(3) Final Clarity: Progressives & Religious Rhetoric

Here is the link to my infographic: https://drive.google.com/a/stanford.edu/file/d/0B-p7zo34RsP8ZzlUWm9QZ2tqdHc/view?usp=sharing

As I began my oral presentation, I was able to create a story reflecting my thought process for research. I discussed the context for my research question (that millennials are not as religious as their parents and grandparents) as well as how progressives were able to use religion for their movements in the past. However, it was not clear what exactly my research question was. Was I talking about how progressives used religion or how conservatives used religion or what exactly “using religion” means?

That feedback reappeared in my research proposal peer review. Again, I provided context for religion and activism, but it wasn’t clear what exactly I wanted to research, and why. My readers were not sure if I was going to create a how-to guide for using religious rhetoric or analyze how progressives have used rhetoric in history. As such, when I made my infographic, I wanted to make sure that my research question was both clear to my audience and manageable as a written topic.

My infographic was received well. My audience thought it was simple – I began by discussing how neoconservatives use religion to further their movements. But instead of talking about historical progressive movements, I used Trump’s travel ban as a case study for how progressives can use religious rhetoric. As you can see, I included different sources – national churches, the ACLU, and activists themselves. Creating this infographic and my audience’s affirmation made me realize that my research topic should be:

Both historical and modern conservatives have used religion as a foundation for their activist movements. However, progressives also have and should continue to use religious rhetoric and storytelling to grow the size and bargaining power of their activist movements.

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