In order to successfully complete this writing assignment learners should explore, research, plan, create, and submit.

Explore the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Using the following links to learn more about the SDGs. Be sure to select one or more of the SDGs and explore the Targets and Indicators that the United Nations has defined for it.

Learning Design for Open Educational Practices – SDG page

United Nations Official SDG page

Phase 1

In one paragraph, describe what you know about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) based on your preliminary SDG explorations. Answer the following questions:

  • Which of the goals interests you, or is relevant to your life, your community, or your circumstances? 
  •  What would you like to learn more about in a local context related to the goal that interests you? 
  • How do you plan to learn more, do you have any ideas for who you might talk with, or what community organization you might connect with to explore your interest?

[Submit your Phase 1 paragraph per the assignment instructions]

Phase 2 Research, Plan, and Write

Use the following guide for sections of your writing to prepare your assignment. Your finished work should be between 800 – 1000 words. Each prompt will indicate the type of research you might pursue to add information and interest to your writing. Be sure to cite and reference any research resources you used to complete your writing and tell your story.

Paragraph One: About the Author

In a few sentences, introduce yourself to your readers. Who are you? What are you studying? What are your future career aspirations? If you want, you can share personal stories too: kids, pets, interests, hobbies. Feel free to include a photo of yourself.  

Paragraph Two and Three: Introduce the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Which specific goal are you exploring in your writing? Explain what the goal is, along with some of the targets and indicators. Assume that your audience has never heard of the SDGs.
  • In your opinion, why is this particular goal important? Make a convincing argument! Speak from the heart here and bring in secondary sources (facts, figures, quotes) that confirm and support your opinion

Paragraph Four, Five, and Six: Showcase

To complete this portion of the assignment, you should reach out to members of your local community so that you can celebrate their local work in the remainder of your assignment. When I say local context, I mean your local context. This may be Sudbury, it could be Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation, it could be Madurai, India. Interpret the word “local” as you see fit.

Find a person, organization, or initiative that is working to achieve the same targets and outcomes as your chosen Sustainable Development Goal. Discover more by exploring the web, visiting their organization, calling a representative and having a conversation, scheduling a web meeting, etc.

Take this opportunity to make a real, human connection. Pick up the phone! Show up! The people you might meet are trying to make the world a better place, so they’ll likely be very inspiring to talk with. Celebrate them in your writing.  

This section of your writing should be about three paragraphs in length: 

  • Describe the person / organization / initiative you researched or spoke with. What kind of work are they doing? Who benefits from their work? Tell their story. 
  • What are their short and long term aspirations? 
  • Are there any obstacles or challenges preventing them from achieving their goals? 

Paragraph Seven: Call to Action

What can members of the general public do to support the person, organization, or initiative in achieving their vision and overcoming their obstacles? Be specific here. End with a strong and direct request and include relevant details. For example, if they have a GoFundMe page, include a direct link. If they need supplies, tell your readers the actual address where those supplies should be delivered, etc.

Grading Criteria

This writing assignment will be graded out of 20 marks. The instructor will use the following guidelines to determine how many marks you receive.

This is a good / better / best approach to evaluating your assignment. Decide for yourself how much time and effort you wish to put into this assignment, and act accordingly! If you’re motivated to go for perfect marks, but you’re not sure how to achieve some of the more technical elements, reach out to your instructor. They will support you to help you create audio and video files. 

Good 10/20

  • All of the elements in the Assignment Content section are included and responded to directly
  • The student’s personality and voice are evident 
  • Includes an acceptable amount of detail; each prompt is sufficiently addressed 
  • Clearly identifies at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals and connects back to that goal throughout the piece
  • Clearly connects the work that a person, organization, or initiative is conducting to the selected Sustainable Development Goal

Better 15/20 – all of the elements listed under the “Good” category plus the following:

  • Provides specific examples of the work that a person, organization, or initiative is conducting
  • Includes all of the elements suggested in the assignment outline, and additionally, incorporates some unique elements not suggested in the assignment description
  • Enhances text with representative images (check out for free, open source image files)
  • Includes multiple perspectives by incorporating a variety of secondary sources that are appropriately integrated and cited 

Best 20/20 – includes all of the elements listed under the “Good” and “Better categories, plus the following:

  • Includes primary sources (immediate, first-hand accounts, such as interview transcripts, screenshots of social media conversations, photographs)
  • Takes it “next level” by creating multimedia resources such as video, audio, or visuals and incorporating them into the final piece to increase impact and engagement.

High Quality Example:

Anishinaabek Perspectives on the Water Crisis

Attribution for this Assignment

This assignment was adapted from an original SSC1002 Final Project created for Winter 2019 by Jessica O’Reilly.