Unit III Writing

Your final core assignment for Unit III this semester will be a written argument that reflects on and expands your Unit II research by examining dominant narrative assumptions in your Unit II research and identifying a point of intervention. Your final argument will leverage this point of intervention to construct a counter-narrative:

What dominant narrative assumptions limit our collective understanding of this issue? What story can you tell that reveals this truth?

Your final argumentative essay should be constructed around this project. You’ll be engaged in counter storytelling. This will take the form of academic argumentation, but has a huge amount of potential for traditional stories, with a protagonist, a narrative arc, and a moral conclusion. This means your writing can blend genres, with room for creative nonfiction as well as academic argumentation.

Your final essay will be a formal argument of 1500-1750 words. It will incorporate your Unit II research. It may require additional research to complete. It should use APA formatting, in-text citations, and bibliography.

Resources for this assignment

VCU’s Writing Center

“Ask Us” at VCU Libraries

APA in text citation guide at VCU Writes

APA bibliographic citation guide at VCU Writes

Sample Work

Taylor Branch – “The Shame of College Sports

  • Dominant narrative assumption: college sports offer economic, educational, and social benefits to student athletes
  • Counternarrative: college sports that do not offer monetary compensation to college athletes are fundamentally exploitive

Hobbes – “Everything You Know about Obesity is Wrong.”

  • Dominant narrative assumption: weight is a result of will power and correlates directly to health outcomes.
  • Counternarrative: Bias and financial pressures are overruling decades of research, which is resulting in lowered access to healthcare and lowered health outcomes for people assessed as “obese.”

Jason Farman – “The Myth of the Disconnected Life

  • Dominant narrative assumption: technology use drives social isolation
  • Counternarrative: technology can offer community connections across traditional social boundaries

Melissa Gira Grant – “The New Orleans Police Raid That Launched a Dancer Resistance

  • Dominant narrative assumption: closer policing of strip clubs can protect dancers against trafficking
  • Counternarrative: dancers are opposing concentrated policing, which threatens their safety