WRTG 3020 Topics in Writing: New York Times Topics

Instructor Contact:

Angela Buchanan


About the Course:

We will examine questions about journalism, social media, and political polarization through the lens of The New York Times, looking at some of the ways the paper has adapted to changes by embracing forms of multimedia, as well as changing the ways readers interact with the news. You will read the online version of the paper as your primary text for the course, paying close attention to the rhetorical strategies employed for the key genres (analysis, reviews, features, etc.). You will produce a variety of texts using both traditional and multimedia platforms, with a focus on the written and visual components of journalism. Your texts will go through draft stages and peer review. We will also read and examine essays related to how persuasion does/not work in an increasingly polarized political atmosphere, and how news reporting influences and frequently exacerbates those issues.


Primary course goals include:

-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 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 response;

-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 required textbooks for this course. All students have access to a free, New York Timessubscription through the CU library, and other readings will available as live links via Canvas.

Grading (out of n points):

Major Assignments:

All major papers go through required, drafting stages.

Critical Review: 75 points

Reading and Discussion Posts: 125 points

Rhetorical Analysis of a News Event: 125 points

Feature Article: 125 points

Peer Review: 100 points

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