Position Statement Discussion Assignment 1 Position Statement Prompt:

Steve McCurry is a world-renowned photographer and Penn State alumnus who is probably most famous for his photograph of Sharbat Gula, also known as the “Afghan Girl.” Recently, McCurry has been the center of a controversy over his use of Photoshop in his photographs.

For this assignment, thoroughly research this controversial topic and argue your position on whether you believe McCurry’s actions surrounding his use of Photoshop in his photos have been ethical.

Note: There is an extensive display of McCurry’s photographs on display at the Palmer Museum of Art, University Park Campus, until September 18. We encourage University Park based students to visit the exhibition as part of your research.

Position Statement Assignment Description:

Our Position Statements are research-based papers where you take an informed stand or position on a topic related to photography and then argue your position using your research as support. A key element is the concept of taking an “informed position.” That means that you should be able to back up your position with evidence based on research from credible sources. In other words, you need to know what you are talking about and be able to prove it.

A Position Statement is an opinion, however unlike the opinions posted to most blog websites, your work in PHOTO 100 must be critical and scholarly. Base your Position Statements’ supporting arguments on facts and evidence.

Required Minimum Length:

The minimum length encourages thoroughness. Position Statements must thoroughly explain your position; therefore, they have a minimum requirement of 500 words. Be aware, 500 words is the minimum text length (not including the title, headings, and references); it is not the target length. Statements that are more thorough will get higher scores. If you write only 500 to 550 words (basically fulfilling only the minimum requirement), do not expect to receive scores in the “A,” “A-,” or “B+” range unless you write the statement exceptionally well. We consider any assignment where a student has not completed the minimum requirement to be incomplete. If you write 499 words or less, then the assignment is incomplete and the highest score for the assignment you can expect to earn will be 50% of the assignment’s potential maximum score, which corresponds to a maximum grade of “D”. In combination with other problems, the score may be less. Be thorough, be accurate and be critical.

Required Compositional Formatting:

The REQUIRED format for the Position Statements in this class is…

Introduction: Succinctly and clearly state your position and summarize the issue. Do this in the first paragraph.
Body: Include background information about the topic, tell the reader what she or he needs to know to understand your position, include and cite the supporting evidence you found in the research, and discuss various sides of the issue. This area may contain several paragraphs. Evidence can be primary source quotations, statistical data, interviews with experts, and indisputable dates or events.
Conclusion: In the final paragraph suggest possible courses of action for the issue and or possible solutions. To make these distinctions clear to yourself and the reader, label each of these respective areas in your Position Statements with the words, “Introduction”, “Body”, and “Conclusion.”

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