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New York Times Replica Edition

Password: 200332997 Username: 200332997

New York Times Columnists

Read and annotate the article:

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  • Exigence
  • Purpose
  • Tone and tone shifts
  • Rhetorical strategies
  • Organization and arrangement
  • Appeals

Mark places in the text that evoke a reaction from you whether it is laughter, confusion, anger. Ask yourself questions as you read:
  • How does the columnist open the column?
  • How does he/she close the column?
  • How soon does he/she announce his or her purpose/ stance?
  • How is the column organized?
  • How does the columnist use personal experience, observation, interviews, fact, history?
  • What sort of diction characterizes the column? How is it effective?
  • What sort of syntax characterizes the column? Is it effective?
  • Who is the audience? How do you know?
  • What assumptions does the columnist make?
  • What are the potential ramifications of the issues raised in the column?

The Rhetorical Précis Format
  • In a single coherent sentence give the following:
    -name of the author, title of the work, date in parenthesis;
    -a rhetorically accurate verb (such as "assert," "argue," "deny," "refute," "prove," disprove," "explain," etc.);
    -a that clause containing the major claim (thesis statement) of the work.
  • In a single coherent sentence give an explanation of how the author develops and supports the major claim (thesis statement).
  • In a single coherent sentence give a statement of the author's purpose, followed by an "in order" phrase.
  • In a single coherent sentence give a description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the audience.
Oregon State How to Write a Précis- includes an example

The Rhetorical Précis

Perfecting a Précis Webster University

Students will determine a schedule for the weekly assignment described below. Each student will be assigned a week to write a précis. All students will read each article and record their reaction to the article.

Weekly assignment:

Each week all students in the group must read the column. One student from the group will write a précis and analyze the argument presented. The student will share the précis with group members and the teacher through Google Docs. Classmates will add comments and thoughts to the Google Doc including their reactions to the column. Make certain to review the comments of your group-mates before including your own. Your goal is to add to the conversation.


  • Is the column successful in presenting the argument?
  • Why do you agree or disagree with this position?
  • Is this topic important or frivolous?
  • What are the ramifications of this argument? If it is not accepted, what will the consequences be? Why?

Make certain the precis is in the shared folder and on turnitin.com.

During class on TBD:

Students will meet with their group during class time. Students will bring their précis and the annotated copy of the column. The group will discuss the column and consider the arguments presented and the evolution of the columnist’s positions. Students will discuss the issues and their own stance on the issues.
Together students will determine their understanding of the columnists’ philosophy and develop an argument as a response to the columnist.

Students will create a multimedia presentation that will explain the group’s argument.

The group should consider
  • Issues the columnist addressed in the column
  • A tangential issue the columnist may address
  • How the columnist will address the issue
  • How the group would respond to the columnists’ stance on the issue

Students will synthesize the arguments in the columns and the issues addressed by the columnist.

Citations must be in MLA format.

The completed project will be presented to the class on a date TBD.

Publications and Columnists

PROMINENT NEWSPAPER COLUMNISTS Courtesy of Jim Veal Peachtree Ridge High School Suwanee, GA
  • Michael Kinsley –founder of slate.com. Syndicated columnist. L
  • external image washington%20post.gifRichard Cohen – Washington Post columnist. l
  • Bob Herbert – New York Times columnist. L
  • William F. Buckley – founder of National Review. Syndicated columnist C
  • Thomas Sowell – Hoover Institute scholar. Syndicated columnist C
  • Ellen Goodman - Boston Globe columnist. L
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  • George Will – Washington Post columnist. C
  • John Tierney – New York Times columnist. c
  • David Brooks - New York Times columnist. c
  • Paul Krugman - New York Times columnist. L
  • Thomas Friedman - New York Times columnist. l
  • Jonah Goldberg - Los Angeles Times columnist. c
  • Peggy Noonan - former presidential speechwriter; Wall Street Journal columnist. C
  • Maureen Dowd - ―Modo‖ New York Times columnist. L
  • external image washington%20post.gifCharles Krauthammer - Washington Post columnist. c
  • Mona Charen - syndicated columnist. C
  • E.J. Dionne - Washington Post columnist. l
  • Cynthia Tucker – Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist. L

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Townhall.com Conservative Columnists

The Left's Top 25 Journalists external image papers-google.jpg

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