Unit Three Project

Unit Three Project: Who Counts?

Submission: You should upload your project to both Blackboard AND Assignment Box by Wednesday, May 3rd. Please note that I will NOT grade the assignment unless it has been uploaded to both portals.

The Unit Three Project will consist of three elements:

  1. An ethical reasoning argumentative essay of 5-7 pages (1250-1750 words)
  2. An in-class oral presentation of 5-7 minutes that proposes your ethical argument to the class
  3. A final reflection memo of 250-500 words that explains how the oral presentation helped you develop your essay

As you all have concluded in class, commemoration IS an ethical practice. It makes decisions about which historical narratives and people best model the values and beliefs that a community wants to represent. In your Unit Three project, you will make an ethical argument about a commemorative practice. This argument could take multiple forms:

  1. You could argue that someone/something has not been commemorated effectively and should be commemorated in a specific way (i.e. Harris Hall should be re-named for your favorite FI professor . . . )
  2. You could argue that someone/something needs to be commemorated DIFFERENTLY (i.e., instead of a Twitter tribute to Robin Williams, we ought to develop a foundation to provide struggling artists with mental health care)
  3. You could argue that a current mode of commemoration ought to be changed

You can choose to continue your research and analysis from Paper Two while incorporating your own ethical argument, or you can switch topics if you feel the change will better help you meet the goals of the assignment. In either case, you will need to demonstrate a solid research foundation, using at least five sources (at least one of which should be a library source) to help you develop things like background information, examples of different opinions about your topic, and knowledge of your specific audience/community.

In your paper, you will need to be specific about the following:

  • The community you’re addressing: who is a part of it? Why should this commemoration be important to this community? Who are the stakeholders? Why might they disagree with each other? Who in this community is likely to agree with you initially, and who will need more persuading? What context, environmental factors, events, and history might inform their opinions? How will you be sensitive to their concerns while persuading them that your proposal is the most ethical choice for the community?
  • Genre and Venue: What kind of writing will most effectively reach the community you want to address—an open letter? A funding proposal? A speech? What is the appropriate venue for this writing (i.e. where you will you publish or deliver your work)? What are the conventions of that venue and genre?
  • Outcome: What are you looking for this community to DO? Will this action demand financial support, time, energy, or a shift in belief system? Why is this outcome the most ethical choice for this community?

The strongest projects will be very specific about outcome (what the final product or goal of your argument is) and will effectively anticipate concerns from your audience (where does this community agree and disagree? What counterarguments might you face?) The argument must also make use of explicitly ethical reasoning. You can use any of our class sources in your argument, but you must cite them!


  1. Identify a specific audience and purpose and shape your writing to serve the purpose and audience expectations
  2. Develop an ethical argument through your inquiry process
  3. Engage multiple perspectives even as you support your specific claim
  4. Support your claims with evidence and ethical reasoning
  5. Consider and respond to counterarguments
  6. Evaluate the ramifications of your proposed course of action
  7. Incorporate independent research (at least five sources; at least one from library resources and at least one specifically on your community audience)

About that Presentation:

The oral presentation is part of your writing and revision process for this unit. By sharing your work with your classmates, you’ll learn more about which parts of your argument are strong and what elements need work. Because you’re presenting during the course of a week, you might be at different stages of your projects. Some of you might treat the presentation as a workshop, where you ask classmates to respond to elements of your project, while others might use us as your “test audience”—that is, we fill in for the community audience you’re addressing, and you attempt to persuade us! However you set up your presentation, it must meet the following basic requirements:

  1. It must be between 5-7 minutes. No exceptions.
  2. It must give a clear and comprehensive view of your entire project—why did you pick the community, topic, outcome, genre, and venue you did? What are the ethical components of your argument? What counterarguments do you envision? What are the stakes of this project (i.e. why is it important)?
  3. It should feature elements to keep your audience engaged. These could include strong visual aids or a short audience activity.
  4. You should be prepared to answer audience questions during the Q&A period


The Unit Three Project is worth 20 points in your final grade and will be graded on a 200-point scale:

