All semester long we have been discussing what a Social Justice Narrative is. We came up with three distinct qualities a story needs in order to fit into the SJN category, and even did deep readings of three examples of that SJN. When writing a critical essay, your objective is to look at every aspect of a piece of writing. You should be thinking about the author’s purpose, who their audience is, and if they were successful at getting their message across to that audience.
Earlier this semester, you were introduced to six other books that could be considered Social Justice Narratives. For this paper, you will pick one of those books and argue why and how it classifies as a social justice narrative. You will also examine if the author is successful in educating their audience on their social justice issue, and explain what call to actions a reader might interpret and act on. This assignment is meant to get you thinking about the rhetorical devices an author can use to influence an audience.
You will need to examine this book, as well as bring in one additional source when discussing the author’s issue or call to action. The second source can be anything that will help you better understand the author’s purpose, their issue, or if they are successful. It can also be an organization the reader can join to help the issue, a history article that connects to the story, or anything you feel will help your argument for why this book is a SJN. This paper needs to be between 500-900 words. You cannot write less that 500 words! As always you can go a little over if it is crucial to your analysis.
As a rough outline this paper should consist of 4 paragraphs:
The introduction should contain a brief overview of the book and the issue being discussed. Use at least one key quote to help summarize the book. It should also discuss how this book qualifies as a SJN, think of our three criteria and how they apply.
The second paragraph should discuss if the author was or was not successful in educating their audience on the topic. I want to know who the audience is and what the author’s purpose is (more than persuade, inform, entertain). Think about those rhetorical devices and appeals. Remember you must use the text as evidence. I expect quotes cited correctly.
The third paragraph should discuss the social issue in question and how the reader could continue their education on this issue. If the author was not successful in conveying their message, what resources could they use to better reach their audience? This is a chance for you to think creatively about this issue and the content the author provided. There should be at least one key quote, or solid example.
The fourth paragraph should be a conclusion, connecting the SJN, author’s intent, and call to action. Your paper needs to include a claim (the sentence stating whether or not you think the author was successful or not. This should be the result of your critical analysis.)
The Wave- Todd Strasser (Fictionalized real events, Young Adult, Fascism)
Skills to focus on:
Define author’s purpose and audience.
Analyze a text under specific criteria.
Find rhetorical devices and appeals.
Incorporate quotes for specific reason (think taxonomy of evidence).
Find credible sources to enhance an academic discussion.
Draw conclusions based on criteria and analysis.


(USA, AUS, UK & CA PhD. Writers)


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