Tag Archives: perspective

Week 14: Narrative as an Agent for Change

*Erica Kaye, Misogyny in Medicine

*Adam Hill, Breaking the Stigma- A Physician’s Perspective on Self-Care and Recovery

*Rachel Hardeman et al, Stolen Breaths

*Damon Tweedy, Chapter 10: Beyond Race from Black Man in a White Coat (pgs 236-245)

*Storytelling as a Public Health Strategy to Address Inequities in Maternal Health Outcomes (from 4 – 40:54)

For our last week of class, students were tasked with writing op-eds of their own. I gave students the heads up that we would spend our last class session together workshopping the pieces they write. We began by reflecting on this week’s readings and identifying what made them effective and what room there was for improvement. We took notes and used our discussion to create a rubric of our own for analyzing our op-eds. We talked about the spectrum of editorial/op-ed/perspective pieces and how these range from sharing stories to raise awareness to factual-based summaries, with the common thread of sharing one’s perspective to further a specific argument.

In small groups, students had about 8 minutes to read one essay at a time. They were provided hard copies and encouraged to annotate by hand the op-eds they were reviewing. They then spoke to the following 5 topics based on the rubric we created in class:

  1. Title: does the essay have a title? Is it effective? If not, what might you suggest?
  2. Hook: How does the piece start? Does it have a powerful hook, ie an intriguing opening sentence, an immersive vignette, etc.
  3. Argument: is the argument well-organized? Is it supported by compelling evidence, anecdote, and/or emotion?
  4. Counter-Argument: are opposing perspectives acknowledged or addressed?
  5. Audience: who is the piece intending to reach?

I asked students to reflect all together: Which op-eds should be published, and why? I challenged students to think about why certain pieces stuck out to them as worthy of publication. Some even recommended pieces be published that they didn’t necessarily agree with, and we talked about what prompts people to share stories, even if they might not personally agree with it.

We wrapped up with a last writing prompt, protecting space to write, reflect, and share with one another:

Write about a time when you felt heard. OR Write about a time when you felt seen.

Looking forward to our Narrative Showcase: Show and Tell with final projects next week!

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Filed under Narrative Medicine and Health Inequity