English 11

Listening Exercise: the causes of youth violence

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For your "pre-test" argument writing assignment, you read a set of articles on both sides of the "culture wars." One article claimed that popular culture had little or no effect on the behavior of teens, and the other argued that popular movies and music influenced youth to destructive and anti-social behavior. You then made your own argument answering the question: "In what way does popular culture influence teens?"

For this assignment, you will listen to a discussion with a group of black men in Chicago on a related question: "Where does the violence between youth in Chicago come from? What causes it?"

Procedure:
  1. As you listen the first time, take notes on the various speakers, identifying those with whom you particularly agree or disagree. Write down the claims you find particularly interesting.
  2. The second time through, jot down significant words and phrases of these speakers. You will need to quote from them in part three.
  3. Based on your listening and your knowledge, what seem to you to be some of the main causes of youth violence in Chicago? And what can be done to decrease it? Plan an argument that makes a claim in response to these questions.
  4. In 30 minutes or less, write a brief argumentative essay (with an intro, body, and conclusion) that claims what you believe the main causes to be, and the way(s) you believe a more peaceful situation can be brought about for youth in Chicago.
  5. Proofread your work before handing it in at the end of class.