Ritical Commentary on an issue in current affairs

Assessment 2: Critical Commentary (Op-Ed Piece)

Take an issue that has arisen on the module i?? jobs, environment, political engagement i?? or another contemporary social issue that you care about and write a properly referenced 1000 word article expressing your opinion on that issue.

A critical commentary is a short essay similar to the articles we looked at early on the module. In it you should explain and justify, using properly referenced evidence, why you think a certain way about an issue. This style of writing is often used in OpEd pieces for newspapers, on blogs or in campaign materials. The important thing is to communicate your view on an issue clearly and with verifiable supporting evidence.

You will need to increase your knowledge and understanding of the issue to do this. Use facts, figures and examples to construct your point of view. Avoid uninformed comment or generalisations. Use the broadsheets and the internet to find quality facts, figures and examples. Make sure that your sources are suitable for an academic submission i?? that they are reliable and trustworthy.

The most important element in a campaign or in a piece of journalism is to have a well argued point of view that is reasoned and properly researched. This assessment is designed to improve your ability to:
recognise the structure of a point of view;
construct your own reasoned point of view, drawing on evidence and examples to back up your argument;
research and identify the information you will need to construct your point of view and to provide evidence for it.

Your work will be assessed on:
your ability to write a coherent and logical point of view;
your ability to communicate in a clear and concise way with the reader through the correct use of punctuation, spelling and grammar;
the scope and quality of your research and your use of facts and illustrations;
the way that research is referenced;
the presentation of your work.

You may want to go and read substantially more than you have to date on the issue you chose, but remember this is about expressing an opinion, not a book review. Use the information you find to build up your own argument, do not just describe someone elsei??s.

Part of the exercise is demonstrating that you can reference resources correctly. You MUST use at least one book (an extract from a book in the readings is fine), one newspaper article and one website. Use reliable sources, such as academic books, broadsheet newspapers (Guardian, Times, Independent) and reliable websites (BBC, CNN etc).

You may want to read comment pieces to get a sense of the style of whati??s expected: