For ten weeks beginning with week 2, each student will select one editorial or Op Ed piece
from the Des Moines Register, NY Times, USA Today, or Washington Post. On-line editions of
the Des Moines Register can be found at www.desmoinesregister.com, and an on-line copy
of The New York Times can be found at www.nytimes.com.
You will submit an editorial journal for the selected opinion piece. Your journal needs to
include three things:
1. a link to the editorial,
2. a one paragraph summary of the editorial
3. a second paragraph that provides a brief analysis of the editorial. Don’t summarize or give your
opinion here; instead analyze HOW the author argues the point (what strategies?)
Your analysis should address how well the editorial makes its point and, as the semester
progresses, you should discuss the various rhetorical techniques used in the editorial.
This journal should be typed double-spaced using 12 point Times New Roman font. There
are a total of 10 editorial journal entries due, each is worth 10 points. At least three of these
journals must be visual (more information on this will be provided in class). Your journal is
due by class time.
Here is an example of an editorial journal:
Keep best teachers, not necessarily veterans
The Des Moines Register Editorial – May 9, 2010
The Des Moines Register discusses the problem of deciding what teachers get let go during
this time of school budget deficits. As the school system currently works, teachers with the
most seniority keep their jobs and those hired most recently are not retained. According to
the author, this system often results in losing the best teachers and retaining the poorer
ones. The Register is suggesting that the decisions on which teachers to retain should be
based on teaching ability and not seniority. This would require revising the current
evaluation system for teachers.
The editorial presents a compelling argument, especially in when discussing the problem of
the music teachers at Roosevelt. However, the problem of revising teacher evaluations is a
long standing problem. The author makes the assumption that the experienced teachers
are poorer than the inexperienced ones. An effective way to evaluate teaching is still not
agreed upon by experts in the field. Until that can be accomplished, it will be difficult to find
a fair way to make decisions about teacher retention. The author uses pathos to bring an
emotional response from the audience since everyone cares about children and education.
Since the credentials of the author are unknown, his ethos relies upon the publication in
the paper itself. Finally, logos is used when the author cites the statistics related to the
number of teachers in the classroom who are novices.