Newspaper Editorial/Opinion Piece: Critical Response and Letter to the Editor (Essay Sample)
Part one: Requires you to write a short paper that critically responds to a newspaper editorial or opinion piece about a contemporary public issue of sociological relevance. Part two requires you to write a letter to the editor about a public issue. Here is the link to my selected editorial piece please read it through and do what the outline asked you to do (https://www(dot)theguardian(dot)com/commentisfree/2020/feb/10/served-time-prison-deported-britain-children-jamaica-family). You must write a critical response paper about your editorial or opinion piece. Your critical response paper should be double-spaced and follow the guidelines Describe the issue, Describe the argument, Critically engage with the argument.
Part two: You must write a letter to the editor that deals with a contemporary public issue that is part of public debate in Canada. Your letter to the editor does NOT need to address the same issue that you explore in your paper. Writing a letter to the editor is a way for you to publicly share your views on issues of the day. It is a way to register your response to the perspectives on an issue that have been taken by editors, journalists or other contributors to a newspaper or other reputable news source. The word limit for most letters to the editor is 50 to 150 words. Please Remember it has to be DOUBLE SPACED and also long essay format.
Course Assignment #2 – Newspaper Editorial/Opinion Piece: Critical Response and Letter to the Editor Due Date: 3 March 2020 (in class) Assignment value: 25% of your final grade This assignment has two parts. To successfully complete this assignment regular tutorial attendance is required. Part one requires you to write a short paper that critically responds to a newspaper editorial or opinion piece about a contemporary public issue of sociological relevance. Part two requires you to write a letter to the editor about a public issue. Part One You must select an editorial or opinion piece from a recognized media outlet. It is best to select something that addresses a public issue that relates to topics that have or will be covered in class (consult your course outline). Your TA must approve your selection. You must write a critical response paper about your editorial or opinion piece. Your critical response paper should be 5 double-spaced pages and must follow the guidelines (for font, margins and line spacing) for the submission of written work found in your course outline. You will be assessed on the clarity of your responses, your ability to correctly identify and analyze the argument made in the editorial or opinion piece, the care you take to develop a critical response to the argument, and the quality of thought you put into the assignment overall. To complete Part One of the assignment, please speak to the three main headings listed below. The supplementary questions that follow each main heading are meant as suggestions to guide your writing. Please do NOT answer each of them in a mechanical fashion. 2 1. Describe the issue that the editorial or opinion piece addresses. What is the key issue being addressed and how is it part of the contemporary landscape of public issues we face? What makes it sociologically important? Who is affected? (suggested length: max 1 page) 2. Describe the argument that the author of the editorial or opinion piece presents. How does the author’s argument intervene in contemporary debates and discussions related to the issue at hand? How is the argument crafted? How does the author make his or her case? What forms of reasoning, sources and/or evidence does she or he use to support the argument? (suggested page length: 1-1.5 pages) 3. Critically engage with the argument. What is the sociological relevance of the argument? What perspectives are included? What perspectives are left out and with what implications? Do you find the argument convincing? Why or why not? Draw on one published sociology journal article to support your position. It would be best for you to check with your TA to ensure that the article you have chosen is appropriate. If you do not find the editorial or opinion piece convincing, you might select a journal article that provides research evidence that counters the argument made in the editorial or opinion piece or that offers a different perspective on the topic. You would then discuss alternative ways to think about and respond to the issue that are informed by your journal article. If you find the editorial or opinion piece convincing, you might find a journal article that helps you to extend or further build on the argument presented in the editorial/opinion piece or that develops it in new directions. (suggested length: 2.5-3 pages) You should include a printed copy of the editorial or opinion piece with your assignment. Part Two You must write a letter to the editor that deals with a contemporary public issue that is part of public debate in Canada. Your letter to the editor does NOT need to address the same issue that you explore in your paper. Writing a letter to the editor is a way for you to publicly share your views on issues of the day. It is a way to register your response to the perspectives on an issue that have been taken by editors, journalists or other contributors to a newspaper or other reputable news source. Writing a letter to the editor lets you participate in public dialogue about key issues that affect us. Newspapers such as the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail publish letters to the editor on a daily basis. The word limit for most letters to the editor is 50 to 150 words. Some tips for writing letters to the editor: 1) Check the instructions for writing letters to the editor for the newspaper or publication that you’ve selected BEFORE you start writing yours. 3 2) Pick an issue that has recently been written about by the editors or journalists at a newspaper. Think of your letter as a response to a perspective that has been taken by the newspaper. Make your letter timely. Read recent news coverage of the issue before you write your letter to make sure your argument is current and speaks to perspectives that have been published by the paper. 3) Read examples of published letters to the editor to familiarize yourself with the genre. 4) Write a clear and focused message that addresses one issue and expresses one argument. 5) Write in active, strong language. Don’t rant or be offensive and don’t attack a journalist or editor in your letter. 6) Avoid academic jargon. 7) Avoid clichés. Don’t parrot or reproduce well-worn perspectives. Be original and thoughtful. 8) Keep your sentences short and to the point. 9) Weave in relevant evidence to support your position but don’t go overboard. 10) Try to provide solutions to the problem your letter addresses. Tell readers what you think should be done and why. 11) Draw on your experience. Personalize your letter. Describe how the issue affects you and your community. Newspapers want to hear what you think not simply what you read elsewhere. 12) Consider a wide range of possible newspapers for your letter. You may have a greater chance of being published in a local or community newspaper with a smaller distribution than in a larger newspaper like the Toronto Star 13) Choose a catchy title for your letter We thank Sara Flicker from York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies for the idea for letter to the editor portion of this assignment. Some of the above suggestions for writing letters to the editor come from: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/effective_letters_editor/ https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/faculty-students-and-staff/op-edsource..
Critical Response and Letter to the Editor
In the modern world, social life is given great importance over most things since it includes how we live and who we live with. Sociological interactions begin from the family level to who and how we interact within our daily occurrences. Sociological suffering can occur when a person is separated from the people they interact with. Parents may be separated from their children and vice versa or an individual may be taken to a whole different environment with no social interaction. This literature examines and evaluates a case where a parent is on the verge of being separated from his family.
The article on The Guardian published on Monday 10th February 2020 provides the situation and experiences of Michael McDonald. McDonald is considered a foreigner even though he had lived in Britain for 20 years, had children there, brought them up and even paid taxes to the British government (The Guardian). He, McDonald, was originally from Jamaica but transferred to Britain twenty years ago where he established and built his life; he even has children who have lived in Nottingham throughout their lives.
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