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LAVC The Guardian Newspaper Editorial Discussion and Analysis

LAVC The Guardian Newspaper Editorial Discussion and Analysis


For your initial post, find a recent newspaper editorial or opinion piece. Your selection should not be older than 2 weeks (so should have been published August 21, 2023, or later).

Make sure your selection is an editorial or opinion piece and not just a standard news article. Typically the things we see in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times or New York Times come in one of three forms:

  1. Objective reporting – these articles simply explain objectively what happened. They present no argument, just facts and sometimes statements from people involved in what happened. Don’t choose one of these articles for this week’s discussion.
  2. Analysis – these articles offer an interpretation of the meaning, significance, or reasons for why or how it happened (sometimes articles come as a combination of 1 and 2). They present an argument, but it’s an analytical argument that serves to justify why their interpretation is correct. These arguments are typically subjective, but, as we discussed earlier in the course, subjective arguments can also be well-constructed and persuasive toward influencing others to accept that subjective point of view as well. Don’t choose one of these either for this week’s discussion.
  3. Opinion – these articles present a persuasive argument for what should happen (what should be done about something, or what we should think about something). This is what you’re looking for for this week’s discussion. These are also subjective, of course, but subjective arguments can be enormously powerful and persuasive – after all, religion, politics, art, and many of the things we look to to inform our views of the world largely rely on subjective arguments that we agree with partly in order to enjoy a sense of shared community. Choose one of these articles for this week’s discussion.
  4. Of that third category, which this discussion is focusing on, opinion articles come in two forms:
    1. Editorials, which are written on behalf of the newspaper itself (usually by staff of the newspaper) to represent the newspaper’s institutional position on a particular matter, and
    2. Opinion, which are written by people not employed by the newspaper (typically politicians, experts, activists, or public leaders) who present arguments that the newspaper itself may or may not agree with, but are provided to give a diverse spectrum of opinions to inform the public

    3. Once you’ve made your selection, for your initial post, provide a summary of its argument using the following format:
      • Conclusion: Here is the central point that the editorial or opinion is arguing
      • Premise 1: Here is the most important point that the argument provides to support its conclusion
        • Sub-premise: Here is a point that the argument provides to support the point made in Premise 1
      • Premise 2: Here is the second most important point that the argument provides to support its conclusion
        • Sub-premise: Here is a point that the argument provides to support the point made in Premise 2
      • (and so on)

      Not all arguments will match this structure perfectly – for example, an argument may not always provide sub-premises, or may only provide one premise to support the conclusion; if that’s the case you can just note that in your explanation. For each part there should be a single sentence – we’re aiming for precision and concision here, focusing only on the most essential information to help see the hierarchy of the argument and how it all fits together.

    4. So, in summary, your initial post should:
      1. Select a recent editorial or opinion piece (published within the past 2 weeks)
      2. Provide a citation of and link to your chosen editorial or opinion piece
      3. Provide a concise summary of the argument of the editorial or opinion piece, with 1 sentence each for the conclusion, premises, and (where applicable) sub-premises
      4. Assess how credible the argument is – what specific aspects support or undermine its credibility? Briefly explain your reasoning.

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