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									                   Modern Muckrakers          Term 1 Interdisciplinary Project

As we’ve learned, muckrakers were everyday citizens who wanted to raise awareness about the growing social
problems and bring about positive social change in early 20th century America. Through their writings, photographs,
speeches, and tireless commitment, they encouraged the government to promote equality and morality for all walks
of life.

To coincide with the theme of empathy and human rights, your History IP requires you to be a modern muckraker.
You will compose a well-developed and well-written persuasive letter to the editor on an important issue of your
choosing.

Remember, the purpose of persuasive writing is to convince the reader to think or act in a certain way. This is your
chance to put your persuasive skills to work and convince the reader that your position on this issue is absolutely,
positively the right one.

You may choose to write your letter based on the “modern” version of the topic you studied last week, or you may
choose from the following list of popular issues our country is facing today. (If you have something else in mind,
please discuss it with me before moving forward.) The most important thing is that you feel passionate enough
about this topic to want to impact your world in a positive way and bring about real change!

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

      Int’l Child Labor                         Government corruption             Stem Cell Research
      Poverty                                   Iraq                              Same Sex Marriage
      Urbanization                              Foreign Affairs                   Abortion
      Food Regulation                           Homeland Security                 Gun Control
      Big Business/Monopolies                   Immigration                       Energy
      Digital Divide                            Economy                           Climate Change
      Healthcare                                Education                         Death Penalty
      Social Security

Your persuasive letter to the editor must contain at least three to four well-developed and well-written paragraphs
and must be thoughtful and convincing. You must clearly state your position on the issue and support it with
compelling reasons and examples. The strength of your argument relies on your use of logical, emotional, and
ethical appeals as well as your counterargument.

As outlined on the attached rubric, your essay will be graded on content in addition to grammar and mechanics. You
will also be graded on your ability to complete each step of the writing process and meet deadlines.

Monday, October 20               What makes a good letter to the editor?; introduce project requirements
                                 Choose topics; begin research
Tuesday, October 21              Prewriting Worksheet due at end of period
Wednesday, October 22            First draft due at end of period
Thursday, October 23             Final draft due; send letters!
                                         Persuasive Letter Rubric
Name: ___________________________________                                         Title:_______________________________________

                                     4                           3                           2                            1


                         Uses a strong attention-      Uses an adequate
                                                                                      Uses an adequate      Does not use an attention-
                       getting statement. Strongly      attention-getting
         Opening                                                                       attention-getting        getting statement.
                           and clearly states a    statement. Strongly and
   Statement & Opinion                                                           statement. Clearly states a Personal opinion is not
                          personal opinion in an   clearly states a personal
        Statement                                                                  personal opinion. Some       clearly stated. Few
                         interesting way. Clearly  opinion. Clearly identifies
                                                                                   references to the issue.  references to the issue.
                           identifies the issue.            the issue.



                         Provides 3 or more strong
                                                    Provides 3 details, reasons Provides at least 2 details,
                          details, reasons and/or                                                            Provides 2 or fewer details
       Supporting                                      and/or examples in       reason and/or example in
                         examples in support of the                                                           in support of the opinion.
        Details                                       support of the opinion.     support of the opinion.
                                   opinion



                            Summarizes personal        Summarizes personal          Summarizes personal
                                                                                                           Concluding statement is a
                           opinion in a strong and       opinion in a clear        opinion adequately in a
       Concluding                                                                                          weak summary of personal
                         clear concluding statement concluding statement and     concluding statement and
       Statement                                                                                           opinion. Does not request
                          and requests action from   requests action from the     requests action from the
                                                                                                            action from the reader.
                                 the reader.                  reader.                      reader.


                                                       Often has command of      Sometimes has command         Rarely has command of
                         Consistently has command grammar, mechanics, and of grammar, mechanics,             grammar, mechanics, and
                          of grammar, mechanics,     sentence structure. Has a    and sentence structure.    sentence structure. Many
       Mechanics          and sentence structure.       few grammatical or         Many grammatical or       grammatical, typographical
                         Uses business format in its typographical errors. Uses typographical errors. Uses   or structural errors. Uses
                                  entirety.           business format in most     business format in some      business format in few
                                                               parts.                      parts.                       parts.


                                                                                  Chooses words that are Adequately chooses words
                                                                                   clear, descriptive and       that are clear and
        Tone and
                                                                                    accurate. Maintains     descriptive. Demonstrates
        Language
                                                                                 consistent persuasive tone a persuasive tone in parts
                                                                                      throughout letter            of the letter.


                                                                                 Well Researched. Student
                                                                                                            Student did not make good
                                                                                   made good use of ALL
                                                                                                              use of all allotted class
     Professionalism                                                                 allotted class time.
                                                                                                            time. Most, but not all pre-
                                                                                  All pre-writing deadlines
                                                                                                               writing deadlines met.
                                                                                             met.


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