Thursday, February 12, 2009

Second Assignment, First Cut

I may add more questions between now and next week. If you can think of others (especially interactive exercises), please let me know.


Choose one:

1. Pick one of the following sets of debates: Nixon-Kennedy 1960, Ford-Carter 1976, Bush-Clinton 1992, or Bush-Gore 2000. (See Iyengar, ch. 9 and the video excerpts on the accompanying DVD). Who “won” which debates and why? How did they affect the election? In hindsight, did the major print media miss anything important about the debates? You may want to consult books on the election that you choose. Nexis does not have full historical coverage, but you may find older newspapers and magazines at http://voxlibris.claremont.edu/resources/databases/bysubject.asp?SubjId=61 Debate texts are at: http://www.debates.org/pages/history.html

2. In Blogwars, Perlmutter describes a number of new roles that bloggers are taking: compilers of political information, informant in a political marketplace, “scribbling mercuries,” correspondents, collectors and collators, revisers and extenders of big media, investigative reporters, political analysts and critics. Start your own political blog (www.blogger.com) Undertake at least four of these duties. In your paper, explain your blog’s contribution to political debate and tell how it improves on the MSM.

  • Essays should be typed (12-point) stapled, double-spaced, and no more than four pages long. I will not read past the fourth page.
  • Put your name on a cover sheet. Do not identify yourself on the text pages.
  • Cite your sources. You may use either endnotes or parenthetical references to a bibliography. In either case, put documentation in a standard format (e.g., Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style).
  • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
  • Return essays by the start of class on Wednesday, March 4. Essays will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness and a full grade after that. I will grant no extensions except for illness or emergency.

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