For PA10, complete your full 4 pages of a draft, including a title, an introduction, body section, conclusion,
and a Works Cited page (including both the article or meme you’re backtracking and every single place you
found information on that source or your backtracking information). Adhere to MLA formatting standards.
• Submit your first draft to the Dropbox folder by the assigned deadline, and bring in a hard or digital copy to
class for a peer review session. (If you are bringing in a digital copy, be ready to hand around your laptop,
tablet, etc. to others, and be sure you don’t need it for anything else during class.)
• Be sure to consider the following questions as you compose your last body paragraph (after all your
backtracking and analysis of your article are done):
• Reflect on your emotional response(s) to the text during and after your investigation: How exactly did
you feel as you investigated your text? Was there any point in your search where you felt slightly or
deeply irritated by sources either confirming or discrediting your selected text? Did you at any point
feel like you should disregard the credibility of those sources? Do you still feel that way? Consider the
following question carefully: do you think it’s possible that confirmation bias encouraged you to
gravitate towards certain sources that supported or discredited your selected text? What might that
mean? Do you think it’s possible that your existing beliefs resulted in the backfire effect at any point in
your search? What might that mean? What might you do in the future to try to avoid or work past
these reactions?The backtracking of your article will be the major part .This writing assignment requires you to imagine that you are applying for a fact-checker position at The New York Times. To get this job, you’ll need to write a four-page paper which does all of the following:
1) Shows your understanding of a current news item. You’ll need to briefly provide just a bit of context for your topic, explaining some of the basics. This will not be the major focus of your paper but will provide context. To prove that you understand the dangers of plagiarism, you will need to cite where ALL your information comes from, whether it’s quoted word-for-word (in which case it should be in quotation marks) or paraphrased (taking someone else’s information and putting it into your own, completely different words). For either of these, you’ll need to cite where it’s from both with parenthetical, in-text citations and a full works cited page.
2) Proves your ability to trace the origins and credibility of a news story or meme published online. To that end, over the course of the unit you’ll utilize skills and strategies to “backtrack” and evaluate one source that you encounter online, composing a report that synthesizes material from the original text and fact-checking articles to do so. Think about the following sort of questions, as you research: Who are the reporter(s) who wrote this story? Can you find any credentials for them on the internet which they didn’t post themselves? How about the people they quote–and the quotes themselves: are they reliable? Your goal is to try to trace how information moves online. Look at the following articles in the Unit 3 Course Documents for more information on how to verify a source: “Tips for Analyzing a News Article,” “You’re the Fact Checker Now,” and “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources.” You will need to thoroughly complete each step of “Tips for Analyzing a News Article” in your paper. If it is from an inherently unreliable news source, you’ll also want to include what you’ve learned in “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources.” Your intended audience is a hiring committee at The New York Times.
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