Reading is an important component to any writing class. You will be required to submit evidence of independent reading. Since this reading is independent, the choice of topic is yours. Read widely or focus on a particular topic.
The goal of this assignment is to become exposed to as much good, high quality periodical writing as possible. Read in a variety of periodicals or examine the writing styles of a single publication. Read one writer or a different writer each week.
Expect to share what you have read with the class.
Find a piece of writing from a respected publication from the approved source list below. No other sources will be accepted (with that said, if you have a truly compelling case for another publication or article, let me know at least three days in advance–each Thursday).
Each article must be at least one full magazine page (not including pictures); if you are wondering about the length and you suspect it is too short, it probably is! Double-check with me.
- Photocopy your article if it is not your own (you may also just print from online).
- Annotate the article for style. Observe diction, syntax, rhetorical strategies, selection of detail. You may annotate either directly on the article or on a separate sheet of paper. Consult Chapter 2 of our textbook for ways of analyzing a text. If you don’t annotate, use a dialectical journal or graphic organizer. Be sure to comment on what the author is doing (what effect do certain words or passages have? what does it make the reader think about? why?)
- Summarize and react to the piece by typing up a Graff Template (link on this page).
Turn in your weekly reading every Monday.
(full articles only; no blog posts – if you are unsure about what a “blog” post looks like, ask first)
Harper’s Magazine (not Harper’s Bazaar)
The Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed section only)
The National Review
The New Republic
The New York Times (Op-Ed section only)
The New Yorker
The Philadephia Inquirer (Op-Ed section only)
The Utne Reader
The Wall Street Journal (Op-Ed section only)
The Washington Post (Op-Ed only)
Note: If you hit a paywall while looking at articles, take note of the title, author, and publication. Then search using the CHS databases. Chances are, you’ll be able to retrieve the article through the school’s subscription.
Two other great resources for high quality non- fiction are Byliner.com and Longform.org. Definitely check them out! Each site curates articles from around the web. If Byliner or Longform links to the article, regardless of whether or not the publication is listed above, then you may use the article. Even better, both Byliner and Longform have apps available for download to your mobile or tablet device.