What Does High-Quality Civic Writing Look Like?

High-quality, civically engaged writing encompasses a range of genre and media. Like academic writing, the best public youth writing employs sound reasoning and credible evidence, and is effectively organized and structured. This writing engages its intended audience. The writing reflects tone, style, and rhetoric designed to engage that audience and establish the author’s credibility. The writing effectively raises awareness and advocates reasonable and feasible courses of action.

Selected examples of strong youth civic writing breathe life into CEWAC’s attributes. This writing reflects a range of genre, audiences, purposes, perspectives, and geographic regions. These samples illustrate that youths’ writing can effectively engage and persuade audiences without achieving perfection.

Advanced Life Support District  Colton Cowger, a tenth-grader in Columbus, MT, wrote a letter to the editor of the Stillwater County News, advocating for creating an Advanced Life Support District to serve outlying rural communities. His letter set the wheels in motion for a ballot initiative that passed in May 2017. Learn More ›

Campus Sexual Assault Needs to Stop Grace N. wrote a public letter to the 2016 presidential candidates to raise the visibility of campus sexual assault as an important public issue and to ask the candidates to use the bully pulpit to address this issue. Learn More ›

Minimum Wage Daniel S. wrote a public letter arguing that the minimum wage should not be raised. While he recognizes the challenges facing people who earn minimum wage, he considers the potential unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage. Learn More ›

I Sued My School for Censorship and Won Taylor Victor crafted a narrative recounting her ACLU-supported lawsuit against her school district that resulted in her being able to wear her “Nobody Knows I’m A Lesbian” t-shirt. Her message encourages youth to understand and advocate for their First Amendment rights. Learn More ›

What are the Attributes of Civic Writing? How Can I Use CEWAC?