exploring a social problem – Keen Papers

For assignment 1, I’d like to you to think critically about a social problem important to you. You
can select any problem, as long as you provide evidence (not just your opinion or personal
observations) that it meets the 4 criteria of a social problem outlined in our text and modules.
1. Introduction: Write an interesting and brief introductory paragraph addressing what
problem you will discuss in your paper and what you hope to demonstrate in your paper
a. Be sure to include a CLEAR THESIS STATEMENT
b. This section should be one paragraph
2. What is the problem? Explain what the problem is drawing on reliable sources of
information that illustrate the state of the problem.
a. Be sure to include in-text citations and a works cited at the end of your paper
b. This section should be about one page
3. Is the problem a social problem? Why or why not?
a. To answer this question, you must clearly apply each of the four characteristics of
a social problem discussed and summarized in class.
i. How is this problem social in origin?
ii. Does it cause harm to people? How many people are harmed? Who is
harmed and how? How are people harmed differently?
iii. How does this problem threaten what we believe society should be?
iv. Do a large number of people agree that this is a problem? Who does? Who
does not? How are they engaging claims-making to demonstrate that it is a
b. This section should be no less than four paragraphs long
4. Cause & Effect: In class we discussed how each social problem is caused by other social
problems and, in turn, causes additional social problems (i.e. is both a cause and effect
of other social problems). Apply this statement to your social problem:
a. What other social problems caused your social problems?
b. What other social problems are caused by your social problem?
c. This section should be, at minimum, one paragraph
5. Conclusion: Write a good concluding paragraph in which you summarize your key

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