Chapter 7: Making Your Own Argument
Using the following assignment prompt as an example, do an initial close reading of the question, make a list of any patterns, key words, new words, contrasts you find within the prompt. Notice that this prompt also includes a quote from an article; you will need to read the article to completely understand what is being asked of you.
In the case of more complex questions and prompts, it is useful for you to flag references used in the text that you may need to learn more about.
In “Kosovo Attains Status (on Facebook) It Has Sought for Years,” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/world/europe/kosovo-seeking-recognition-follows-the-crowd-to-facebook-social-media.html?mcubz=0) Dan Bilefsky reports:
“Last month, Kosovo declared victory, after its officials said Facebook approved a number of changes, including giving users registering from the diamond-shaped area on the Balkan Peninsula the option to identify themselves as citizens of Kosovo, rather than the decidedly less attractive option for many there, Serbia. They can also use the Facebook function that allows users to ‘check in’ on the website from locations within Kosovo, like a cinema or a bar.”
Thinking about this development in the Balkans, as well as other political demonstrations, such as the Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street, for example, consider the role the Internet has played in protest. Choose ONE protest movement and ONE social media platform, and discuss the power dynamic created between the government and its citizens. What is the role of the Internet in affecting the balance between governments and citizens? You may consider expanding to consider movements like #metoo and consider what power dynamics are being critiqued in on your chosen social media platform. In what ways has this technology been conducive to balancing or unbalancing these power dynamics? Has it been useful or harmful?
After you have compiled your list, complete the following simple template:
- “By using _____[Observation One from your list]______ and ______[Observation Two from your list]______, this prompt is asking me to make an argument about ______[what you identify as the larger discussion this prompt is asking you to join]______.”