you enjoyedAlexis de Tocquevilles ideas, find his original book and learn more about them.
You will want to make sure that the different sections flow well and connect to make one wholeargument about the concept and its application to a current event. Dont treat this as fourseparate assignments, or as if they were four reader responses in one paper. Instead, makesure that all the sections logically connect to one another to support an overall argument abouthow the concept you picked is important in understanding an aspect of democracy today.
Above all, pick a topic that matters to you. Find a current event on an issue that concerns youand apply a concept we learned about in class that interests you and helps you betterunderstand present day democracy. If the paper contains all of the aforementioned elementsand goes into deep details and analysis, it will score well.
Citation Requirements:You must quote the following in your project:1. The text your chosen concept came from2. The text of the current event that you chose.
The Current Event Project: