The best way to reflect on our reading is to apply it to something going on in the world today. Beyond Feelings helps us understand the Nature of Truth, and how truth is discovered, not created. That our perception or understanding of truth may be flawed, but the truth does not change. That we may have different beliefs, but we can’t have different truths.
With that in mind, I’d like you to think about media bias. There have been a lot of attacks on the free press lately, claiming that news sources long considered reputable are “fake news”, or that media sources have hidden agendas. The accusations come from both sides. Many are valid claims, and some of them serve to undermine our faith in any information. Sean Spicer, President Trump’s first press secretary, famously said “we have a right to disagree with facts.” Fox News is often referred to as “Faux News”, and CNN as the “Clinton News Network”. It’s gotten so some people throw their hands into the air saying they don’t know what they can believe. How valid are these claims? Does media lie to us? Is there still value in journalism, or have we lost all faith in reporting of facts? Is there such a thing as an unbiased news source? Are we prone to seek it out and find it, or is confirmation bias keeping us from seeking the truth? How do social media echo chambers help or hurt this problem? What are the moral implications of giving up on knowing the truth?
Start with questions like that. You might need to do a little research. It’s a fairly broad topic, and I’m not giving you a specific prompt. So, I’m expecting you to narrow it down. Part of this assignment is finding your focus. Don’t try to explain all of media to me. Think about the broad topic until you can focus on one narrow aspect of it, and offer an argument. This is (as, really, all are) a persuasive essay. Who is your audience and what is your purpose? What are you trying to convince us of?
Begin with a strong thesis statement and support it clearly. A thesis statement is essentially topic+slant+how/why. If you need a little reminder about strong thesis statements, here are a couple resources:
Perdue Owl (Links to an external site.)
LumenLearning (Links to an external site.)
Try to be as clear, precise, and concise as possible in your argument and your syntax.
750 words (about 2-3 pages).
Content and Unity = 40
Thesis statement names topic and main point
Main idea carried throughout essay without going off-topic
Sufficient explanation of each major point
Interesting and thought-provoking ideas
Structure and Coherence = 35
Recognizable essay structure
Order of ideas logical and interesting
Transitions appropriate and sufficient
Introduction and conclusion effective
Grammar/Proofreading = 25
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