The authors of the CEL, John Mauk and John Metz, explain that the goal of their textbook (and this course) is to help you write words and essays that become “an invitation, a convergence of many minds” (4). Your writing in this course will potentially be able to “change the way people act, spend, vote, teach, think, and hope” (4).
In order to do this, an important first step is to search for issues, topics, and ideas that interest you. A topic is a broad, sometimes abstract subject that people or communities discuss or debate. An issue, on the other hand, is a more specific point of concern, tension, or disagreement within the larger topic.
In this activity, you will begin by narrowing from larger topics to select several issues that (1) are important to you or others in your community and that (2) you want to “invite” others to help you understand and address.
Discussion Post Instructions:
Begin by looking over the suggestions for choosing a topic in this module: Week 2: Suggestions for Inventing Ideas. Note especially the suggestion to look over the “Ideas for Writing” sections following the readings in the CEL (which are listed thematically on pages xviii – xxiv).
As you consider the questions and ideas on this page, complete the following three objectives:
- Write down 2 broad topics that interest you. Look for subjects in your life that you have always wanted to explore in more detail, or ideas that you are passionate about and want to spend more time investigating.
For example, you might think about how you like to play video games. From this broad interest, you might write down the following topics:
- Video game Consoles
- Video Game Design
- Video Games and Education
- Select 2 issues that are points of disagreement or debate within one of the topics you have chosen. Think about controversies and ways that you have heard different groups disagree or conflict with one another. Write down these 2 issues as questions.
For example, within the topic of “gaming as community-building,” you might write down specific controversies that you have read about, such as:
- How are video games best used as educational tools for children?
- What can game designers use as a central game mechanic besides violence?
- Should video games be “leased” like other software or sold in other ways?
- Select one issue that is most interesting to you and answer the following questions about it:
- Why are you interested in the issue and the general topic? What are your existing experiences around it?
- What is the specific issue you think you might address? Who is concerned about it?
- What are the most important questions surrounding the issue?
- Why does this issue matter?
- 4. Finally, respond to at least two of your group member’s posts, focusing on the following areas.
- What issue in your opinion has more potential for exploration?
- What would be your input on their selected area?
1) The two topics I have interest in would be that of the mass production of sneakers, and how luxury brands manufacture their products.2) The two main issues we see in the sneaker community would be that of the exploitation of cheap labor to produce the shoes, and how counterfeit sneakers have become a major issue within big companies.3) I chose the topic of mass production for shoes because that is one of my biggest interests. I have not only worked retail for a good amount of time but I have seen the sneaker community grow and seen many of its issues unfold into the public. The specific issue we would be discussing would be that of the exploitation of cheap labor found in third world countries. Many organizations have started to investigate the issue and have realized how bad the companies pay the workers, the working conditions, and how badly the workers are treated for the high demand the businesses have. And lastly this issue matters because it shows how much our capitalism can effect certain areas of different countries no matter how big or small the companies are. The companies do not pay attention to how much affect we have towards these third world countries, while we get the products, and great wages compared to theirs they starve, can barely take care of their own, and many have health issues related to their work load.
The two topics I’m interested in are child actors and the population’s growing addiction to social media. The biggest issues I see with child actors is the lack of standardized education and how the adults in their lives often exploit or manipulate them. I chose the exploitation & manipulation of child actors by the adults who are supposed to look out for their best interests because more and more actors who got their start in acting as children are coming out about what went on behind the scenes when no one was looking. I’ve grown up watching these people in the stories they brought to life & hearing what they’ve gone through as a result of their experience on set or often being the only person paying the bills from a young age. Outside of the fans of any child actor who has recently come out with their experiences, not enough people are concerned about the issue, at least not the ones who are able to do anything about it, as most media eventually demonizes them once they reach adulthood & break down as a result of no longer being able to handle the trauma they went through as children. The biggest questions of this issue are who is letting this happen and why are they letting it happen, because, in most cases, parents and caretakers are turning a blind eye to the situations these children are in because they see them as nothing more than a means of making money. It matters because if no one fixes it, the next generation of child stars is going to be living the same experience as the ones before, even with the labor laws currently in place meant to protect them.