The Wall Street Journal

Chapter Analysis Assignment

In this assignment you will write a paper that allows you to demonstrate your ability to apply the concepts presented in the class readings to historical or current events.

For the paper, you will chose TWO primary sources, one from the time period of the historical event and/or a current source related to the topic of the chapter. For example, if you are assigned the chapter on women’s suffrage, you can find in the library’s historical newspaper database an article from the earlier 1900s reporting on a women’s suffrage rally and then a recent article discussing how the media covers women today. You would then compare or contrast how the two articles relate to the chapter.

In Chapter 3 of Beyond the Front Lines, Philip Seib discusses the Pentagon’s plan to allow reporters to be “embedded” with military units during the initial attack on Iraq. Some embedded reporters found it was difficult to write objectively about the war, as they were dependent on the good will of the troops they were stationed with. Locating two articles written by embedded journalists and comparing them to the chapter would be another way to approach this assignment.

A primary source is a newspaper or magazine article, pamphlet, or a radio or TV broadcast from that time period. You should choose a current article from a major media source (e.g. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Economist, or The Atlantic Monthly) or look at the transcript of a lengthy radio or TV broadcast. The American University library has a number of historical newspapers and magazines in its databases.

Your paper should analyze the primary sources using the observations and arguments in the selected chapter. You can use the source as evidence to agree or disagree with the chapter or to simply make comparisons about the chapter and your primary sources. You can also use your two primary sources to shed light on what is written in the chapter or to argue again the chapter’s thesis. Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that your job will be to focus on aspects of the chapter that shed light on your articles, or vice-versa.  You do not have to, nor should you, summarize the entire chapter or just re-hash what the chapter authors have written. Instead, your analysis will offer focused, original insights on how your choice of articles either reinforces, contradicts or offers new perspectives on the points made in the books or individual chapters.

I expect the paper to have a strong thesis statement, proper attribution (of both your chosen articles and of the books) and opinions supported with evidence. Also, please attach a clear and complete copy of your articles or transcripts to your paper.


* The chapter assigned to me is:

“Domestic Eavesdropping: The Biggest Secret” in The Inside Stories of Modern Political Scandals by Woody Klein (Chap. 7) –  I’ll upload it as a pdf.


*I’ll also upload a sample that I want this paper to be the same quality.


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