exam will consist of tasks described below.
Nothing will appear on the test that is not mentioned in this study
guide. The exam is open book - open
notes - open internet, but you may not collaborate with other people.
be given a set of materials with information and arguments concerning a public
issue. This material will come from an
organization with a specific position on the issue. The final exam will require you to do the
following things: You may bring your lap-top or use the COMM lab to write
1. Write a persuasive “letter to the editor” of
your local hometown newspaper advocating the position taken by the organization
that supplied you with the information. The letter should be one you believe
will gain public support for the position the organization advocates. The letter should be no more than 300 words.
[ I highly recommend that you look at the
Op-Ed page of one or more newspapers before the exam. Look at some of the
columnists and "voice of the people" essays so you have some sense of the style
and format of persuasive, reasoned writing on the editorial page. The
Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune are good papers to look
at for background. You may not want to imitate just any "letter to the editor"
you find since some of them are not well written. Incidentally, in the
past some students have strangely assumed a "letter to the editor" is a personal
letter to the individual who edits the newspaper. WRONG! A letter to
the editor is a letter printed in the newspaper on or near the editorial page -
one which is likely to be read by the sort of thoughtful individuals who
read editorials and think about issues. Those people are your audience!
You will be writing to a fairly intelligent, engaged portion of the general
2. Write an explanation of the strategy and
tactics (appeals) you use in your letter. Explain why your message is a well-designed,
persuasive message that deals effectively with thesis/exigence,
purpose, audience. Some (but perhaps not
all) issues you might want to address in your explanation could include:
Be sure your
message and your explanation focus clearly on audience and purpose.
(Are you being clear on what you want the reader to think or do and why? Does
the reader have enough information and motivation to act?)
Final Exam: @ 3pm, Saturday, December, 10
WH 316 / COMM Lab