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This is a  semester long project. Start EARLY!

This journal is a semester long project and should be started at the start of the second eight weeks of the semester.  Continue to work on the journal during the course of the semester. This assignment is a set of (10) responses to current news reports and opinion essays. You will use a different article for each entry in the journal. 

Each response must contain:

  • one brief paragraph of summary (2 – 4 sentences). Include the title of the editorial and the author, if one is given.
    • The summary will present a brief condensed version of the main points of the article.
    • Do not include any direct quotes in the summary.
  • one developed paragraph of rhetorical analysis (6 – 8 sentences). Include at least one short direct quote from the literary work as supportive evidence in this paragraph. Here is a list of what each entry will focus on for the rhetorical analysis paragraph:
    • Entry 1 will discuss the author’s audience. Who is the target audience and what in the article indicates this? Does the author effectively reach his target audience?
    • Entry 2 will focus on the author’s purpose. What is the purpose of the article?  Is it effectively presented?
    • Entry 3 will focus on the author’s tone. What is the tone?  Is it effective considering the author’s audience and purpose?
    • Entry 4 will focus on the use of appeals. Does the author use appeals (logical, ethical, emotional)? Are they effective?
    • Entry 5 will focus on the author’s argument. Is it effective?  Explain
    • Entry 6 will focus on the whether the author uses logical fallacies. Does the author use any logical fallacies? If so, what impact do they have on the argument?
    • Entries 7 will focus on the author’s use of evidence. Does the author use any evidence?  Is it credible?
    • Entry 8 will focus on whether the author is biased.
    • Entries 9 and 10 will focus on any element of the article that you would like to examine.
  • one short paragraph of personal response (4 – 6 sentences).
    • You may comment on either the subject of the article or your reaction to the article.
  • All paragraphs need to have clear topic sentences.
  • The entries should be double spaced.
  • The total for each journal entry should be approximately 200 words.
  • In-text documentation is needed for any direct quote used.
  • A works cited entry should be placed at the end of the response. Use the format for an online source for the entry on the works cited.

The following is the list of web sites to use to locate editorials to use for the critical response journal.

New York Times

Los Angeles Times

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Washington Post

The Seattle Times

The Chicago Tribune

New York Daily News

Tampa Bay Times

Houston Chronicle

Detroit Free Press

CNN Opinion

Critical Response Journal Explanation

Give the entry a title that is different from the title of the article/editorial

For the critical response journal, each entry will need to have three developed paragraphs. In the first paragraph of each entry you need to give the title of the article/editorial that you are examining. You also need to give the author’s full name, if the article lists an author. Also, include the date of the article/editorial. In the first paragraph, you will include a short summary of the article/editorial. Only give the main points. Do not include direct quotes in the summary paragraph. Use third person in this paragraph. This paragraphs should be two (2) to four (4) sentences in length.

The second paragraph of each entry will analyze the article/editorial. Take a few minutes to examine the argument the author is presenting in the editorial. Is the argument effective? Why or why not? You could also examine the article for the author’s purpose or discuss who the target audience is and whether the author is effective in demonstrating his/her purpose or meeting the needs of the target audience. You could also examine other elements of style (word choice, structure, use of evidence), the use of appeals or the use of logical fallacies. In this paragraph, you will need to include at least one SHORT direct quote as supportive evidence. Do not try to examine everything about this article. This paragraph needs a clear topic sentence. Use third person in this paragraph. This paragraphs should be six (6) to eight (8) sentences in length.

The third paragraph of the entry will be your own opinion of the article. Did you agree with the author? Why or why not? Was the article interesting? You can discuss anything about the article you want – you can also briefly discuss the issue that the article/editorial presents. You may want to include a short direct quote as evidence to support your opinion of the article. In this paragraph, you may use first person (I statements).  This paragraphs should be four (4) to six (6) sentences in length.

Works Cited Entry

Each entry will need to include a works cited entry in MLA style. You will give the author’s name (if one was listed –  Editorial Board, Staff and other generic terms are not considered authors.   Give the title of the article/editorial – place the title in quotation marks. Remember to include other  specifics such as title of the newspaper or name of the web page, dates and the URL. The second and subsequent lines of each entry should be indented at least five spaces. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Analyze, interpret, and evaluate a variety of texts for the ethical and logical uses of evidence.
  • Write in a style that clearly communicates meaning, builds credibility, and inspires belief or action.
  • Apply the conventions of style manuals for specific academic disciplines (e. g., APA, CMS, MLA, etc.

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