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Protest Movements

Films on Demand

Essay 1 Assignment

Eng 101 Essay 1 Assignment Sheet

Annotated Bibliography Due: TH 2/20

Outline Due:  TU 2/25@ start of class (upload to BB and have a copy in class)

Full RD Essay 1 Due: TU 3/3-TU 3/10 @ the end of class (upload to BB and bring a paper copy)

Final Draft Essay 1 Due: TH 3/12 (upload to BB and submit a paper copy)

Length: 1,200-1,500 words (5-6 pages)

Sources: 2 primary texts (“On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” and “Small Change”) and 3 secondary texts (research sources you will find and use for your annotated bibliography), Works Cited page

The goal of Essay 1 is to decide if one modern protest movement is or has the potential to be successful. This is an evaluation essay that will use research to support the evaluation of the protest movement. Each author will decide if the movement is or could potentially be successful, and that means each essay will be required to define what success means for a protest movement. (NO DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS!!). Part of the analysis of the movement will include a discussion of Thoreau and Gladwell’s ideas of worthwhile protest and well-organized protest. Overall, your definition of success needs to be based on your own defined and expressed criteria. You will choose a modern established protest movement (Me Too, Black Lives Matter, Immigration, etc.), research it, evaluate it, and write an essay to explain why you think this movement is or can potentially be successful. It is important to choose an established protest movement so that there is adequate research sources available.

Section 1—Introduction/Background

The introduction of this essay will be an introduction to the protest movement under evaluation. This section needs to give the reader background information he or she needs without going into too much detail. Background is important but remember to give the reader only the necessary information to move them into the evaluation quickly. (No more than 1.5 pages)

  1. What are the main goals of this protest movement?
  2. Who are the main players in the movement?
  3. Where/when is this movement taking place?
  4. Timeline of main events within this movement.
  5. Any controversy surrounding the movement.

Section 2—Justification

This section will begin the evaluation process. Using Thoreau, explain why this problem justifies political activism. Explain what counts as just cause for protest for Thoreau. What is acceptable motivation for protest for Thoreau? Then explain how your protest movement either has or does not have just cause for protest, both in Thoreau’s terms and your own. 2 quotes are required for this section—one quote from Thoreau and one quote from a secondary text.

Section 3—Organization

This section will evaluate the organization of your protest movement using Gladwell’s text. The topic sentence needs to state your position on the organization of your movement. Does its organization set it up for success? Explain Gladwell’s ideas on what kinds of organization lead to successful movements. Discuss how the movement meets Gladwell’s requirements or not. Discuss your opinion on how useful Gladwell’s ideas are for predicting success for the movement. 2 quotes are required for this section—one quote from Gladwell and one quote from a secondary text.

Section 4—Success

This section will define success and explain what it would take for this movement to achieve success. Remember, you need to explain what success will look like for THIS movement. That means that dictionary definitions will not work. Explain what it will take for this movement to achieve success. If there has been stated goals for this movement, bring that information in and discuss it. Discuss what challenges the movement has or will have and how they can overcome them if they can. One quote is required for this section from a secondary text.


Section 5—Conclusion

The conclusion is the place where you will state whether you think that this protest movement is or can potentially be successful. Explain why you think that this movement will succeed or fail. This is where you get to explain your opinion on this and discuss the conclusions you are drawing.


You are required to quote from 5 texts—Thoreau, Gladwell, and 3 research sources. In order to succeed in using quotes, each quote must be introduced, accurately quoted and cited, and thoroughly explained.

  1. Choose the Quote—pick a quote that helps give detailed support to the point being made or helps to introduce a new angle or idea on the topic. Make sure to thoroughly understand the quote. NO REPETITION!
  2. Introduction—give the author’s name and an appropriate action verb leading into the quote.
  3. Accurate Quotation—the quote must be a direct copy of the text. The only change should be with the use of the ellipse in the middle if you have removed information.
  4. Citation—parenthetical or in text citation is a requirement.
  5. Explanation—you must explain the content of the quote specifically—even and most importantly with statistics. Tell the reader what the quote means and why it’s important. Use the following template:

What _________________ means is _____________________________________________.

Structural Requirements

  • Introduction
  • Justification
  • Organization
  • Success
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited section page with each source listed alphabetically


  • Times New Roman font
  • 12pt size
  • Heading (name, date, class, assignment) in single space (1.0) on only the first page
  • Double space the body (2.0)
  • Headers (top right) with your last name
  • Page numbers on the upper right
  • 1” margins
  • Edited for grammar and easily caught mistakes

Associate Director

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Paula Pini
Great Path, M.S. #15, P.O. Box 1046 Manchester, CT 06045-1046

Some Current Protest/Social Movements