This assignment gives the students a detailed definition of censorship and the various types of censorship prevalent in our society today. Once students have a basic familiarity with the idea of censorship, and the rationale behind it, they assess their own viewpoint on the issue.
Oftentimes, my students will initially be against the idea of censoring material in this country, until they start to consider various inflammatory topics within the debate (such as religiously insulting text or child pornography.) This always leads to some great discussion and is a natural transition to teaching some of the more commonly banned books of our time such at To Kill a Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, and so on. File also includes handout I use on commonly banned books.