WRTG 3020 Topics in Writing: New York Times Topics

Instructor Contact:

Angela Buchanan


About the Course:

The way that news is produced, disseminated, and consumed has changed dramatically due to the rise of social media and the concurrent changes in media ownership laws and the death of the Fairness Doctrine. In the course we will examine the ways that journalism both shapes and responds to political polarization, with a focus on The New York Times, which is one of the oldest and most respected national news outlets in the U.S. In addition to rhetorically analyzing the editorial choices made by various news outlets, we will discuss how news coverage shapes world views, how people do/not change their minds, and how different writing styles and genres can be tailored for various audiences and rhetorical goals.

Course Prerequisites: First-year writing and rhetoric course; junior status


  • Learn to write with discursive versatility, making rhetorical choices that will adapt your texts to a particular audience and purpose
  • Examine the rhetorical differences between public and private discourse
  • Investigate and apply ethical structures and choices for your writing
  • Adapt your area of disciplinary knowledge toward writing to a lay audience
  • Develop and apply your critical thinking skills, which are foundational to successful writing
  • Develop storytelling skills that extend and enhance your analytic skills
  • Develop drafting and revision skills, as well as peer review
  • Practice critical but respectful dialogue with colleagues
  • Become highly informed about national and international events and issues
  • Develop an increased understanding of conventional grammar and usage, along with syntax, punctuation, and spelling appropriate to the genres we will investigate

Required Texts:

There are no textbooks required for this course. All readings and materials will be available on Canvas as files or live links. All CU students have full, free access to The New York Times through the Norlin library.

Grading of Major Assignments:

Critical Review: 75 pts

Reading and Discussion Posts: 125 pts

Rhetorical Analysis of a News Event: 125 pts

Feature Article: 125 pts

Peer Review and Workshops: 125 pts


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