issues pertaining to government surveillance, authoritarianism, state control and state violence

OVERVIEW In this unit, we have surveyed issues pertaining to government surveillance, authoritarianism, state control and state violence, and the ways in which citizens react to each. Choose one issue that is highlighted by the novel Brave New World. Using your experience analyzing claims both sound and flawed, you will research and enter an ongoing debate on your chosen issue and take a position in response, including ideas from Huxley, Althusser, and others to help make your case.

INSTRUCTIONS Write a 1600-1800-word paper in which you…

  • Research an issue related to government surveillance, authoritarianism, free speech, digital and/or on-the-ground activism, citizen surveillance, or privacy.
  • Choose an ongoing argument being made in a text that you have researched and take a position on that argument. To be clear, remember that choosing a topic is not enough; you must find one or more claims with which to rhetorically engage.
  • Analyze that argument’s merits, flaws, and relationship to ideas expressed by Huxley or Althusser. Use direct textual citations to illustrate or explicate the issue.
  • Summarize and explain the argument to which you are responding and accurately identify and analyze their claims. Make sure you explicitly identify any fallacies they may employ (i.e. appeal to fear, appeal to authority, etc.), but don’t go hunting for fallacies that aren’t there. Remember, it’s not a fallacy if you simply disagree.
  • Construct a response in which you acknowledge the argument being made and their relative merits before refuting or complicating that argument. Be sure to rely on relevant and sound reasoning and evidence rather than weak claims or faulty logic. In other words, you must take an educated position in response to their claims, and your position must rely upon ethical and sound reasoning rooted in expertise and data.
  • You may write more than 1800 words, but not less than 1600.
  • You must use a minimum of five sources:

(1) The source of the argument to which you are responding; and (4) other sources that help put their argument and/or your response in context (remember the five essential ways that we employ evidence—to support, refute, complicate, extend, or illustrate claims.) All sources must be properly integrated into the paper in MLA format (search ‘Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing’ on the OWL for more information). These sources must be journalistic or academic in nature and not subject to serious challenges to their credibility. I recommend using the Grossmont College Library “Gateway to Research” EBSCOHost database to locate relevant material.

An annotated Bib is required for this essay.

  • You must properly format the draft in MLA style and include a Works Cited page that is not counted toward your overall word count. Make sure you check for issues with grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity, and organization.

  • You must include the word count in your header under my name, and that word count cannot include the Works Cited page or the header in its total. Drafts with fewer than 1600 words in the body of the essay will earn partial credit.

GRADING I will be evaluated on the following individual components of the assignment:

  • Argument to which you are responding summarized, analyzed, and explicated, with its claims and/or fallacies identified by source & type
  • Response to that argument written to rely on sound reasoning and outside evidence to complicate, support, or refute the claim—responses should acknowledge complexities as well as any substantive or strong claims made by the author
  • MLA style
  • Proofing issues (organization, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.)

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