Overview Each week you will be asked to submit an 1-2 page (double spaced) analy
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Each week you will be asked to submit an 1-2 page (double spaced) analysis of a current political news article from that week. These briefs will help you develop a deeper understanding of contemporary issues in American Government.
Events briefs are due weekly, and the news article you select must be current as of that week (published the week before the Sunday due date).
The brief must be in your own words. Do not quote the article. Just tell us what happened in your own words.
The brief will contain a summary, analysis and implications. First present the summary. Then present the analysis and implications. Make sure the analysis is in its own paragraphs -ie do not mix it in with the summary.
Your Events Briefs will be evaluated on the quality of the news article chosen, clarity of the summary, and depth of the analysis. In addition, the following criteria must be met:
Choosing a Topic
The news article must focus on US domestic politics or US foreign policy.
The news article must be current as of that week – ie published the week before the Sunday due date .
The article must focus on US political news. Political news focuses on the government in some way. Political news may involve public policies, laws, government relationships, and/or actions of government officials (ie federal and state government officials, agencies, defense forces (military or police) , judges, etc).
Non-political news means the government is not involved in any significant way. Natural disasters are not political. COVID 19 is not political. Crime is not political.
However, if the story is about government response to any of these things, then it may be considered political. So if college students hold parties and spread COVID, that is not political. Government response to the student COVID parties might be…..
The articles you chose should be focused on something substantial. Trump or Biden calling each other names is not substantial. Derogatory remarks are not political learning. Neither are cat fights, “burns”, or “owning” someone else in a political fight. That is all the circus side-show which distracts people from actual events.
In choosing an article, ask yourself, “What does this article teach me about American Government? What do I now know about the state of political affairs?” Focus on stories that expand your knowledge.
Choosing a Source
Be sure to chose a legitimate, quality source – better sources make better briefs.
Choose something complex – a complex source will tell you what happened, but also explain the context/background in which it happened. You will learn more from a complex source.
You are encouraged to read broadly, but stay away from extreme left or extreme right sources. They are typically designed to sway your emotions, rather than providing you with rational information.
Choose straight news pieces or analysis. Do not chose opinion pieces (op-ed). Some op ed pieces are great – but the goal of this assignment is for you to have enough information to form your OWN opinion, rather than follow someone else’s.
The chart below ranks different news sources. While this chart is not perfect it can be helpful in trying to choose better news articles. Marketwatch: How Does Your Favorite News Source Rate? (Links to an external site.) If you cannot see the chart, the news sources are listed in this document:Marketwatch News Categories-3.docx
Event Brief Summary
Your events brief needs to include a concise yet detailed summary of the entire article. This is where you show me what you have learned. I am looking to see that you acquired new knowledge.
The summary should include key details that are relevant to expanding our understanding of what happened.
I read a lot of news. I have often read a lot of the articles students end up writing about. If I haven’t already read, them, I am always interested in reading/learning something new. It is usually obvious to me if students leave out key details (or just summarize the information in the first paragraph of the article).
Event Brief Analysis and Implications
The brief should include an analysis.
An analysis is where you combine the new information from your summary with knowledge that you already have.
Analysis can seem challenging, especially if you are new to following the news. Just give it a try. The more you do this, the easier it gets.
The implications section is where you hypothesize about what might happen next. What does all of this mean?
Here is an example:
In 2019 Trump suggested that the US buy Greenland. Your summary would include the full details of this proposal.
In the analysis, you might write about things in the article that don’t make sense to you. For example, why would we buy Greenland if we haven’t fixed our own problems with infrastructure, health care etc? Where would the money come from, given how in debt the US is?
As you learn more, try to incorporate information you have learned in class. For example, in order to annex new territory like Greenland, both the House and the Senate would have to approve. In 2019, the House was held by the Democrats and the Senate was held by the Republicans. It was highly unlikely that the House Democrats would vote in favor of buying Greenland)
The last section of the brief is where you talk about the implications of your article (What would happen if we actually did buy Greenland? How might that work out?) You may also include your opinion here.
Citation and Originality
The original article MUST be properly cited. (MLA (Links to an external site.), Chicago (Links to an external site.), APA (Links to an external site.) – your choice).
For more information about citation,the CRC Research & Library Resources
The first time a brief is improperly cited, you will receive a 0 along with feedback. You will then have an opportunity to revise and resubmit for a regrade with no penalty. So you can still earn full points. After this, all further instances will receive a 0.
All briefs will be automatically checked for originality using Turnitin. Turnitin is a plagiarism detection service that measures the percent of plagiarism evident. Turnitin scores should be less than 10%.
If the Turnitin score is higher than 10%, you will receive a 0 along with feedback. You will then have an opportunity to revise and resubmit for a regrade with no penalty. So you can still earn full points the first time.
After this, all further instances will receive a 0.
Three components of a high quality Events Brief
The article should be timely, complex and about substantive events in US domestic politics or foreign policy.
Your brief should summarize the main points of the full article, and include an analysis and implications. You may also state your opinion at the end if you wish.
The brief should be in your own words, avoid quotations, be properly cited, and include proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the grading rubric that will be used to assess your Events Brief.
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSummary
Clear, comprehensive and detailed summary of the article.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnalysis
Full and thoughtful personal analysis
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSource, Citation and Writing
Complex article from a respected source. Full and correct citation. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct.
Total Points: 10