Great topic. The paper needed, though, a thesis with claim + reason + moral foundation + resistor, and then the paper needed to focus every para on supporting that thesis.
This would be an easy revision. You already have some solid ideas applying the Dungan article. Extending and sustaining the moral foundation analysis from beginning to end would not take too long. If you haven’t already used your pass, I encourage you to read the comments on the paper (View feedback) and the rubric and then revise the paper, applying those ideas, plus the reframing I note above, to strengthen the paper
1500-1800 words: 200 points

7-8 sources, which must include substantial reference to Haidt’s article and to the “Psychology of Whistleblowing” article

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Required Readings
Haidt, Jonathon: “Ch 7: Moral Foundations”
They Say I Say—all covered chapters
Rogerian argument information
Psychology of Whistleblowing
Due Dates
Resistor Topics due: Tues Oct 15
Resistor Topic Reviews due: Thurs Oct 17
Resistor thesis/outline due: Tues Oct 22
Resistor thesis/outline review due: Thurs Oct 24
Resistor Rough Draft due: Tues Oct 29
Resistor Rough draft reviews due: Thurs Oct 31
Resistor Final Drafts due: Tues Nov 5
Assign 4 Overview

So far this semester, we’ve been exploring the rights, costs, and benefits of belonging to a civil society. For the Definition and Rhetorical Analysis assignments, we looked specifically at the meaning of civil disobedience—when, with what costs and benefits, and any limits that apply–and at how some resistors have used argument to demand change.

For this Resistor assignment, we will use Haidt’s moral foundations and the “Psychology of Whistleblowing” article to help explore the ethics of and motivations for your chosen resistor’s actions. I provide a list of suggested resistors later in this module, but you’re also welcome to find your own resistor, particularly if it’s someone who has impacted your own community.

The Assignment Prompt

For this assignment, we’ll be trying to explain which moral foundations psychologically motivated your chosen resistor and why you’re making that claim.

Ultimately, your goal will be to explain, using Haidt’s ideas and the ideas within “The Psychology of Whistleblowing,” why your chosen resistor may have decided to act and if those actions were “right” actions to take. You’ll use a Rogerian tone throughout the essay.

Your sources may, depending on how you decide to use them for your argument,

and rebut your points.

This prompt is fairly open in scope, but it will need to be specific in time, person, and place for your essay to work well. (I’ll explain this idea of “time, person, and place” later in this module.)


Length: 1500-1800 words (double-spaced, typed, following MLA style throughout)

Sources: 7-8 sources total

Must include substantial reference to at least two to three of the moral foundations within Haidt’s article
Must include substantial* reference to the information within the “Psychology of Whistleblowing” article
Includes 3-5 other related sources from your own research, only ONE of which should be a biographical, encyclopedic type of background source.

*By “substantial” reference here, I mean that you’ve chosen to include important, “meaty” references (quotations and paraphrasing) to Haidt and “Psychology”–source references that offer you lots to respond to in your own argument and that really help to support and illustrate your own argument. These references are not necessarily long quotations; instead, they offer you lots to think about and use to support your own arguments.


This essay falls within the Rogerian persuasive argument genre, so be sure you read carefully the Rogerian information since that clearly defines, describes, and applies this approach to an argument. The sample student Rogerian essay clearly exemplifies an organizational plan that has worked for many students in past semesters.

Building on TSIS Ch 6 and 7, this Rogerian argument asks that you write invitingly and with an understanding tone to a potentially “hostile” audience, skeptical or at least undecided about the ethics and general “rightness” of your whistleblower’s actions.

Personal pronouns (I, me, my) are appropriate to use in this essay since you’re a colleague expert to many in your audience.


Your audience are familiar with both the articles, but not necessarily your resistor. You’ll need to include just enough information about your resistor to help your audience follow along, but you do not need to include large amounts of biographical information.

Your target audience in any persuasive context comprises those who don’t yet agree with you. This resistant audience provides a perfect audience for Rogerian persuasion, which is the persuasive strategy we’ll learn for this assignment.

Persuasion relies on your understanding not only of another’s perspective but also their reasons for holding that perspective. What are their values? Their fears? Their hopes for this issue? Rogerian argument notes that only by fully and compassionately understanding the “other side” can you hope to reach your audience and persuade them in any way.


Throughout your essay, you’ll use multiple related credible sources, that you find, integrated into your argument, to support and illustrate (and counter-argue, only to be rebutted) your points.

Since you’re writing in the discipline of English, genre and discipline expectations require that your paper follow MLA style in format and source integration (using parenthetical citations).

Again, I encourage you to use the templates and ideas from They Say I Say to help you integrate your sources to meet the needs of your audience.

Genre-Specific Organizational Demands

You have always editorial control as to how you organize your paper, but if you’d like some guidance, you could organize this paper following either of the following:

the sample student Rogerian essay
Please note that this sample essay does not include reference to the “Psychology of Whistleblowing” article, and your paper needs to do so.
the example research paper in They Say I Say pp145-159. That paper (“Family Guy and Freud”) organizes paragraphs around ideas, rather than sources. Our paper also may have a few sources in one paragraph, particularly if those sources help illustrate the main thrust of that paragraph. Note the Rogerian tone of the “Family Guy” paper too. I do NOT expect images or tables or dialogue in this paper. Those attributes fit the paper in They Say I Say but will not necessarily be appropriate to your own paper.
A few helpful definitions
Resistor: essentially a person or an organized group who performs civil disobedience to try to effect social change for social justice.
Whistleblowing: a form or subset of resistance. Exposing unethical or unsafe practices in an organization. Whistleblowers, therefore, count as resistors.
So–every whistleblower is a resistor, but not every resistor is a whistleblower.

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