Political Experience Project Guidelines and Rubric
Step 1: Participate in a political experience of your choosing and provide evidence of attendance.
Later in this document, I’ve compiled a list of several possible experiences. This is not an exhaustive list, so feel free to propose alternatives to me. Provide proof of attendance—a ticket, a selfie, a flyer.
Step 2: Respond to your experience creatively.
Past responses have included drawings, paintings, original compositions, photo collages, websites, and more. Your options are plentiful—ask if you have questions. Your response can focus on the entire experience, or a smaller component of it. If you are having trouble deciding how to respond, consider how your experience made you feel, whether you were surprised by anything, and what you learned.
You will submit a photo or file attachment of your response to satisfy this step.
Step 3: Write a 500-1,000 word Op-Ed drawing on your experience and highlighting its connection to class and submit it with a bibliography.
An Op-Ed, short for Opposite the Editorial, is a newspaper opinion piece from contributors not affiliated with the editorial board. The purpose of an Op-Ed is to change minds using a convincing argument, presented in a concise, readable manner. An Op-Ed submission must be well written and polished, which means you may spend some time revising. It can be helpful to red some Op-Eds to get a feel for their style. I’ve listed links to some helpful resources and Op-Ed examples below. Many of the resources are targeted at writers trying to publish in newspapers, but they offer tips to help you understand the style of writing.
Your Op-Ed should provide a researched opinion on a subject at least somewhat related to class and your political experience. Though you will not be using in-text citations like you would in a paper, you should submit a bibliography listing the sources you relied on for accuracy. You should consult at least three sources.
Be sure to review the links below and the rubric to ensure you earn the highest possible score.
Tips for Writing Op-Eds
Op-Ed and You
13 Op-Ed Tips
Climate Change in My Backyard
How to Fight the Opioid Crisis
Ideas for Political Experiences
I am asking you to seek out a novel political experience this semester (with few exceptions, you should not just rely on a previous experience or continuation thereof). The following are examples of activities you can engage in to prepare for your creative project. The list is not exhaustive. If you have questions, ask!
· Speak at/attend a city council meeting in your area
· Volunteer with an elected official
· Volunteer with a local non-profit or politically-minded organization
· Find politically relevant conferences or art exhibits
· Go to a public talk or lecture
· Attend a rally or protest
Places to look for ideas: uci.edu; eventful.com; scpr.org; nixonfoundation.org; chapman.edu; political party websites; OC Weekly; Facebook
NUMBER EACH PIECE OR FILE OF YOUR PROJECT—IF YOU DO NOT CLEARLY IDENTIFY EACH STEP IN THE PROJECT, YOU WILL LOSE POINTS.