Current Events Article Analysis Assignment



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Mrs. Patterson English III
Current Events Article Analysis Assignment

Adapted from an assignment by Danny Lawrence, AP Instructor, Winston-Salem, NC


Objective.

The Current Events Article Analysis Assignment will improve students’ summarizing, analyzing, citation, and grammatical skills. It will keep students abreast of current events and breaking news and will provide them with a wealth of knowledge and will require students to present their understanding of particular current events in brief presentations that summarize a topic and provide an appropriate analysis of it.


Assignment Overview.

Your task is to find a non-fiction newspaper or magazine article to analyze about a current event or issue. You MAY NOT use sources such as USA Today, People, Seventeen, or blog postings, etc.


Articles, editorials, or essays from the following issues-based magazines ARE acceptable:

  • Newsweek, Time, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, New Republic, Forbes, The Economist, The Atlantic, National Geographic, Harper’s, and Scientific American

Articles, editorials, or essays from the following reputable newspapers1 ARE acceptable:



  • The New York Times, The National Post, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The State, The Herald-Journal, The Post and Courier, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal

To use a source not listed above, please see me for approval.


The article you choose must have published within thirty days of the assignment due date (i.e. the assignment is due on Friday, January 31st, so the article you select for that entry must have been published on or after January 1st).
Assignment Specifics.

  1. Your assignment must be typed in MLA format (i.e., appropriate header, correctly formatted first page, one-inch margins, double-spaced, size 12, Times New Roman font, etc.) and must include a Works Cited page with an appropriate MLA citation for the magazine/newspaper article. Anything directly quoted or paraphrased from the article must be credited with a proper in-text parenthetical citation.




  1. In the first half of the paper, you will write a brief summary of the article you have read. You must embed a significant quote from the article in your summary (be sure to “set up” the source correctly). DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN HALF THE PAGE ON THE SUMMARY PORTION OF YOUR PAPER!!!




  1. After your brief summary of the article, you will compose commentary. Your commentary should focus on the article’s content (what does the author have to say?), form/style (how does the author say it?), and credibility (how reliable is it?).

When commenting on the article’s content, you may defend, challenge, or qualify the author’s claim/point/thesis/interpretation. Additionally, consider:



    • What are some of the author’s best arguments? What makes them good?

    • Which arguments or points made by the author do not make sense to you? Why?

    • Is the author using logical or emotional appeals to get you to agree with him or her?

When commenting on the author’s form/style, discuss the author’s diction, syntax, tone, imagery, organization, appeals, etc. Additionally, consider:



  • Is there any connotative language?

  • What is the writer’s attitude toward the subject? How do you know?

  • Is the author’s rhetoric objective or bias?

When commenting on the article’s credibility, you should evaluate the author’s use of evidence/support and concession, and refutation (if applicable). Additionally, consider:



  • Does the author adequately support his/her claims with appropriate evidence?

  • How reliable are author’s sources?

  • Does the author use any fallacious logic?




  1. Your Current Event Article Analysis Assignment is due on Friday, January 31st. It will be your responsibility to submit a typed, printed copy of your entry. Your papers MUST be printed PRIOR to the start of class time on the due date. Students WILL NOT be allowed to print their entries on the teacher’s printer and handwritten papers WILL NOT be accepted.


Presentations.

You will be asked to present your most recent CEJ entry to your classmates in a 1-2 minute, informal presentation. Your presentation must include a synopsis of your article and provide a brief summary of the commentary and analysis you included in your CEJ entry. All presentations that briefly, accurately, and professionally meet the aforementioned criteria will receive full credit.


Grading.

The Current Event Article Analysis Assignment will be worth a summative test grade of the 4th six-weeks. It will be scored out of a total of four points. Below is the assignment rubric.







1

2

3

4

Citation

does not adhere to MLA format

adheres to MLA format, but contains 3-4 errors

adheres to MLA format, but contains 1-3 errors

adheres to MLA format without error

Summary

vague summary with few details; no quotes

clear summary; some details and quotes

clear, detailed summary; well-selected quotes

clear, comprehensive summary; ideal quotes

Commentary

commentary that reveals little insight or originality

interesting, commentary that reveals some insight

interesting, insightful commentary

exemplary, insightful commentary

Conventions

poor control of conventions; many errors

limited control of conventions; some errors

strong control of conventions; few errors

excellent control of conventions; no errors




1 Many of these sources can be accessed online for free. Bookstores and the public library are other places to check for access to print and/or electronic versions.


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