Articles on Modern Cultural Issues for a Synthesis/Argumentative Essay

For the tenth grade Embedded Assessment 2 in Unit 1 of Springboard, students are asked to write a synthesis essay answering the following prompt: “To what extent does a person’s culture inform the way he or she views others and the world?”

One team of teachers decided to modify the prompt as follows:

How does the culture of ___________ impact how one views and interacts with the world around them?  

The possible topics students might choose to focus on are as follows:

1.  Culture of Social Media/Technology

2.  Culture of Consumerism/Advertising

3.  Culture of Social Status/Class Structure

4.  Culture of Educational Background

To meet the needs of the assessment, students will need to synthesize multiple sources to answer this question in an argumentative essay format.  The following are a list of resources that can be used for this purpose.

Culture’s Impact on Humanity in General

“Your Brain on Culture” from American Psychological Association

“Five Examples of How the Languages We Speak Affect the Way We Think” from TED

Social Media Culture

“Has social media changed the way we speak and write” from English Town

“Don’t Fear the Network: The Internet is Changing the Way We Communicate for the Better” from Pacific Standard

“I Knew You Before I Met You” from Faculty Voice, the University of Maryland

“Five Ways Facebook Changed Us: For Better, For Worse” from CNN Tech

Advertising/Consumerism Culture

“Driving Teen Egos- and Buying- through ‘Branding’” from American Psychological Association

“The End of Cosumerism?” from The Guardian

“Environmental Ills? It’s Consumerism, Stupid” from Scientific American

Social Status/Class Culture

“21 Ways Rich People Think Differently” from Business Insider

“Culture of Poverty in America” from Huffington Post

“Facing Social Class” from Russel Sage Foundation (book summary)

Facing Social Class from the book, chapter one

“We are not all Created Equal” from Esquire (has some profanity, but low-level)

Educational Culture

“Struggle for Smarts: How Eastern and Western Cultures Tackle Learning”

“Hack Schooling Makes me Happy” from TED

“Does Education Kill Creativity” from TED

“Campus Culture or Climate” from New York Times

“College Culture” from Galivan College

Here is a handout that can be given to students with links to all of the articles:

Here is an Outline for a presentation version of this project:

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