In this module, students write to inform on issues, problems and questions related to their community and their generation. The first lesson plan asks them to look at a variety of opinion blogs, and to write a post for The Critical Student that informs on an issue and also explains why the issue is important to them (in other words, they practice inserting their opinion while also informing). These blog posts are intended to help students learn to build credibility in online situations through linking to related content. After reading through posts, and leaving each other comments, students begin to narrow down their topics for the academic paper and prepare for the transition into academic discourse (where MLA and APA replace hyperlinks, third person replaces first person and academic journals replace salon.com and Mother Jones News articles).
Please note: this module does not include a multimodal project because so much time is spent on brainstorming topics. In my classroom, students pick an issue or argument to inform on for module 3, and then turn it into an extended argument (with a very specific call to action) in the next module. The next module asks students to create a digital/multimodal argument.