Take A Stand: Developing Evidence-Based Arguments
Driving Question: How can we use rhetoric to craft a convincing argument?
Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or the gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress. - Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form (1941)
An editorial is a short, evidence-based argumentative essay that presents the opinion of an editorial board (the top editors of a newspaper) about a particular topic. For this assignment, you will write your own editorial that presents your own stance on an issue of importance to you.
Your task is to choose a topic you care about, gather evidence from both New York Times and non-New York Times sources, and write a concise editorial (450 words or fewer) to convince readers of your point of view.
You will turn in a printed copy of your final editorial the week before Spring Break. You will also submit your editorial to the New York Timesusing the form on the contest website. Students across the nation are participating in this contest; the New York Times’ panel of judges will read and post winning entries on their website, and yours could be among them!
For this class, your editorial will be evaluated according to the New York Times’ rubric and assessed for mastery for writing skills. You will also give a short presentation about your editorial for a speaking/listening mastery score.
So what issue do you care about? Climate change? Youth sports? Government surveillance? You decide. Then use the facts to convince the world that you’re right.
Editorial: Final guidelines are listed here.
450 words or fewer
Must use at least one source from the New York Times
MLA format with Works Cited page
Final copy printed and submitted in class; digital copy submitted through Turnitin.com by 9AM on the due date
Submitted to the NYT using this form by Tuesday, April 4th at 11;59 PM (works cited must also be submitted)
Editorial presentation: You will develop a 2-3 minute pitch presentation stating the claim, reasons and response to counterarguments of your editorial. Presentations will take place Monday, April 3rd - Tuesday, April 4th.
Project topic selection due: Friday, March 10th
Research outline due: Monday, March 20th - Tuesday, March 21st
Editorial outline due: Friday, March 24th
First draft due for peer review: Wednesday, March 29th - Thursday, March 30th
Final draft due for submission to Deepti and the New York Times: Monday, April 3rd - Tuesday, April 4th