Module Essay: Is Civility a Tool to Build Trust or a Weapon to Silence?

Overview: The readings in this module have focused on civility. Appiah’s article argues that multiculturalism does not solve the divisive problems in our society and calls for a “civic culture” in which “everyone recognizes that people are entitled to respect whatever their gender or sexuality, their race or religion, and wherever they came from”. Plante writes that we must work together to return to a civic culture in which “all interactions (in person and online) are conducted with respect and compassion and that people who don’t behave in a civil manner are provided with corrective feedback”.

However, Fadel writes that “The calls for civility can feel like an effort to stifle people’s outrage over injustice or hate, because civility can be a tool to build or a weapon to silence” (Fadel). Meanwhile, Ronson writes about the powerful effects of internet shaming, and interviews a person whose life was destroyed by a tweet, noting the “disconnect between the severity of the crime and the gleeful savagery of the punishment.”

Prompt: Respond to the questions raised in Fadel’s article:

“To what purpose is civility going to be used? Is it going to be more inclusive? Is it going to mean that you’re bringing more people’s voices into the political debates, or are you using civility as a way to go back to the old hierarchies and the status quo since the founding of the American republic?” (qtd. in Fadel).

Compose a thesis that takes a clear stance and addresses the essential question: Is Civility a Tool to Build or a Weapon to Silence?
Support your argument in the body paragraphs.
Reference Fadel’s article
Include a case study in civility that supports your argument (you may use Ronson’s article, or another example)
Incorporate two additional sources from the module to support your argument
Incorporate at least ONE additional source (CCBC Library Database or other credible site)
Audience: Write for an audience that is not in this class. That means you’ll need to spend some time summarizing key ideas, defining any terms that might be unfamiliar, choosing short quotes from the reading selections to help your reader get a sense of the authors’ arguments.

Length: 3-4 pages (750-1000) words


Include an original title (not “Module One Essay” or “Civility Essay”)
Use MLA Style to format your essay
Compose a thesis statement that highlights your argument about civility
Organize the essay so that each body paragraph is providing support for your thesis
Source requirements:Cite all sources using MLA style in-text citations
Integrate Fadel’s article as the primary source
Include a case study in civility to support your thesis (Ronson’s article or other example)
Integrate at least two additional readings from the module
Research and integrate at least one additional source (CCBC Library Database or other credible source)
Include an MLA style Works Cited page at the end of the essay (not included in 3-4 pages of text

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