Writing@CSU: Composition Teaching Resources

Portfolio 2: News and Issue Analysis

Overview: To complete this analysis, you will define the shared perspectives or general approaches writers have taken in their writing about your issue. You will also analyze the diverse purposes, audiences, historical events, affiliations, social factors and cultural contexts shaping those perspectives or approaches. Your analysis will build in text evidence to support your analysis and will show sustained awareness of your audience of CO150 colleagues (classmates and instructor).

Purposes for this Analysis: To convince your readers that the issue you are examining is more complicated than a pro/con debate; to compel your audience to think further about an issue that they may only understand superficially; to encourage your audience’s engagement with or curiosity about the issue.

Audience: Address your News and Issue Analysis to classmates and your instructor. You can assume that this audience, while generally well informed and educated, needs and values the kind of analysis that you’re providing and hence will expect full explanations for your analysis. In general, this audience will expect you to explain the points you are making and to demonstrate (using evidence) how you have come to understand the complexity of your issue. They will expect you to clarify reasons for why they should find this discussion worth their time and energy.

Portfolio Content: Please submit your analysis in a folder clearly labeled with your name. Your portfolio should include:

  • The final draft of your News and Issue analysis, formatted with one-inch margins, double-spaced lines, and a readable (e.g., not in italics or script) 12-point font
  • A Works Cited (MLA) page (number the page as part of your paper)
  • All drafts of your News and Issue Analysis, including the workshop draft attached to the workshop sheet
  • Your final Annotated Bibliography, updated if necessary from the earlier draft.
  • Your Personal Position Analysis with my reactions accompanied by additional Position Analyses for Single Sources and the Composite Grid
  • A selection of news clippings from the NYT that suggest cultural contexts, briefly annotated in the margins of the notebook paper they’re attached to
  • Your Topic Proposal and my reactions to it, including the New York Times article that spurred your interest as well as subsequent articles related to your issue
  • Any additional process materials you completed as you worked on this portfolio

Analysis Requirements: Your news and issue analysis should be between 1,000 and 1,250 words in length. In your paper, clearly identify (following MLA style) the sources to which you refer. Your essay should:

  • Define the issue addressed by the sources.
  • Explain why it is important to understand the complexity of this issue.
  • Show that your issue is complex by describing the general approaches or shared perspectives taken by writers addressing the issue. Cite sources to support your analysis. Maintain the focus and unity of the discussion by providing clear connections among the parts.
  • Analyze the writing situation shaping these approaches (e.g., writers’ purposes, readers’ needs, interests, values, beliefs and attitudes, historical influences, social factors, and cultural contexts) to show readers that there are various factors determining the shape of the debate.