The commentary article | English



For this assignment, your goal is to share your position and “join the conversation” on the topic you have been researching all quarter by preparing your writing for print or online publication.  Readers of commentaries want to grasp the issue you are presenting and understand your angle right away.  You must make your point quickly and memorably, with an ultimate goal of convincing readers to agree with you, act in some way, and/or change their minds

In this assignment, you will continue writing about your ongoing research topic, but you will modify it to meet the various formatting and style needs of your chosen publication.  This does not mean that you can just take a 2,000-word paper and cut off 1,000 words; instead, you must demonstrate that you have made careful choices to revise your more academic writing to fit another medium targeted toward a different audience.

This assignment requires you to:

  1. Choose a publication to which you will write your commentary from the specified list of options below (consult your professor for approval if there is a different publication you have in mind that is not on the list).
  2. Determine the style, tone, level of formality, etc. that is typical for that publication.
  3. Analyze the target audience for the publication, and consider how their needs dictate the writing choices you will make.
  4. Write a Commentary Article between 700 – 1000 words using the same topic you’ve been researching all quarter.
  5. Use APA format – it is likely that the publication you choose will not use APA format; however, since learning APA is a key component of this class, we will continue to use it here.  If you do decide to submit for publication, be sure to consult publication guidelines and use the reference style specified.

List of publications you may choose from:

  1. Your local newspaper
  2. Ebony (Links to an external site.)
  3. Time Magazine Opinion (Links to an external site.)
  4. NPR Opinion (Links to an external site.)
  5. Huffington Post Opinio (Links to an external site.)n
  6. Slate Magazine (Links to an external site.)
  7. The Washington Examiner Opinion (Links to an external site.)
  8. Vox (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
  9. Teen Vogue

 **IMPORTANT: Be sure to consult the interactive Media Bias chart (Links to an external site.) introduced earlier in this class.  Each site listed above has a different placement on this chart.  Some lean left, some lean right.  It is imperative that you analyze the publication you choose and align your purpose to best meet the publication type and style, in addition to the target audience.  This requires you to spend some time analyzing the publication itself (review articles, investigate the publication’s mission, read policies and guidelines for submitting opinion pieces).  If there is a publication you would like to write toward and it is not on the list, talk with your professor about its viability. Your professor must approve any publications not on the list.   

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