20 points for Process (Project Pitch, Conference Meeting, Source Reports, development from oral presentation)

20 points for a thorough and properly formatted reflection memo

Presentation (80 points)


(20 points)

It’s clear that you’ve spent time and thought preparing for this presentation; you rely minimally on notecards, you stay firmly within the time limit—in fact, it shows that you’ve rehearsed the presentation at least once before! Your preparation is evident from the thoroughness of your material and your delivery; you might rely a bit on notecards or some other aid. You stay within the time limit. Although your material is ready for class, it seems as though you haven’t rehearsed your presentation; you may be just a bit over the time limit, or you might rely too much on notecards—it seems like you’re reading to us. Your material needed one more round of edits and preparation before being delivered to class; you might be just under the time limit Your materials are hastily thrown together; you seem distracted or unready for your presentation (or your presentation is well under 5 minutes)
Interaction with audience

(20 points)

It feels as though you’re speaking directly to us rather than reading to us; you even facilitate some sort of brief but creative group activity or participation!

You are an active participant in Q &A, responding thoughtfully to your classmates’ questions

You make an effort to speak to your audience rather than reading, although you may get lost once or twice. You ask for some audience participation. You engage your classmates by name and actively respond to their questions You acknowledge your audience and try to speak to us, but you get lost in your notecards or visual aids and our role is entirely passive. You answer questions when they are posed to you. You answer some Q&A questions briefly, but other than that, you don’t acknowledge your audience You do not participate in Q&A or acknowledge your audience

(10 points)

You’ve organized your presentation thoughtfully, keeping in mind that your audience is hearing rather than reading your work. You might check in at various stages for comprehension, and you make sure to emphasize key points through visual aids Your work is generally well organized—an informed audience could follow what you’re saying Your work has a rough outline, but you lose your audience at various moments Your presentation might just be sections of your paper; you have not organized it for a listening audience The presentation is under 5 minutes and has no organizational logic

(10 points)

By the end of your presentation, your audience knows the ins and outs of your project! You even emphasize the stakes of your project—an audience member could explain why this project is important By the end of your presentation, your audience could describe the major ethical dilemmas and intended outcomes of your project; they also understand the community stakeholders involved. By the end of your presentation, your audience could describe the basic features of your project The presentation features at least one key point from your project, but your audience would have a hard time explaining what your project is about The presentation is under 5 minutes
Creativity and Visual Aids

(10 points)

You’ve developed engaging visual aids and/or audience activities that speak to the project while also keeping your audience invested. The aids required preparation and thoroughness You offer visual aids or audience activities that are generally interesting and relevant to your project You have visual aids that emphasize the basic details of your project; they might just be text or a few images You have at least one image or piece of text to share with us, but the visual aids are distracting or unhelpful There are no visual aids

(10 points)

Student in-text and reference citations are virtually flawless (1-2 minor errors). Student effectively cites in the text and in a reference page with only minor errors. Student attempts to cite in a consistent format but may demonstrate multiple errors. Student attempts to cite but demonstrates no awareness of MLA or APA formatting No citations; plagiarism suspected


Content (40 points) 

9-10 (A) 8 (B) 7 (C) 6 (D) 0-5 (F)
Chosen Outcome


Student identifies a specific, actionable, and challenging outcome for his/her audience to pursue. Student identifies a specific and actionable outcome that may be obvious or close to what the audience already does. Student gestures toward an outcome that is related to the text but is still vague or un-actionable. Student gestures toward an outcome that is vague and unrelated to the text. Student does not identify an outcome.

(or the paper is under 1250 words)

Audience and Genre


Student identifies a specific community to be the audience, one in which there should be different stakeholders who will disagree. They also are creative in selecting the genre that will best reach their particular audience, demonstrating extensive knowledge of both the audience and genre conventions. Student identifies a specific community to be the audience, although the community may be limited to people who all agree. The student also picks a serviceable genre for reaching that audience. Student demonstrates knowledge of the audience and genre conventions Student identifies a specific community to be the audience, although the community may be limited to people who all agree. Student also selects a genre of writing, although the genre might be vague or less well suited to the audience Student’s audience may not be a community or is too vague for clear appeals; the only genre for the paper is “academic essay.” Student does not address a discernible audience

(or the paper is under 1250 words)

Ethical Reasoning and Stakes    Student identifies complex ethical dilemmas in the chosen topic, demonstrating sophisticated understanding of ethical vocabularies and frameworks. Student emphasizes the high ethical stakes of the project and acknowledges the rationale behind deviating opinions Student identifies a clear ethical dilemma in the chosen topic, demonstrating an understanding of ethical vocabularies and frameworks. Student emphasizes the ethical stakes of the project and addresses deviating opinions Student gestures toward ethical decision making, but does not demonstrate a strong understanding of ethical frameworks OR fails to acknowledge deviating opinions Student’s topic has ethical undertones, but ethics are not addressed directly in the paper. Student does not suggest any stakes for their research and argument Student’s topic demonstrates no ethical reasoning (or the paper is under 1250 words)
Argumentative Strategies


Student demonstrates a versatile and creative arsenal of strategies (including emotional appeals, use of research, tone, textual evidence, and counterarguments) adapted for the specific audience Student keeps audience in mind while using several argumentative strategies—the range might be more limited or less effective Student attempts several argumentative strategies but may lack strong evidence or tone OR loses sight of the specific audience Student attempts to argue but may rely on generic claims Student does not offer an argument

(or the paper is under 1250 words)

Construction (40 points)

9-10 (A) 8 (B) 7 (C) 6 (D) 0-5 (F)
Incorporation of Research Student incorporates at least five quality sources (at least one from library resources). Student uses the sources in support of their own sophisticated critical voice while responsibly and judiciously summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.


Student incorporates five quality sources (at least one from library resources). Student effectively summarizes, paraphrases, and quotes, while including analysis of each source


Student uses five sources and attempts to use a diverse mix of summary, paraphrasing, and quotation. Student uses less than five sources OR the student does not engage with sources effectively (i.e. using too many block quotes or not enough evidence) Student has less than 3 sources OR does not quote or summarize OR the paper is under 1250 words
Organization Student uses an organizational approach that allows him/her to develop advanced critical thinking and features strong transitions Student attempts paragraphs, an outline, and transitional phrases that develop her ideas—some minor errors Student relies on the “five paragraph model” without developing his/her own thinking or lacks clear transitions between paragraphs Student’s paragraphs do not focus on a single idea or transition suddenly Student does not divide the paper into paragraphs (or the paper is under 1250 words)
Mechanics and Formatting Student’s language is enjoyable to read with few to no errors; paper is double spaced with MLA heading information and a title Student formats effectively with limited grammatical errors (or demonstrates a specific area for improvement) Student demonstrates 1 formatting error and/or some grammatical errors Student demonstrates 2-3 major formatting errors OR multiple grammatical errors Student has multiple grammatical errors; there are no page numbers, title, or double spacing
Citation Student in-text and reference citations are virtually flawless (1-2 minor errors). Student effectively cites in the text and in a reference page with only minor errors. Student attempts to cite in a consistent format but may demonstrate multiple errors. Student attempts to cite but demonstrates no awareness of MLA or APA formatting Student does not cite; plagiarism suspected

Extra credit: you will receive 5 points of extra credit on this project if you 1) show up ON TIME for every oral presentation day and 2) actively participate in Q&A (i.e. ask at least one question per day)

Schedule of Major Unit Three due dates

Monday, April 10th: Project Proposal Due

Friday, April 14th: Source Report #1 (Audience Research) Due

Friday, April 14th and Monday, April 17th: Regular class will NOT meet; check your conference times instead!

Wednesday, April 19th: Source Report #2 (Genre and Venue Research) Due

Monday, April 24th-Monday, May 1st: Oral Presentations

Monday, May 1st: Re-writes for Paper 2 due (optional)

Wednesday, May 3rd: Final Papers and Reflections Due





FI with Dr. Logan

Privacy Statement