This essay will introduce your party to the voters. In one sense it is a stand-alone essay. In another sense it is the introduction to a longer essay that includes your three position papers in the body.
This essay will still use the basic unit of discourse. However, it is not a research essay in the sense that you must include information or quotations from other sources, although you may do so. Unless you do, the essay does not need a Works Cited.
This essay will become the first draft of your party’s welcome page.
What is your party all about? The voters want to know.
Rhetorical mode: definition
Length: at least 1,000 words.
The title of this essay should be the name of your party followed its slogan.
The Dutch GroenLinks (Green Left) party recently began using a new slogan: Tijd voor verandering – Time for a change.
Open the introductory paragraph with a statement to catch the attention of the voters. Putting your slogan in context might be a good way to do that.
The rest of this short introductory paragraph should tell the voters what to expect — a brief overview of your party’s mission, vision, and values.
Position your party in a quadrant of the political spectrum
- authoritarian right
- authoritarian left
- libertarian right
- libertarian left
The thesis statement summarizes what the party is all about, the overriding idea that the mission, vision, and values support as well as a list of the policy areas that the party most wants to emphasize.
First body section
Your party’s mission is its purpose. For example, your party’s mission could be to govern the U.S. with fairness and justice, or to govern so that America is better for native-born Americans and not so good for the immigrants who are taking the jobs of true Americans.
Your party’s vision is what it sees for the future. For example, your party’s vision could be an America that lives up to its promise for opportunity for all, not just some. The U.S. Democratic Party’s vision, from their web during the 2016 presidential campaign:
Democrats believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls.
It’s a simple but powerful idea: we are stronger together.
The difference between mission and vision?
Mission – Vision
Why? – What?
Statement – Snapshot
Shorter – Longer
Informs – Inspires
Doing – Seeing
Head – Heart
Clarifies – Challenges
Medaille’s mission, vision, and values
Your party’s values are the principles it uses to inform its platform positions. For example, the U.S. Green Party lists their values, including:
- Ecological Wisdom
- Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
Other principles to consider
- regulated markets (capital, goods/services, labor) or free markets
- concentrated power (strong man in charge) or distributed power
- what’s best for the individual or what’s best for society/community (social/economic justice)
- closed or open: technology, governments, corporations, organizations
- ecological sustainability, personal freedom, personal responsibility
- inclusion of all; inclusion of only some
Each body section should discuss them in this order: one section on the mission, another on the vision, and the last one on the values.
Don’t forget a transitional phrase or sentence that relates these values, vision, and mission to the major positions to follow.
Second body section
Emphasize your three major positions.
Don’t forget a transitional phrase or sentence that relates the values, vision, or mission to the major positions to follow.
Each sub-section should explain the positions in the order you listed them: one section on each area.
Begin each sub-section with a clear statement, your topic sentence. Remember, this is not a research essay. You may, but you do not need to support your claim with evidence (valid and relevant data about facts). What’s most important here is to give the voter a statement of your positions with an explanation of how each position follows from the mission, vision, and values in the first body section.
At this point, before you have looked at much data, your positions will not be as sound and defensible as they will be after you have examined the relevant data. I encourage you at this point to keep an open mind and be willing to adjust these positions based on the data. Thus, for this essay assignment, this section might give only the areas that you are curious about and not a clear, specific position.
The conclusion should sound much like the introduction. Instead of telling the voters what to expect, tell them what they just read.
Remember, you are not trying to persuade the voters to change their behavior. You are trying to inform them about a brand-new political party. This is an informative essay, not a persuasive essay.