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October 12

posted Oct 11, 2012, 4:01 PM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Oct 14, 2012, 5:10 AM ]
Homework: For today, you should have done some thinking about the topic you will be working with for your next essay. If you need a reminder what that was all about, see the assignment page from last Thursday

If you've chosen your topic (and you should have made that choice by now), you may want to start working with some current issues in the news. The grid below shows some topics that might help you decide if the concept you've chosen is still alive and well in our society today. 

In class today read, and take notes from, at least one of the articles shown below, or find one of your own that fits the topic. (Hints for finding appropriate articles are shown below the grid.)

Basic Concepts of Democracy
Birth Control DebateGay Marriage College AdmissionsPharmacy RulesStolen Valor ActTeen driving laws Native American Mascots Race MattersSchool & Religion
A recognition of the fundamental worth of every person (15)   X X   X X X 
A respect for the equality of all persons (16) X X X    X X 
A faith in majority rule accompanied by respect for minority rights (17) X X  X X  X X X
An acceptance of the necessity of compromise (17) X   X  X X X X
An insistence upon the widest possible degree of individual freedom (17)    X X X X X   X

If these articles don't work for you, here are some tips on how to find your own:
  1. Go to
  2. Choose News from the black menubar at the top of the screen
  3. Type your search terms in the search box, but use these features to restrict the results:
    • Use quotation marks to keep phrases together (EX: "majority rule" instead of majority rule)
    • Use a hyphen (minus sign) to avoid certain words. (EX: searching for equality returns many stories on marriage equality because it's such a huge topic right now. Searching for equality -marriage will leave out stories that have the word marriage in them.
    • Use the phrase location:USA to restrict your results to those that come from US news sources (which might really help with this assignment.)
So an example search you might make to find articles might look like this: "individual freedom" -religious location:USA

As you read, take notes in a Google Doc of your own, or use the Google Doc Template called Unit Essay Outline to record your notes and ideas. 

Be sure to create a reference entry for the article you choose. If you need help with that, here's how to create a reference entry for an online source

And remember: you'll need to cite any sources of information you use, so make sure you keep track of where all the information you use comes from. 

BE SURE TO SHARE whatever work you've done this class period with Mr Knowles by using the DropBox before you leave class. Make sure you create a link that allows Mr. Knowles to EDIT the file you share.