Assignment 1 Opinion/Editorial

J200 – Relph

Assigned:  September 8, 2004

Deadline:  6:00 p.m., September 29, 2004


Forum:  Plan to run this opinion/editorial in the IPFW Communicator. 


Specs:  Essay must be word-processed and saved as Rich Text Format (.rtf) Double-spaced.  500 to 700 words – you must not exceed the upper level of word count.  Indent each paragraph one tab stop.  Do not add leading between paragraphs.


Grading criteria – at a minimum:

1.                  Essays must be free of mechanical errors, e.g., spelling, punctuation, word choice.  Use past tense verbs.

2.                  Essays must apply to Associated Press style.  You may use a library reference copy to check your work prior to deadline.

3.                  Essays must be factually accurate and data must be verifiable.  Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay.

4.                  Each essay must have a headline and a subhead or nut graph attached.  See the online versions of both professional newspapers and student papers for some ideas on heads and subheads work.

5.                  Essays must address the topic with a sense of style, authority and credibility.  An original approach to the topic gets great big brownie points.

6.                  Errors-in-fact or use of quotes or other data that exceeds “Fair Use” standards will cause the essay to be awarded an F.


Audience:  IPFW student body


Topic area:  Voter registration closes on October 4.  Indiana candidates and national candidates seem to be courting voters under 30.  Voter turn-out for voters under 30 is historically dismal.  Candidates and incumbents seem out of touch with issues important to citizens under 30.  Baby Boomers seem to feel an entitlement of numbers when it comes to bringing issues to the national scene; people under 30 do not appear to matter much.  There is no apparent consensus of opinion or “bloc” with regard to voters under 30.


Your job, Mr. Phelps, should you choose to accept it: (this is an old Mission: Impossible reference.  Sorry.)


Find some issue in the general subject of voters under 30 and write an evocative essay that may cause some of your audience to act.  The essay must be persuasive – not a rant, not a sermon.