Political Divide on Immigration

Students will complete this assignment by writing an essay that responds to a NYT Op-doc and is supported by some information from the following link: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/why-immigration-divides/552125/ Students will use what they have viewed to support or illustrate their own position (agreement, disagreement, extension) rather than writing an essay focused on describing the work of another writer/director. Successful completion of this assignment will require students to (1) develop their own position, (2) express that position clearly and persuasively, and (3) demonstrate a connection—with quotation, paraphrase, or summary—between their position and that of the author(s)/director(s) whose works they are analyzing.

Here are the documentaries you can choose from: (you may have to copy and paste into a browser).



Unlike the first essay, where you wrote an exposition of another’s ideas, here you will analyze the ideas of another author/director and then engage that work with some of your own ideas.


Write a persuasive essay that presents your argument for your solution to some focused issue that touches on immigration through the lens of the documentary. Your essay may use personal experiences for support, but at least PART of support or elaboration in this essay must be drawn from the Atlantic essay linked to above.

Suggestion for Process

As far as watching the video, you want to approach it as we did in class with an initial set of general questions, and then a more specific set of questions that address the possible purpose of the documentary. You may have to defend what you feel the purpose is based on example from the doc.

Rhetorical Situation

Remember, your audience has not seen these documentaries. Understand also that we are watching them in the context of the current immigration debate that surrounds us and our neighbors, and even the world.

Do I need a work cited page?

Yes. You will cite the Atlantic essay and the doc you choose at the end of the essay. You will need to cite each quotation, paraphrase, or summarize within the text. . Make appropriate use of the full array of devices for MLA citation: attributive lead-in phrases, quotation marks, in-text parenthetical references, and a listing of every source on the work cited page. Please ask if you have any questions about citation and remember that all essays will go through the Turnitin Originality Check in the D2L (eLearning) Dropbox.

Need Help?

You have three things:


The tutoring center

My office hours 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday/


Steps to help you construct the REVIEW

1 Read, watch, or listen to the work more than once

The first time you read or watch something, get an overall sense of the work. Then think about its strengths and weaknesses. Read or watch it again to confirm your first impressions. This time, take careful notes. Be ready to change your mind if a closer look sends you in a different direction.

2 Provide essential information

Tell readers the complete title of the work and the name of its author or creator. Supply the publisher, publication date, and other information about when the piece was created and where readers or viewers can find it. Check your facts. The details in a review must be accurate. Most of this information will be in the citations.

3 Understand your audience

Reviews appear in all sorts of places. You’ll find them in local and national publications, online, and also in specialized journals and neighbourhood newsletters. Imagine you are writing a review for a magazine like the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, or the Atlantic. We will look at samples in class. Think about what you need to explain. General readers will need more background information than readers of a publication aimed at experts.

4 Take a stand

State your opinion of the work you’re evaluating. Your review can be negative, positive, or mixed. Your job is to support that opinion with details and evidence. Even if readers disagree with you, they need to see how you reached your conclusions.

5 Explain how you’re judging the work

Decide on your criteria, the standards you’ll use to judge the book, show, or film. You might believe a novel is successful when it has characters you care about and a plot that makes you want to keep reading. State these criteria so your readers understand what you believe.

6 Introduce evidence to support your criteria

Support your judgments with quotations or descriptions of scenes from the work. Also consult outside sources. In your case, you will be citing “Why Immigration Divides.”

7 Know the conventions of the genre

Every type of writing or art has specific elements. A mystery has to have suspense, while a romance must have characters you believe would be attracted to one another. Consider theme, structure, characters, setting, dialogue, and other relevant factors. Understand these conventions and take them into account as part of your criteria. In the case of documentary, conventions are: Interview, establishing shots, soundtrack, cutaways, cinematography.

8 Compare and contrast

Comparison can be a great way to develop your evaluation. Suppose you claim that a film has wonderful, original dialogue. Demonstrate this by sharing some dialogue from another film that has stiff, wooden, or clichéd dialogue. Use the contrast to prove your point.

9 Do not summarize the entire plot

Books, films, and television shows have beginnings, middles, and endings. People read and watch these works in part because they want to know what happens. Let them enjoy their stories. Provide a general idea of what happens, but don’t give away important secrets, especially the end.


Identity. What statement are these docs making about identity? Without explicitly saying it, is immigration part of this “conversation”

What roll does the music play in furthering the purpose?

How is the camera angle, focus, closeup, etc serving to tell the story and contribute to tone and purpose?


My Homework Nest
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -