15 to 20 pages long
double-spaced, 12 point fount in Times New Roman, standard margins
Use section headings and sub-headings
We need 5 peer-reviewed sources and at least 3 must be from outside of class
Introduction (approx. 1 page)
First: catch the reader’s attention
Use bold statistics to introduce topic – number of students at Northeastern, number of kids sexually active by the time they come to college, number of kids in college age range with STDs, average cost of STD testing for a year
(maybe not here) but we should talk about how the university is growing in size tremendously over the years, just rated #6 in most international – so more and more students from more and more places must consider this when considering safety! If we are only going to get bigger as an institution, how can we not do everything to protect the students that make it up?
Use expert quote
Explain campus climate here to intrigue reader, what does Northeastern look like? Where are we located? Set the scene
Second: introduce the social issue/movement/organization that interests us and will be the subject of our paper
Include what has motivated us to do this paper
Social Issue: limiting options of STD testing at Northeastern – students don’t have many options – they can either pay out of pocket if they want to protect their privacy and keep it confidential which can be expensive OR they can go through their insurance but then have to get their bill sent home to their parents thereby breaching their privacy
Stigma that surrounds sexual health
Lack of conversation regarding sexual activity that permeates our society
Safety issue & Cost issue
We are not happy with how expensive it is – prevents students from going there who cannot afford it every time
We are not happy also with how the current system in place will charge your insurance and bill the receipt home to your parents, so even if you can get it covered you have to deal with that – prevents students from going there who don’t want their privacy breached or have to deal with their parents/consequences of stigma attached to being sexually active and not using protection during intercourse in this society
Third: present the thesis that we will develop in our paper
one to three sentences that summarizes the obstacles this movement/issue faces, the communication campaign we propose, and the goal we wish to achieve with it
Cost – Northeastern will not want to pay for the costs associated with getting STD tests sent out to outside labs for every student
Stigma – Students might be hesitant to join the cause in fear of embarrassment/judgment for openly supporting the cause – might be concerned people would assume they are unsafe in their sexual activities
Highlight how it will be multifaceted to mobilize students using (these) a range of strategies/tactics and reach our targets
Free STD testing for ALL students on Northeastern’s campus
Graduate students included?!?
Fourth: preview the main sections of our paper for the reader
First we will provide some background on our social issue – the historical context, current obstacles it faces
Then we will discuss the communicative strategies we will be using in our campaign – here we will outline our goals and demands, organizational tactics, rhetorical strategies, and explain why we have chosen such methods
We will lastly conclude with why we think our campaign will be successful, discuss its potential and areas where we think we could use additional support to achieve our goal
Background (approx. 2-3 pages)
Discuss the background of the social issue. Using the research we have done and drawing from our proposal, we must develop a description of the context or situation that gave rise to this issue and pay particular attention the the rhetorical obstacles that exist in the success of this agenda
some questions to consider
What is the historical context surrounding this issue? Describe the issue briefly. What about it compels social activism? When did this issue originate? Why? How long has this been an issue of social controversy?
Look up history of STD testing, how it came about, response to it, stigma in US related to sexual activity, condoms, other protections
Compels social activism because making the service inaccessible to such a large percentage of the student population is a restriction of their right to safety. The current system restricts their privacy as well.
Look up when schools began offering STD testing (after its invention) – must be fairly recent
Look up what other schools around the country have been doing on their campus in regards to this issue? Focus particularly on this Boston/New England area!
What (if any) are the constituents of this issue? What do we know about these individuals or groups? If there is an existing movement (meaning other schools doing this), how did they come together (formal organization, coalition, etc)? If there is no movement on this issue, are there any unorganized advocates or supporters?
The Students! Diverse range of individuals, many cultural, national, ethnic backgrounds – originating from across the United States and the world
Talk about how we were just voted #4?#6? Most international school
Look up to see if other schools in our area/across the country have done similar things – if yes, address how they came together
Determine if there are other unorganized advocates or supporters of free STD testing on college campuses
What obstacles exist to the success of this movement and/or public attention on our social issue? What are the rhetorical impediments that need to be overcome? Are there problems of credibility, audience, or power constraints: Is there a lack of media attention or resources? What are the impediments to an effective rhetorical campaign?
Obstacles: cost of free testing, stigma (might be hard to gain public attention when topics like sex/STD testing are typically uncomfortable topics for public debate/arena)
Rhetorical Impediments: we must be careful to frame this in a way students will be comfortable discussing, open to listening, and feel safe to share/join our efforts (keeping stigma/judgment in mind) thus we must use specific language as to keep safety at the forefront of our discussion – make sure the language is open, inclusive and focuses the attention on what our university (as the “caregiver”/”protector”) is not doing for us that they pledged to do
Problems of credibility: I would say no, as students demanding for better student access to healthcare I feel like we will be seen as credible in the eyes of fellow Northeastern students – I could see Northeastern saying we aren’t credible since we may not understand exactly what goes into running a university, and how funds are distributed (given we are arguing they cover the cost with existing funds, so obviously funds will need to be removed from one area and devoted to this cause) * CAN WE GET A UNIVERSITY LEGITIMIZER? PROFESSOR FROM SCHOOL OF HEALTH TO SUPPORT US?
Problems of audience: related to the main obstacles, I think most students can get behind this cause but we might have more of an issue persuading people to openly support it in public settings (ex. We could probably get more signatures on a petition than we could get students at a demonstration)
Problems of power constraints: Yes, I would imagine we would struggle getting the University to listen to our demands and make this happen under a legitimate time frame (I am not entirely sure what she is meaning by this but this is how I took it)
Lack of media attention/resources: This is a potential problem, unless we spend out of our own pockets, we will need to find someone that can support us and fundraise so we can afford to make flyers, promulgation materials etc. – also it will be hard to garner attention outside Northeastern’s borders, since the issue pertains solely to Northeastern (MAYBE if we focus on how this issue effects all our students, we can persuade other university groups/local media to pick up our story/cause?? Thoughts?)
Communicative Strategies of the Campaign (approx. 5-8 pages)
This is the bulk of our paper where we discuss how we would organize, plan and maintain our campaign
What are our goals and demands for the campaign?
more funding? more participation? media attention? legislative change?
Who are our target audiences and which groups might resist or oppose this communication campaign?
If necessary, what organizational tactics will we use to build support for our campaign?
fundraising? building a movement? planning/preparation?
What are the rhetorical strategies we plan to use in our communication campaign?
Why have we chosen these strategies and not others?
Do we anticipate facing any obstacles as we implement this campaign?
If so, how do we plan to deal with this resistance?
** we must place particular emphasis on the rhetorical strategies for persuading
specific segments of the population
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