An “op-ed,” or “opinion/editorial” is a kind of writing published all the time in online venues such as the Huffington Post and Slate, and in various other traditional media outlets such as the New York Times. This paper of 750-1000 words requires you to write such a piece by choosing a topic relevant today and explaining its historical roots. You should attempt to write for a newspaper or magazine, and because of this, you will not need footnotes or a list of works cited. Rather, I encourage you to reference other scholarship within the text of your article. (An example: As John Doe wrote in his recent book, Title of Book, “Sample quote.”) Your goal is to present the history of a current topic or event such that the knowledge brings a new way of understanding it. For examples, see: https://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/10/opinion/la-oe-jacoby-geronimo-20110510 (Links to an external site.) https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/30/opinion/30blight.html (Links to an external site.) https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/30/opinion/at-yale-a-right-that-doesnt-outweigh-a-wrong.html (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) For the historical information you present in your op-ed, you can draw from several sources, including your textbook. Other excellent sources to learn about the history of a particular topic (and allow you to search): (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) Do not use online information without an author for your historical material (such as or Wikipedia). Format: Use one-inch margins on all sides, double spacing, and 12-point Times New Roman. Grading: This paper will be assessed on the following criteria: 33% for linking a current topic to a past event 33% for clarity and the validity of the argument 34% for the quality of writing (grammar, verb choices, flow, etc.) A = Clearly states the topic of study. Explores its history with depth and in concise, lively language that would appeal to popular readers. The material presented offers an original perspective of a current event or topic and adds to the overall conversation or debate. B = Addresses a broad topic but does not tie it to a specific current event. Offers a good sense of its history but with less precision than an A paper. Does a good job but needs some revision before it is publishable. C = Has a general idea of the topic but does not give sufficient historical material to make the article worthy of consideration by a media outlet. Not worthy of submission to a publication, but with some time and effort it could be developed into a solid story. D = Does little to offer anything new to a current event. Does a poor job at providing historical background, or does not provide much at all. F = No effort shown, totally inaccurate or showing minimal relation to class goals.
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