Week Four Newsgroup Analysis — Opinions and Editorials
As you read broadly in the news this week, please focus particular attention to the way current issues and ideas are being discussed in the Opinion and Editorial sections.
We’ll discuss this focus for our Week Four newsgroups in greater detail in class, but below you’ll find a preview of what’s ahead.
Over the next few days, you should plan to read 4–6 editorial or opinion pieces. Try to sample from authors writing in a variety of styles and on a range of subjects. Between now and Thursday, annotate and consider what you read, paying close attention to how writers in this genre accomplish the persuasive work they set out to do.
Before Thursday evening (at a time to be agreed upon by your group members), each contributor to your newsgroup should post the most compelling and representative selection they have encountered along with a quick synopsis/review of why the piece is effective (or how it misses the mark). Your notes and observations can be informal, but they should directly address aspects of the Opinion/Editorial you find essential to the argument:
- Persuasive moves
- Ways of establishing authority
- Appeals to our reason, emotion, etc.
- Formal or organizational elements that are particularly useful/effective
In class on Friday, each group will discuss the selected editorials among themselves (having read them when they were posted in advance of class) and talk more specifically about style, tone, and rhetorical technique.
Work will culminate in a reverse outline exercise that you’ll complete in class, and a set of ideas about how arguments like these operate.