PART 1: Article Selection (50 points)

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This assignment is geared to have you engage with current issues that are interlinked with the content of our course. You are going to be asked to choose a news article, analyze its contents, and write a short letter to your government representative about the issue you read about.

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1.     Your newspaper article must be:

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  • Relevant to our course content,
  • Of professional or personal interest to YOU (career goals, etc.), and
  • From the past MONTH.

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*I HIGHLY encourage you to choose a topic that is at the intersection of the COVID 19 pandemic and social/environmental issues.*

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2.     Submit a copy of the article  – You are welcome to scan in articles, or provide an electronic version.

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3. ONE paragraph explaining how its relevant to the course and is of personal and/or professional interest to you.

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PART 2: News Analysis (100 points)

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Complete the following in the exact order. Clearly number each question and make your paper look exactly as the following list.  Your answers must be brief, direct, clearly understandable, and to the point.  Do not write prose paragraphs for questions #1-4. These questions merely allow you to clearly identify the information in your chosen article—save your analysis for question #5. 

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1)    Provide a complete citation. Be sure to include author, title, year, volume (for magazines), number (if any), and page number(s).  See APA Style Guide for News Article HERE (Links to an external site.).

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Example:  Wall, David. EPA and Public Differ over Major Risks, Wall Street Journal.  September 19, 2017.

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2)    Complete this sentence regarding the author’s hypothesis or major point:

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The major point (or hypothesis) of the article is…. 

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Example: Global climate change is causing increases in insects that destroy trees. 

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3)    List THREE key points that support the author’s hypothesis or major point (look for theses in the article’s topic sentences).  If there is not three key points, choose another article. The three major points of this article are:

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Enter the first major point here

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Enter the second major point here

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Enter the third major point here

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4)    Explain why you chose this article.  It MUST be related to a personal or professional interest or your major. (Just a sentence or two will do nicely.)

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“I chose this article because……”

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5)    Critique your article and explain your point of view (one page) Present your critique/analysis in a logical, well-organized and well-written manner.

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Your analysis must:

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Part A: Evaluate the quality of information used.

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Answer at least three of the following questions:

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  • Are there enough facts? Interviews? Representations? Does the story need to show “both sides?”
  • Was the article well researched and unbiased, or incomplete and misleading?
  • Does the article lack some piece of information or knowledge that is relevant to the issue or problem?
  • Is the author’s information contrary to facts as you know them? How?

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Part B: Identify how ethnic, cultural, gender/sexual, age-based, class, regional, national, transnational, and global identities may impact the issue in your article.

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Answer at least three of the following questions:

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  • Are there stereotypes and/or clichés in the article?
  • Where is there bias, ethnocentricity, and/or propaganda?
  • Do the issues impact some demographics more than others?
  • Are vulnerable populations considered in the article’s argument(s)?

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Part C: YOUR opinion on the subject based on your analysis of the news article.

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Answer at least three of the following questions:

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  • What are the conclusions or inferences you have drawn by determining validity and soundness of the article’s argument?
  • What do you think needs to be done about the issue at hand?
  • How can this issue be researched better?
  • How can there be policy action on the issue? How about individual action?
  • What more would you like to know about this issue? 

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PART 3: Write Letter to an Elected Official (100 points)

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Write a letter an appropriate government official expressing your opinion about the article.  This can be in an e-mail.  This may include a politician or agency representative.

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1.     Introduce your issue, why it is important to you.

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2.     Provide a reasoned opinion (explain your reasoning) and/or request something (for them to take action, respond to your opinion, for them to provide an opinion).  The goal is to get your opinion responded to. Do not courtesy copy (cc) me with your letter or say it was a “classroom project.”  *Use information and stats to support your opinion and provide appropriate references to support your opinions. Use at least ONE piece of evidence.

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3.     Request an opinion from them, such as their position on the environmental issue discussed in your article.

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4.     Request an action on the basis of the article and your knowledge of the issue.  Be sure to send these officials a copy of the article (include in your letter “copy attached.”)

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5.     Ask for a response to the specific item discussed in your letter.This could be just a couple of sentences, “I look forward to your response on your position on the bill AB345.”

Explanation & Answer length: 2 Essay and 1 Letter 2500 Words2 attachmentsSlide 1 of 2

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UNFORMATTED ATTACHMENT PREVIEW

May 13th, 2019 Assemblymember Kevin McCarty 915 L Street, Suite 110 Sacramento, CA 95814 Dear State Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, My name is , I am a second-year student majoring in Behavioral Science at San Jose State University. I am writing to you in a time when the trust between the police departments and the wider public is incredibly low. A time with increasing anxiety about police presence in Sacramento, the city I grew up in. In the weeks before my move to the Bay, my mother was nervous about sending me off to a bigger city as she believed crime was inevitable. Little would she know the biggest case on the news would take place back home in a town called Meadowview. Here, an unarmed 22 year old black male would be gunned down by police in his grandmother’s backyard. Ask any Sacramento native and they will remember the protests

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