News and Analysis Papers
News and Analysis Papers
The purpose of this assignment is to have you apply sociological concepts and theories we have
discussed in previous classes to a contemporary news topic. For example, News and Analysis
Paper 1 can be related to culture, socialization, issues related to social structure, social groups,
formal organizations such as bureaucracies, or deviance and conformity. News and Analysis
Paper 1 must relate to topics we have covered in Chapters 1-7, while News and Analysis Paper 2
must deal with topics covered in Chapters 8-19. While it is great if you are able to continue to
apply concepts from the first half of class in the second paper, I will only count the topics from
the chapters that are assigned for that paper.
You may go to MySocLab, or to online media sources for news stories that might be applied to
this assignment. Most news sources, such as the New York Times, Detroit Free Press, Chicago
Tribune, Washington Post, Flint Journal, Time or Newsweek magazines, etc., have free online
access with a search feature.
The paper should include:
A thorough summary of the news story;
A well-written analysis of the story, using sociological theory or concepts to do so
Please subtitle the two sections “Summary” and “Analysis” in your paper so it is clear
where summary ends and analysis begins.
First, summarize the article in approximately half a page. Then, in another 1.5 pages, describe
how a sociologist would explain or analyze the issue being discussed in the article. For example:
How can the topic be attributed to broader social forces and structures, rather than individual
decisions? Which sociological perspective (structural-functionalist, conflict, or symbolic
interactionist) would you say best explains the topic? Could it be explained from more than one
perspective? Have we studied any theories in class that apply to the social problem? Does the
article address any sociological concepts we have learned?
Please note that “Analysis” does not mean opinion or editorial. Rather, it is an examination of a
topic by looking at its various implications and ramifications—for individuals, culture,
community, and/or society. For the purposes of this course, you must use sociological theories
or concepts in your analysis of the news item.
Use the rubric in Blackboard to check your paper before you submit it.
Avoid using the indefinite you in formal academic writing. In other words, you should
not refer to the reader of the paper as “you.” Instead, use “one,” or “a person,” such as,
“When one reads the morning paper” instead of “When you read the morning paper.”
Also, avoid contractions and other informal abbreviations. Use “cannot” instead of
“can’t” and “are not” instead of “aren’t,” for example. We write informally so much in
emails and text messages that some of these abbreviations become second nature.
Proofread carefully to be sure you have not used “2” instead of “to,” “w/o” instead of
What to bring to class: Paper should be two pages long, typed, double-spaced and stapled,
using size 12 Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins. Paste a link to your news source at
the end of the paper. You do not need a Works Cited page; I just need a link to the website.
Each News and Analysis paper is 50 points total. Automatic deductions include:
Late within class -2.5
Late after class -12.5
Incorrect Margins -2
Incorrect Font Size -2
Not Double-spaced -2
Bold Beyond Cover -2
Extra Spacing Between Paragraphs -2
Not Stapled -2
Papers that are not typed will not be read or graded.