UNLV The Power of Face to Face Communication Essay

For this assignment, you will create an op-ed article on an important topic as well as an infographic that makes a similar argument in a visual medium. Your op-ed article and the infographic should be able to work independently of each other but convey the same main argument. 


Op-Ed Article TOPIC: Phubbing: People who are on their phone while you’re talking to them


OpEd, short for Opposite the Editorial, is a newspaper opinion piece from contributors not affiliated with the editorial board. Historically, it was published in a newspaper opposite the article written by the editorial board (hence the name, op-ed) and evolved as a genre that allowed people who are knowledgeable on a given topic to express their opinion and urge readers to take a stance or to take action. Sometimes, you might see articles in newspapers and magazines labeled “Opinion”: they follow the same genre conventions as op-ed articles.

For your op-ed article, you will first need to choose a topic related to social or human rights issues that is important for your community or for your current or future professional life. Or, you may start small, choosing a petty annoyance, and exploring how that is actually a symptom of a larger social, economic, or political issue. Your goal will be to sway your readers’ opinion on the topic and to persuade them to take certain action (e.g., support  a specific public policy or adopt a new recycling practice) or adopt a certain point of view on the topic. To achieve that goal, you will need to use multiple persuasive strategies, from citing statistics, examples, and facts, to using stories and personal examples to appeal to your readers’ emotions. Keep in mind that op-ed articles typically do not rely on sources to the same extent as some other genres; limit your supporting sources to no more than 4 and make sure they come from credible, trustworthy publications and are free of false information, skewed facts, or strong bias. You can check your sources’ credibility following suggestions  in this guide




To quote the Oxford English dictionary, an infographic is a “visual representation of information or data.” For your infographic, you will need to create a visual representation of the arguments you make in your op-ed piece, transforming them into a new model. You can use pictures, icons, charts, graphs, and any other visual components to convey your arguments. You can also use text, but keep in mind that infographics are usually designed with minimum text and instead rely on visual clues to attract the audience’s attention and deliver the message in a convincing yet succinct way. 




Your first step will be choosing a topic for your op-ed article (PHUBBING)PEOPLE ON THE PHONE WHILE YOU’RE TALKING TO THEM. 


Make sure it bears some importance for your community and/or your professional path, whether it’s your chosen major, the discipline where you plan to go, or the job you are currently holding (PATH OF WORK: REAL ESTATE) 


Or, you may start small, choosing a petty annoyance, and exploring how that is actually a symptom of a larger social, economic, or political issue. Make sure your topic is not too broad (e.g., “climate change” is a very broad topic, but “water management in Las Vegas in the time of climate change” is a lot more manageable) and not overused, in which case it might be difficult to find anything original to add to the existing debates. This is again, why I recommend, you start small and let the research guide you to a larger issue.


Define your audience and choose the venue for your op-ed piece: who are you trying to reach, and what would you like them to do as a result of reading your op-ed? Do you want people to take action or to change their opinion on the topic? Who are you trying to reach? Is it people who mostly share your views but might not be aware of some facts, or people who hold opposite opinions? What newspaper would you like to see your op-ed published in, and why? You can choose a major newspaper like The New York Times or a local paper. Your topic and your audience will largely define your arguments. 


Consider different rhetorical strategies we’ve learned so far and look at examples of op-ed articles. Choose argumentative strategies best suited for your topic, your audience, and your goals. Do some research: how would you back up your arguments? What kind of evidence can you use? 


Your op-ed should have an engaging and informative title. 


The introductory paragraph should open with a “hook” to get your readers’ attention. You can cite a recent news story or a new scientific study, tell a personal story or a dramatic anecdote, use irony or show contradictions in public opinion, or reference popular culture.


Your introduction should also give a preview of your main claim. 


The body of your article should develop your arguments in more detail and provide evidence for your claims. 

The concluding paragraph should connect your claims and urge the readers to action. 

Your infographic should reflect your main arguments, but do not try to include every claim or every detail. 


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