Writing cultural criticism or the “think piece” – worth up to 75 points, repeatable 2x
• A think piece is an article meant to be thought-provoking/to initiate conversation
• It aggregates research from multiple sources
• It analyzes/discusses a cultural concept, usually via pop culture
• It often uses personal narrative or takes a more personal approach
A think piece is similar to an ARP in that it collects research and argues claims. However, it is not academic writing. It does not need to be as rigorously structured, nor does it need to conform to academic standards.
A think piece usually addresses pop culture in a more critical/in-depth way. We tend to consume pop culture passively, but the think piece pushes beyond this passive state.
Often a think piece begins with a question or an experience: “What are we laughing at when we watch [TV Show]?” or “How [TV Show] Changed My Life.”
The writer then seeks out current research––much like in the SSI––and enters the existent conversation.
These need not be academic sources––often these are magazine articles, or other comparable articles that are discussing cultural concepts.
Now I want YOU to explore this style of writing, using the skills you’ve learned in the ARP and the information you’ve amassed throughout the class.
Here are some basic guidelines:
• Your article should be 400-600 words. It is important for you to be concise and thoughtful in your word choice. I do not want to see filler in here.
• Your article should have a clear question or experience which it explores. I do not want to be confused about what idea you are exploring.
• Your article should quote 3 secondary sources. These quotes should be short and useful, much like in the SSI.
• You may work with more than one primary source. You do not need to analyze these like we did in the PSA, but you should be specific (for example, what about [TV Show] made you think of [X]?)
• You should create an interesting title and find an accompanying image