Newspaper Editorial Argument Analysis
Chapter 7 focuses on analyzing arguments. The daily editorials in a local newspaper are excellent examples of short arguments. Editorials are unsigned as they are written by the editorial staff of the paper. (Letters to the editor and “op-ed” columnists are not editorials). For this exercise, you will choose an editorial from the News & Observer (opens in a new window) http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/ or Durham Herald Sun (opens in a new window) http://www.heraldsun.com/opinion/. The editorial must have been published in the six weeks preceding the assignment due date.
Provide the title of the editorial, the date it was published, and the newspaper name in the opening sentence. You will not need any other citation. Read through the editorial and gain a sense of what the argument is about. Then write a short (4 – 5 sentences) summary of the editorial. What is the event or person being referenced? How does it impact our community? You may need to research online to understand the context of the argument by reading news articles relating to the content. Consult the newspaper website for this background information.
Write a detailed outline analyzing the editorial. This is not an evaluation of the argument so you are not commenting on whether you agree. The outline analysis organizes all of the relevant support given in the argument.
In your outline, do not use the diagrams introduced in the textbook. Instead, simply identify premise statements with a (P), detailed support for the premises with an (S) and the conclusion with a (C). Look at the attached example for clarification. You will only have one conclusion (see Editorial Example above). Try to articulate the conclusion of the argument keeping in mind it may not be explicitly stated (enthymeme). Remember that no new support should be introduced in the conclusion.
3) Read the article below for a better understanding of editorials.