Argumentative Photo Essay

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Argumentative Photo Essay

An argumentative photo essay is a means of communicating your position or side to an issue, but, instead of using words, you will be using images. So far, we have been looking at rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos) to examine how credibility, emotion, and logic can persuade a viewer to believing your side of an argument is more valid then another. We have also been looking at the seven elements of argumentation, hook, claim, evidence, analysis, concession, refutation, and call to action to understand how to construct a cohesive argument. Your photo essay will incorporate all the elements of argumentation and rhetorical appeals to persuade viewers to accept your position on a topic of your choice. Listed below are the criteria for your photo essay:

  • 30+ photos (shoot half of them yourself)

  • 3-6 minutes

  • Embedded music throughout your presentation

  • Transitions are an appropriate speed (not too fast, not too slow)

  • Presented either as a PowerPoint, Prezi, or video

  • Captions can be separate slides or included on your photos

  • No grammatical errors

  • Needs to demonstrate all seven elements of argumentation (including concession/refutation)

  • Organization is logical and supports the reasoning behind your argument

  • Sources are cited either at the end of your presentation or on a separate sheet of paper

  • Topic of your choice has been approved

Remember these topics are controversial for a reason, and we want to be sensitive and respectful of others, so make your argument clear but not harmful to other viewers. The music you choose can have lyrics, but, if there is strong language, please include the “clean” version. This is an individual project, so get creative and have fun!

Possible list of topics (but not limited to these):

1. Is global climate change man-made? (Find Sources)

2. Is the death penalty effective?

3. Is our election process fair?

4. Do colleges put too much stock in standardized test scores?

5. Is torture ever acceptable?

6. Should men get paternity leave from work?

7. Is a lottery a good idea?

8. Do we have a fair taxation system?

9. Do curfews keep teens out of trouble?

10. Is cheating out of control?

11. Are we too dependent on computers?

12. Are parents clueless about child predators on the Internet?

13. Should animals be used for research?

14. Should cigarette smoking be banned?

15. Are cell phones dangerous?

16. Are law enforcement cameras an invasion of privacy?

17. Are test scores a good indication of a school's competency?

18. Do we have a throw-away society?

19. Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?

20. Should companies market to children?

21. Should the government have a say in our diets?

22. Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?

23. Does access to condoms lead to irresponsible, dangerous, or bad behavior?

24. Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?

25. Are CEOs paid too much?

26. Do violent video games cause behavior problems?

27. Should creationism be taught in public schools?

28. Are beauty pageants exploitive?

29. Should English be the official language in the United States?

30. Should the racing industry be forced to use biofuels?

31. When should parents let teens make their own decisions?

33. Should the military be allowed to recruit at high schools?

34. Should the alcohol drinking age be increased or decreased?

35. Does age matter in relationships?

36. What age is appropriate for dating?

37. Should gay couples be able to marry?

38. Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school?

39. Does boredom lead to trouble?

40. Does participation in sports keep teens out of trouble?

41. Is competition good?

42. Does religion cause war?

43. Should the government provide health care?

45. Is fashion important?

46. Are girls too mean to each other?

47. Is homework harmful or helpful?

49. Is the cost of college too high?

50. Is college admission too competitive?

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