Museums and Money
This essay looks at another issue: Museums and Money. In 2013 the Detroit Institute of Art faced a major decision. Today in class we will read/watch two articles (links will be on Blackboard), as well as look at the Facebook comments on one of those articles—it is linked on Blackboard, too–and then, using the information in them, you will write a rough draft of a persuasive piece arguing that the art in the collection should be sold off to help pay the city’s debts, or should be kept in the museum. Your piece should be about 500-750 words long, and it should include at least the following (an A essay will go further): a quote from each of the two articles, cited in MLA format (include the Works Cited list at the end of the persuasive essay you write); a Facebook comment from a reader supporting your position, as well as one opposing your position (comments should be cited per MLA format, too—check dianahacker.com/pocket or Purdue OWL for formatting), and your own opinion, clearly expressed and supported with evidence from your readings. This is a more formal piece than your response, so use the third person rather than the first. Your audience is citizens of the city of Detroit—people who have the power to act on your comments to influence the city’s decision. Be impassioned! But don’t be a troll. Argue the feelings as well as the facts, but avoid insults and rage. They are not effective tools anyway.
All persuasive pieces include what journalists call the “on the other hand” paragraph—a portion of the essay which refers to the opposing viewpoint. That’s because your opposition is going to bring up their side, in any case, and if you acknowledge their side, then you can shoot it down (elegantly, of course). Like this:
In an essay about global warming which argues that it is indeed caused my human beings, your OTOH paragraph could say: “Some people believe that global warming is a natural phenomenon, not caused by people, and would be happening anyway, so why should we conserve fossil fuels and use alternative energy? But we really have nothing to lose by reducing carbon pollution and learning to use more wind and solar. These new methods will create jobs, and when the fossil fuels are exhausted, we will transition smoothly to the new energies.” See? You confront the opposing side, rather than ignoring their case.
· ETHICAL: Identify relevant ethical issues and follow ethical principles
· DISCOVERY: Distinguish between personal beliefs and evidence.