To begin, you must find a newspaper article on an interesting event (this will be your primary source), then do research on at least two articles/sources related to the situation (these will be your secondary sources). If your primary source is an exclusive (that is, it is the only report published), then you might need to consider a related theme/topic that corresponds to additional secondary sources. If you can’t figure out a related theme/topic from your article, then you may have to choose a different primary source.
The primary source must come from a legitimate news source (Links to an external site.) (more on that later) and must be objective (Links to an external site.). It also must deal with a current topic that provokes a persuasive opinion (Links to an external site.). Finally, it has to be recently published at least a month old. In this case, do not hand in a primary source published earlier than June 1, 2019.
The additional, secondary sources can be of any publication date (that is, published at any time) and should provide pertinent information, facts, data or statistics, and quotes from authoritative figures. Make sure you have at least one commentary (Links to an external site.)article, presenting an opinion about the topic not necessarily similar to your own. You may also use email/letters to an editor (Links to an external site.), op-ed pieces (Links to an external site.), blogs (Links to an external site.), personal interviews and Internet sites as sources, but be aware that they might not be as reliable as a news report (Links to an external site.). When you submit, please import your assignment either as a Word attachment or inline submission and provide links to all source materials with your final draft in your Work Citation page (Links to an external site.).
Once you gather your primary and secondary sources, you are ready to begin your commentary:
- First, summarize the situation or event described in your primary source. Make sure to provide the essential “W’s (Links to an external site.)” — the Who? What? When? and Where? information in the introduction. [The Why? and How? can go elsewhere in your essay. More on that later.]
- Then, as your thesis, write your own opinion about the situation that occurred. NOTE THAT YOU ARE NOTWRITING A RESEARCH PAPER ON THE TOPIC BUT A COMMENTARY ON THE SITUATION. In other words, if your primary source is about the President’s recent position on climate change (Links to an external site.), your paper is not simply on climate change. Rather, it is about your opinion about the President’s policy.
- In the body parts of your essay, please make sure you support your thesis with the information provided, using both primary and secondary sources. And make sure to quote and cite from your sources!
- Finally, make sure to include a work citation page that covers all your three or more of your sources. Use the MLA guidelines (Links to an external site.) as the format for the work citation page. Make sure the sources are listed in alphabetical order