61 Introduction to Social Change Writing

Amy Minervini


by Amy Minervini


Writing for social change is the practice of exploring topics that are meaningful to you, your community, and other stakeholders. You will use rhetorical elements, informative and persuasive skills, and audience analysis to highlight issues and injustices that warrant change. To begin to think about this type of writing, ask yourself a number of questions: What issues in your daily life, in your neighborhood or city, or in the news impact you and others? Why is this particular issue problematic? What changes could be made that would help to be a part of the solution? Who is in charge of making these decisions? What is the best way to reach these individuals or groups? What formats or mediums will be the best way to garner support and effect change? Letter writing — whether to the school board, local officials, newspaper editors, or legislators — is an effective modality to promote actionable change. Service-learning programs and blogging, too, are excellent ways to make a difference in your sphere and in the world.

Key Characteristics

Writing for social change generally exhibits the following:

  • Advocates for change through individual, community, or legislative efforts
  • Lays out a foundation or a fact pattern that show an injustice has been done or an issue or perspective has been overlooked
  • Might engage in brief storytelling or description to help frame an issue or hook the reader/audience
  • Incorporates an ethos of restoration and hope
  • Awareness of and critique of bias that seeps in
  • Acknowledgement of opposing views
  • Mindful of intent, medium, audience, and the media (if necessary)

What’s in this Chapter

“Overview” by Amy Minervini is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License



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Introduction to Social Change Writing by Amy Minervini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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