World Lit: Social Issue Research


  • ELAGSE9-10W7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • ELAGSE9-10W8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source, answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoid plagiarism and follow a standard format for citation.

Learning Target: I can research and analyze a social issue that affects my cultural group.

Opening Session: VOCAB QUIZ!!!

Work Session: Grab a laptop! Today we are starting your second Capstone essay, the Social Issue essay. Today is going to primarily be your research and brainstorming day, and next week you’ll be writing the essay.

For your second capstone essay, you are to research a social issue that affects your particular cultural group. You should write a well-organized essay of about 750 words, including citations from at least three sources, in which you explain what your social issue is and why and how it affects your cultural group.

The more specific of an issue you choose, the better. For example, students might be tempted to choose racism as an issue that affects their cultural group. While racism is obviously a huge problem, it is such a broad and far-reaching problem that you will find it difficult to write about and even more difficult to ameliorate. Instead, choose a specific facet of racism, such as a pay or education gap, barriers that prevent people of your race from accessing programs that should be available to everyone, or even something like discrimination based on names. Specific issues are easier to specifically research.

By the end of class today, I want you to turn in the following questions answered on your own paper:

  1. What is your issue? Be very specific here! Give a name to your issue and define that word!
  2. Who is affected by your issue? What is your cultural group and if a specific sub-group is affected in particular, explain that too.
  3. Where does this issue happen? Online? In schools? In jobs? When seeking employment?
  4. When: How long has this issue been going on – is it relatively modern, or has this problem been around for a while?
  5. How does your issue affect your culture? The other questions can be answered in a sentence or two, but for this one you should write me a paragraph. We will make this the introduction of your essay when we start writing on Monday!

Closing Session: Trade your paper with your neighbor and look over what they wrote. Does it make sense? Do you think this is a specific topic worth pursuing? Remember, your third capstone essay (which we will write in April) will be proposing a solution to the problem you’re writing about now. Give your partner some feedback if you think they’ve chosen something very difficult!

Assessment: Formative (brainstorming check)

Differentiation: Process (Scaffolding)

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