Writing Assignment

The writing assignment for this course (worth 20 % of your final grade) is a critical analysis of arguments presented in an Op-Ed from the New York Times. First, you will select an Op-Ed written after 1 December 2020.  Then you will analyze and critique this piece using the theoretical perspectives you have learnt in this course. Is it logical, compelling and factually correct in its analysis and findings? 

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate your ability to identify arguments, classify them according to theories we have discussed, and provide compelling analysis. This is not an opinion piece (e.g., I think that…), nor a critique of the style of the Op-Ed. Imagine you are crafting a response to the position presented by the author. Any assertions you make must be supported with evidence, logic and citations. 

There are three parts to this assignment. The first is to select an Op-Ed from the New York Times, identify three arguments the author(s) make, and explain the theoretical lens used for each of these arguments. The second part of the assignment is to write a full draft of your paper and peer-edit other students' papers in class. The final part is to edit your draft and submit a polished paper.

Part 1: Identifying Arguments

For Part 1, submit a completed document based on the provided template and step-by-step instructions that includes:

a)     The title, author, and link to the Op-Ed you have selected

b)     Identifies three central arguments the author makes and paraphrases each in 1-3 sentences.

c)     For each of the three arguments identifies and explains the theoretical lens the author is using.

d)     Lists three, properly formatted, sources from class you think might be useful in analyzing this Op-Ed

Part 2: Writing a Draft and Peer-Editing

Using the feedback you have received from part 1, you must now write a 1,250 – 1,750 word response to the Op-Ed you have selected. For each of the arguments you have identified, you must now generate counterarguments, then take a position in support of either the author's original argument or the counterarguments you have generated. After you have written a complete draft, you will peer-edit these papers in class on the assigned date.

Part 3: Editing and Rewriting

Using the feedback you have received from your peers and the knowledge you have gained from editing others' papers, heavily edit your paper. Identify the weakest parts and rewrite these.  Then submit both a paper copy of your paper AND a digital copy on Moodle.