News Article

Dec 31, 1969
Image for issue at Youth Voices

Are you tired of writing boring old research papers that are just full of data? Learn how to synthesize sources to both appeal to an audience and deliver factual information by creating a news article.

When creating a news article, it is a good idea to try and combine something that has emotional appeal with something that has factual data about the topic you are writing about.

Luckily, this also creates a great opportunity for students to develop much higher levels of analysis and writing. In The Digital Writing Workshop, Troy Hicks writes about the different levels of thinking when writing blogs. He writes, "[Will Richardson] suggests that there are at least eight ways to think about the types of 'connective thinking' that can happen when composing a post, moving from lower levels of thinking that he defines as 'not blogging' in the connective sense to higher levels that are 'real' or 'complex' blogging....For instance, students can simply post responses to journal prompts or share links. In higher levels, they can write analyses of other online materials, synthesizing across sources and building on their previous posts" (41). This mission includes all aspects of this higher level of blogging.

For this mission, students should have already posted about a topic that they discovered in the Ten Questions Mission. In that first post, they explain everything they know about the topic and everything they want to find out about it.

For this news article, students do an inquiry on the same topic they wrote of earlier. They search for, analyze, and synthesize at least two different sources from the internet. One would be for factual information on the topic, and one is included more for emotional appeal (propaganda).

For this example, my topic was implicit bias. I looked for articles about implicit bias [unconscious stereotypes], and I also looked for articles about a celebrity speaking against stereotypes.

Then, to complete the inquiry and news article, I just looked for the patterns between the two sources and pointed those connections out for an audience who hopefully gets pulled in by the emotional appeal of the celebrity's name.

See what you can find out about your topic, and be sure to create a catchy title.

Hicks, Troy. The Digital Writing Workshop. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2009. Print.