A civic discourse component is emphasized in both the first and third year required writing courses. This is the most important unit in the first year course because of the emphasis on research; for the juniors the importance is moderate (at least according to each course’s respective grading rubric).

I’m asking each of the juniors to start their brainstorming process now, here, as a ‘comment’ to this post. The directions ask the students to write

concerning the political issue of your choice. Imagine (“write-out-loud”) how to narrow the scope of the issue so you could reasonably expect that the information in your letter might elicit a response. Brainstorm which audiences might be appropriate for your letter, e.g., who is in a position to actually do something? What will you recommend as a solution?

The first year students have already done something similar: decision-making: research.