According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, Cancel Culture is the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling (see CANCEL) as a way of expressing
disapproval and exerting social pressure; to cancel means to withdraw one’s support for (someone, such as a celebrity, or something, such as a company)
publicly and especially on social media. A boycott of sorts “cancelling” a person or entity can mean not supporting a person or an organization because
they’ve done something disagreeable in the eyes of the canceler. It could also lead to institutions preventing someone from voicing “unacceptable” or
“offensive” views via blocking them from a website or platform. Sometimes, people get fired for what they say, usually due to pressure from groups of those
who disagree. To be sure, there are people who harbor strong opinions on both sides on this phenomenon. As the following selections indicate, some feel
that certain viewpoints need to be cancelled, and that this culture of calling out is necessary for accountability; others feel it encroaches on free-speech or
verges on bullying. Your job for this essay assignment is to choose a side of the debate and argue it logically and coherently, using at least three different
sources from the links below (some links offer more than one article/ viewpoint). You may find extra articles on your own, and if you do, be sure to cite them
correctly. Using additional articles over the ones included below is not required, though.
After reading all of the articles provided, determine whether you are for or against cancel culture—the pro/con articles can provide directive there. Your claim
(remember this used to be called a thesis) can be something as simple as “Cancel culture has a rightful place in society” or “Cancel culture is damaging in
society” or (in other words, you are either for or against it).
For those who would like to probe deeper into the debate, you may add another layer to your argument by not only arguing for or against it, but by choosing a
more specific angle to include as support for your claim. For example, if you are against cancel culture, you might say something along the lines of “Cancel
culture may seem to affect mainly politicians and celebrities, but it also transcends into everyday people’s everyday lives, affecting livelihoods and
relationships.” Of course, you can also argue the opposite of this statement, saying something like: “Cancel culture is affects mainly politicians and
celebrities, but it does not transcend into people’s everyday lives or affect people’s freedom of speech as many argue.” While you can use my sample theses
as a guide, I’d much rather you came up with your own take on the argument. Feel free to run your thesis by me at any time so you can begin compiling your
Your arguments, as always, need to be based on facts and evidence, and not unsupported feeling or personal judgments (i.e., no use of the word “fair”!). Be
sure to include a refutation (opposing viewpoint). Your essay should be three to four pages in length (see parameters listed on the first page of this
document). See also the sample student essays I provide to give you an idea of how to formulate and argue your topic.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/cancel-culture-words-were-watching (Links to an external site.)
https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/05/19/americans-and-cancel-culture-where-some-see-calls-for-accountability-others-see-censorshippunishment/ (Links to an external site.)
https://www.procon.org/headlines/is-cancel-culture-or-callout-culture-good-for-society/ (Links to an external site.)
https://www.allsides.com/story/perspectives-cancelling-cancel-culture (Links to an external site.)
https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/07/us/cancel-culture-accountability-reality-trnd/index.html (Links to an external site.)
https://reason.com/2020/07/08/cancel-culture-is-out-of-control/ (Links to an external site.)
“Cancel”. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. https://www.merriam- (Links to an external site.)webster.com/thesaurus/cancel
Accessed September, 2020.
Try https://www.citationmachine.net/ (Links to an external site.) to create an MLA formatted citation. This may not be perfect, so check it against MLA
format (OWL at Purdue).