For this task, you will write a letter on one of the topics related to freedom of expression and the limits on freedom of speech. Choose one of the topics listed below. Think about which aspect of the topic you will write about.
- Freedom of speech: You might write about whether schools should have the right to limit what is discussed or covered in a student newspaper or a student news broadcast. (There is a Supreme Court ruling stating that school officials cannot censor student expression unless there is reasonable proof that such expression can disrupt school activities.)
- Freedom of the press: You might write about conflicts that arise when journalists try to photograph or videotape police in action. You might also consider whether cameras should be allowed in a courtroom.
- Banned books: Certain books are banned in schools. You might want to write about whether or not this is a good policy.
- Speech related to violence: You might want to write about limitations on freedom of speech related to violence. Speech that incites violence is not covered by the First Amendment and can result in prosecution in the United States. However, speech that merely supports violence as a political option is not considered a crime.
Before you begin your letter, decide to whom you will address it. The addressee should be someone whose opinion is important to you. (You might choose to write to a member of congress, your school principal, or a teacher.)
To whom are you writing your letter? What prompted your choice of topic and audience?
Now write your letter explaining your stance on the issue you chose. Your writing should reflect a strong opinion on the topic. Your arguments in favor of your stance should be supported by evidence.
Complete a short analysis of how you adapted your writing to suit your audience and purpose by filling in the checklist.
|Did you introduce a knowledgeable claim that can be supported with evidence?|
|Did you develop the claim and counterclaim fairly and thoroughly, with relevant evidence for each?|
|Did you point out the strengths and limitations of the claim and the counterclaim?|
|Did you use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text and create cohesion?|
|Did you establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone?|
|Did you provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented?|