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Controversial Issues  

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Project Introduction Print Page

Project Introduction

Purpose: In the wake of uprise in Ferguson, Missouri, and the killings of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, this year, students will develop a persuasive speech that speech for or against one topic related to issues of social justice in the North America and beyond. Students will dive deep into reading various texts to identify an author’s argument and the techniques used to make these arguments. Students will develop a sense of expertise on a social justice issue of their choosing and develop a persuasive speech that makes a claim about the issue. Students will also develop media literacy skills by engaging with mentor “texts” such as images, video, and audio recordings to distinguish a speakers use of persuasive techniques that are visually and auditorily appealing to its listeners.  In a culminating project, students will present a speech and visual aid that communicates their message to an audience of their peers -- in-class and grade level wide.


Research Topics

  • Police Brutality:  Should police officers be held responsible for killing someone in the line of duty?
  • Gentrification: Should residents be able to stay in their home if they can no longer afford their neighborhood?
  • Cyberbullying: Should schools require consequences for cyberbullying?
  • Access to College for Undocumented Students: Should colleges admit undocumented youth?
  • Gender Stereotypes in the Media: Should the media be required to end bias against women in the media?
  • Non-violent and Violent Protest: Should protestors use non-violent or violent methods to stand up against an injustice?

Project Process


  1. Scholars will select a research topic that they are passionate, upset, and/or interested in developing a persuasive speech about.
  2. Scholars will use a research question to gather information about their topic or issue.
  3. Scholars will craft a claim and reasons that support their side of the issue.
  4. Scholars will develop counterarguments and rebuttals to respond and weaken their opposition.
  5. Scholars will craft a compelling introduction that hooks their audience.
  6. Scholars will craft strong body paragraphs that makes a strong argument for their topic/issue.
  7. Scholars will craft a compelling closing that initiates a "call to action" to their audience.
  8. Scholars will revise their draft to include various persuasive techniques.
  9. Scholars will edit their draft to strengthen the focus and organization of their speech.
  10. Scholars will publish their persuasive speech in preparation for its delivery.

Due Dates




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