Current Events

Each week we will engage in an online class discussion related to the current events of the day. There are three parts of this activities that you must complete in order to fully participate.

  1. Save your Current Events write-up in your Current Events Log (10 points; weekly)
  2. Share your Current Events write-up in the weekly discussion thread (5 points; weekly)
  3. Read and respond to at least three other students' Current Events write-ups in the discussion thread (5 points; weekly)

Plan ahead. Use complete sentences. Technical difficulties are not acceptable.

Weekly Current Events Discussions


Current Events Discussion - September 11th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - September 18th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - September 25th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - October 2nd, 2014
Current Events Discussion - October 9th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - October 16th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - October 23rd, 2014
Current Events Discussion - October 30th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - November 6th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - November 13th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - November 20th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - December 4th, 2014 (Double Current Events Week!)
Current Events Discussion - December 11th, 2014
Current Events Discussion - December 18th, 2014 (Double Current Events Week!)
Current Events Discussion - January 8th, 2014 (Double Current Events Week!)
Current Events Discussion - January 15th, 2014

How to Write Current Events

Each week, you will contribute one current events to our class discussion. For your article, you must include the following four elements.

  1. Article Title
  2. Link
  3. The 5 W's
    • Who is it about?
    • What is the story about?
    • When did this story take place?
    • Where is the event or issue occurring?
    • Why is this story important?
  4. A few sentences explaining how this article relates to one of the topics we have (or will) discuss in class.
  5. A paragraph expressing your view on the article, the topic, and the author's position.
  6. One well-written and thoughtful question you could ask someone who had read this article. (It should not be a yes/no question.)
    • An answer to your question.

How to Discuss Current Events


Each week you will be expected to read and comment on at least three other students current events. This means you will read the article, read their write-up, and then leave a constructive comment expanding, clarifying, or re-interpreting the article. Feel free to respond to other students' interpretations.

For more information on how to start a critical yet constructive response, check out the Critical Response Sentence Starters .

How do I pick my articles?

Your current events must relate to a topic we have already discussed in class or that is scheduled to be discussed in the future. You must include a one to two sentence explanation of how the article relates to one of our course topics (Race in America, Foreign Policy, Education, Poverty, etc.).

You must be able to explain how it relates to the course. Don't select something that isn't relevant to contemporary America. A good article is relevant to you and you think that it would be meaningful to others as well.

Make sure your articles are newsworthy

Timing

The word news means exactly that - things which are new. Topics which are current are good news. Consumers are used to receiving the latest updates, and there is so much news about that old news is quickly discarded.
A story with only average interest needs to be told quickly if it is to be told at all. If it happened today, it's news. If the same thing happened last week, it's no longer interesting.

Significance

The number of people affected by the story is important. A plane crash in which hundreds of people died is more significant than a crash killing a dozen.

Proximity

Stories which happen near to us have more significance. The closer the story to home, the more newsworthy it is. For someone living in France, a major plane crash in the USA has a similar news value to a small plane crash near Paris.
Note that proximity doesn't have to mean geographical distance. Stories from countries with which we have a particular bond or similarity have the same effect. For example, Australians would be expected to relate more to a story from a distant Western nation than a story from a much closer Asian country.

Prominence

Famous people get more coverage just because they are famous. If you break your arm it won't make the news, but if the Queen of England breaks her arm it's big news.

Human Interest

Human interest stories are a bit of a special case. They often disregard the main rules of newsworthiness; for example, they don't date as quickly, they need not affect a large number of people, and it may not matter where in the world the story takes place.
Human interest stories appeal to emotion. They aim to evoke responses such as amusement or sadness. Television news programs often place a humorous or quirky story at the end of the show to finish on a feel-good note. Newspapers often have a dedicated area for offbeat or interesting items.

Anything else I should keep in mind?

  • An article summary should be your own words. It should represent the main events and ideas of the article.
  • You do not need to shorten the URL if you are posting them online.
  • You can copy and paste the article title.

For Mr. G: Current Events List Template