find and read a news article on a topic of interest to you

Instructions: 1. Find and read a news article on a topic of interest to you. The article must come from an established news source (see list of examples on the next page), be fact- rather than opinion based, and be substantial, meaning 250 words or more. (To count words, cut and paste article text into a word processing program and use the word count function.) 2. Think about how the topic covered in the article could be viewed from each of sociology’s major theoretical perspectives: functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionism. It will help to review the perspectives in the course lecture notes and textbook. Come up with at least one idea, claim, question, or hypothesis about the topic that reflects each perspective (a total of three). Keep in mind that there are many correct answers here—theorists from each perspective would have a lot of different things to say about any topic. 3. Write up your thoughts in a five paragraph essay with the following structure: Paragraph 1: Introduce your essay by describing the topic you will be discussing and why you think it is important or interesting. Remember to cite your news article using an intext citation when you refer to or quote from it. Paragraphs 2-4: Write a brief paragraph on each theoretical perspective, in any order. In each, start with a sentence or two describing the perspective in your own words (based on information from the lecture notes and textbook). Then write a few more sentences describing an idea, claim, question, or hypothesis about your topic that reflects the perspective. You may use first-person phrasing if you wish (e.g., “If I were studying this topic using the interactionist perspective, I would focus on…”) or not (e.g., “An interactionist might hypothesize that ….”). Then go to a new paragraph and perspective. Paragraph 5: Write a few sentences on the following: If you were going to do further research on this topic, which theoretical perspective would you use, and why? (Note that answering the “why” question is just as important as picking a perspective.) 4. Formatting: Write in prose (essay style), not a list or bullet points. I am expecting about 2 pages, but quality is what counts. Please use a 12 point font, double line spacing, and one inch margins. Cite your sources, including your news article and possibly the textbook and/or lecture notes—see further information below.

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