AD-VOCATE (Latin) ad in order to + vocare to call
Making changes in the world doesn’t have to be radical process with marches in the streets or armed conflict. In fact, a lot of change that makes a difference in our lives starts with writing and communication.
For this assignment, you’ll select a topic/problem that you think needs change and create a suite of documents for different audiences that advocate for that change. Your problem should relate to your identity or an issue in the Upper Midwest, but you have complete flexibility. For instance, you may want to address excess farm-run off and water quality, St. Croix County road conditions, student support services at Stout, or the arts in the Menomonie. Whatever issue you select, your argument for change will be supported with evidence and research.
Composing Three Genres
You’ll compose three different documents with different audiences. These genres are commonly used by non-profits, social advocacy groups, and non-governmental organizations to influence policy. These genres have specific rules and ways of persuading their readers.
Op-Ed | Op-eds stands for “opposite the editorial page.” Typically, magazines and newspapers will publish these brief essays that express the opinion of an author from the community. At the top of the first page, you will identify which publication you’ll target for your op-ed and why. Your op-ed should have two to three main points that total ~750-words.
Congressional One-Pager | So many laws pass through state and national legislatures that many of our elected official don’t have time to read them all. Many social advocacy groups create short one-page policy summaries that explain the issue to a congress person and points them to more research. These flyer-type documents need to be eye-catching, easy to read, but also full of relevant data. The document should be a balance of relevant visuals and written word.
Phone Script | One of the most effective ways to contact elected officials or organization leaders is by phone. Remember, most of them are significantly older than you, and they still like to use the phone. You will draft a short phone script to be used by other concerned citizens. In addition, you will identify who the callers should target, such as their US Senators, the State Representatives, or County Board Members.