This assignment is a group project that aims at training you to work within a larger editorial board, negotiate and develop a voice that represents an issue from different perspectives. In this assignment, you are allowed to have independent voices, thus all the group members do not have to agree on the position on the issue you select as a group. Each group member will write an individual opinion piece as a series of columns that deal with the same issue. The final product of this group project will be your graded assignment, the ‘Group Editorial 1’ assignment. The final piece will be worth 100 points & the peer column critique will be worth 50 points. Timeline of the project:
Tasks for Wednesday, October 25th
- First, divide students in groups. Each group will be assigned an editorial topic.
- Second, each group needs to pick one issue to write a series of editorials. Meet as a group in class to discuss the issue you want to write about within your group topic (example: if your topic is campus news; an issue might be campus parking). During class time, each of you needs to do your research on the issue you agreed together. Each group member needs to identify an angle of the issue to address in their piece
- Third, each group member needs to write an individual editorial on the issue you agreed upon. For more guidelines on how to write a column see the attached sheet.
- Submit your first draft on Blackboard in “Group editorial 1- first draft”
- Due date: October 30th, 12 p.m.
Tasks for Monday, October 30th:
- Forth, each student needs to share their editorial with their group members and prepare to comment on other members’ work. On Monday, group members will meet with each other (without me) to discuss your first drafts and distribute copies. Bring the first draft of your column to the meeting (make copies for each group member)
- Fifth, each group member will be assigned to critique another person’s work. After Monday’s group meeting, you’ll need to write a 300-350 word critique on your assigned student work, commenting on the strength of the arguments presented, the reporting done (the evidence), and the writing style of the editorial.
- Submit your critique on Blackboard in “Group Editorial 1- critique”
- Due Date: Wednesday, November 1st , 12p.m.
Tasks for Wednesday, November 1st (time varies depending on the group meeting)
- Sixth, each group meets individually with me to critique their work. Each group member will receive feed-back on their first draft. Bring with you printed copies of your critique for the student assigned, and be prepared to provide oral feedback to the other group members
Tasks for Monday, November 6th:
- Seventh, each group member will rewrite his/her editorial and submit it to be graded. I expect you to incorporate the comments you received and address all the issues and critique
- The final draft needs to be submitted on Blackboard to be graded
- Due date: November 6th, 12 p.m.
Guidelines on how to write the Group Editorial
Your final product for this assignment will be a newspaper column on the topic you coordinated within your group that will be submitted to the Daily Cougar or the Houston Chronicle.
- Write a column that is timely — tied to news (emphasis on NEW) events and ongoing issues.
- Write your opinion piece on a unique topic. Review recent editions of The Daily Cougar and the Houston Chronicle to see what’s been covered recently. Find something different.
- Write your piece with your audiences in mind (UH students or Houstonians that read the Chronicle). In order to determine the density and choice of your arguments and facts, consider how receptive your audiences might be to your thesis (point of view).
- Use unique angles for column topics that have been “done to death.”
- Limit the use of first person (“I,” “me,” “my,” “we,” “our”) to personal stories that you include in the column. The rest of the column should be in third person voice.
- Don’t start your column with “I hate ____________ at UH” and then rant about the issue for the rest of the piece. You need to be thoughtful, build arguments and supply plenty of evidence that support your arguments.
- Write in short sentences.
- Limit your column to 500-700 words.
- Submit your column on Blackboard, under “Group Editorial 1” assignment.
- Have fun. Energy, humanity, and creativity are rewarded in this business.
This assignment is worth 100 points and it will be evaluated based on:
- The relevance and timeliness of the topic you choose to write on.
- The originality of your approach to tackling the issue from a NEW angle.
- How well your column engages your reader by evoking logos/ethos/pathos.
- Column organization and argument structure.
- Thoroughness 1, number of arguments used to support your thesis.
- Thoroughness 2, number of sources you use to support your argument.
- Relevance of the facts used in your story. How well the facts you use support your arguments.
- The quality, coherence and accuracy of your writing; whether you follow standard style; and, finally, whether your grammar and spelling are flawless.
*Please take the time to read and re-read your story before submitting it to me. Double check all your spelling, especially the spelling of proper names.