Analyze the relationship among the stakeholders. That is, how are stakeholders grouped in this controversy? What alliances do they form across positions to forge or suggest common ground?
Writing Project 2 Assignment
While some policies are usually well intended, some policies do not work as expected because of
the ways in which they are designed, phrased, or implemented. The same policy may also affect
different people in different ways, and some policies that are helpful for some people may not be
well received by others. People who are affected by these policies might respond in a number of
ways: some may accept the policies as they are and abide by them regardless of how they feel
about them, while others might try to change them by persuading those in power to change or
abolish the policies–or at least change the ways they are implemented.
Why People Write Problem Analyses
Problem analyses show up in lots of kinds of writing, including white papers, briefs, root-cause
reports, and some literature reviews. Many of the scholarly reports you’ll write in college will
include at least sections of problem analysis. This type of writing is so prevalent because
controversies—that is, issues on which reasonable people disagree—are inherently complex. In
the heat of the controversy, it is often difficult to determine the details underneath who the key
players are and how their positions relate to one another. When that’s the case, writing offers a
dispassionate way of making those relationships visible to readers and explaining why those
For this assignment, you will craft a document that maps stakeholders’ positions in order
to show the complexity of a policy issue or controversy. More specifically, this assignment
puts you in the shoes of an advisor for an individual or group who needs to make a decision on a
controversial issue (this controversial issue can be one that was identified while working on
WP1). Ultimately, you will choose a policy issue or area of controversy that interests you to
analyze on the basis of different stakeholder positions.
Your goal here is to design your analysis to help the reader understand the stakeholders’
positions. Keeping this in mind, you will develop this analysis in order to make the complexity
of the issue or controversy accessible to your readers. It is absolutely necessary that you include
textual support to illustrate the key points you make. Consider that a stakeholder is anyone with a
particular interest—or stake—in the matter at hand. So all stakeholders are involved in and care
about that issue. But different stakeholders come to the issue from different perspectives;
likewise, what they’re trying to protect is likely different, as are their reasons for getting
involved. Figuring what’s at stake and to whom on a given issue is the point of this assignment.
So rather than arguing your position, you’ll be building an argument to convince readers to take
seriously your analysis of this contested terrain so that they can make an informed decision down
the road. In this way, your analysis will be a coherent and compelling argument in its own right.
The primary audience for this writing project will depend on the issue that you have chosen to
address in your proposal, so you will need to do some research to determine who the
“stakeholders” are. In other words, who would be affected if the issue on which you are writing
were to be put into practice or adopted? Who has the power to take action? Who is it that you
need to persuade? Depending on the nature of the issue, you may need to reach one particular
person or multiple groups.
First, do some preliminary research on your own to choose a controversial policy issue at the
local level. Think about an issue that you or your peers recognize as problematic and examine it
in-depth by asking yourself questions such as: What is the issue? Why is it an issue? Who is
affected? How might the issue be solved? Who might be involved in coming up with, or
implementing, a solution? Some examples of these topics “videogames and their influence,”
“immigration in the 21 st century,” “the value(s) of higher education in a changing economy” and
“choices for a sustainable world.” Your topic must be cleared with me. Choosing a topic on your
own will require you to do more research, but it will also allow you to work on something you
may be truly interested in.
Once you have chosen a problem to address, you will need to find sources that are in
conversation with this topic. Then, you will need to skim through these sources and locate at
least five that represent three different stakeholder positions on this issue. All of these five
sources will need to be found through the ASU library database. Though you should have a
variety of reputable sources including academic publications, newspaper editorials, and/or other
public arguments are great places to hear from stakeholders. Also, keep in mind that each essay
you choose MUST have an author. All totaled, your analysis should include five sources and
three stakeholder positions.
Figuring Out What to Say
When processing this work, consider the following:
What’s the backstory? Why have stakeholders been drawn to this controversy?
Identify stakeholders. Who is arguing on this topic? On what bases do they establish
their credibility and trustworthiness or ethos? (Note stakeholders likely do this in
different ways. Your job for this paper is to identify patterns in and across the set of
stakeholders’ arguments and to interpret for readers what these patterns illuminate about
the controversy itself.
Analyze the relationship among the stakeholders. That is, how are stakeholders grouped
in this controversy? What alliances do they form across positions to forge or suggest
common ground? What efforts do they (or perhaps just some of them) make to distinguish themselves from other stakeholders? What’s at stake in this work? That is,
why does this jockeying or positioning matter? To whom?
What are the sources of the controversy? That is, about what do the stakeholders disagree
most? e.g. Is a source of disagreement over how to define or frame the problem Over who
is responsible for causing it or solving it? Over worth or values?
Now take a step back and review your responses to the above questions. What patterns do you
see across your responses? What do these patterns suggest about the stakeholders’ relations to
one another and about the controversy itself?
In this project, you will learn to:
● use argumentative strategies to persuade a particular audience
● respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations
● use stasis theory to conduct a critical analysis of an issue
● understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power
● conduct inquiry-based research and writing
● identify the kind of ideological work a text undertakes and how it serves to persuade
readers to accept a particular account of a specific concept or strategy as effective
Your essay should have one-inch margins (top, bottom, right, left), be double-spaced (without
the extra 10 pt. spacing between lines), use the Times New Roman font throughout, including in
the header and footer for wherever you paginate and have a 12-point print size. Paginate each
page except the first in the top right corner. Your title should be at the top of your first page (one
an inch from the top), centered, with your first paragraph double-spaced below it. Do not italicize,
bold print, or place your own title under quotation marks. Handwrite your name, my name on the
back of the last page of your essay. Your essay should also be at least 1200 words long. Again,
no paper will be accepted if it does not follow this exact formatting.
Also, use MLA parenthetical citation of quotations from the readings you include in your essay.
Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism, which is no Bueno. Also, there should be no free-standing
quotations so set up each quotation with your own words. For instance: In “The Cult of
Ethnicity,” Schlesinger states, “The new American nationality was inescapably English in
language, ideas, and institutions” (63). If a quotation is longer than four of your one-inch
margined lines, indent it one-inch on the left (not on the right), and set it up like a shorter
quotation, with your own words. (Five sources minimum & three stakeholders).
|Academic Level||High school|
|Subject Area||English 101|
|Number of Pages||4 Page(s)/1100 words|