In this assignment, I would like you to find, read, and synthesize three articles about a country of your choice in Europe. The sources for these articles should come from any of these four online sources:
The Economist, the New York Times, Al Jazeera, or France 24
As in the last assignment, you may choose your country on any basis you want. Maybe you’re about to travel to Europe. Maybe you already did. Maybe your relatives come from one of those countries. Choose your country on any basis you want. If you want to investigate regional issues like the European Union (EU), that’s fine too, because it’s a major issue in all of Europe.
We will use the broad definition of Europe, so that Europe extends to the Ural Mountains and includes Russia. This is also The Economist’s idea of Europe…any country they include under the “Europe” or “Britain” sections of their Contents.
Again, once you choose your country, I want you to not just take the first three articles you find, but to search through many of them to find a theme that says something significant about the country. For example, suppose I want to write about Northern Ireland. I search The Economist’s web page for Ireland. Now, be aware that Northern Ireland is part of Britain, that Ireland is not, and that a search of “Ireland” will include both. So I set the search to “northern Ireland.” There’s an article about a gold mine, some about education, and several about factionalized politics. I conclude that a major issue of Northern Ireland is politics (duh) and decide to write about that.
So you get the idea: cull the list of articles, paying attention to the subtitles, reading a few, and find out what the important issues are in your country, then find articles directly relevant to that.
Avoid articles that are more than a few years old. Sometimes, you might choose an important article that is from a few years ago, but if you do, be sure to write about it as past events, not as life at the present time.
You can use your current issues, but since you only have five of them, you’ll need to get articles from the websites listed above.
You can log into The Economist using the logon and password you created for the last assignment.
This assignment is due on Friday, Mar. 8. You must cite the three articles you used in your text (e.g. The Economist, article title, date) or as footnotes. You must cite your source when a fact is controversial or you use the words or ideas of another writer. Also give credit at the end of the paper for graphics that you use.
Your paper (a page or two, preferably with line-and-a-half spacing and printed on two sides) must synthesize information from the three articles. Samples of good papers are posted on Blackboard. We will grade the papers by this rubric:
3 points for choosing meaty articles that identify significant aspects of your country.
3 points for extracting the relevant information from the articles and putting it together into a coherent whole
3 points for the quality of your writing
1 point for including maps, graphics, and photos and paying attention to page design. Just copy-paste maps and graphics from the web. Integrate them into your write-up. Be sure to reference your source. “Page design” refers to a visually pleasing and effective layout of page elements: text, graphics, charts, etc.
1 extra point for taking your draft to The Writing Center (JRC, 3rd floor). You can make appointments online. Attach the pink receipt they’ll give you to your paper when you turn it in.
Rules for a good paper in World Geography:
• Synthesize for the reader. Don’t say “This article said this and that article said that.”
• Read, understand, and then group topics into paragraphs.
• Make it easy for the reader to understand and interesting to read.
• Get to the point. These papers are short. You don’t have time to muddle around and probably don’t need a conclusion. The Economist makes a good style model.
• Write a clear title that tells the readers what they’re about to read.
• Create a nice page layout with relevant maps and graphics.
• Write an introductory paragraph that engages the reader.
• Use a structure for the overall paper and for each paragraph. New idea, new paragraph. The opening sentence of the paragraph introduces the material developed in the paragraph.
• The mechanics should be polished (no misspellings, no extra words, proper punctuation, paragraphs (¶) that make sense, etc.).
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