The Commentary Context Revision and Postscript
The concepts of genre, process writing, audience, and personal influence have been common themes throughout this course, and the final assignment asks you to demonstrate your knowledge in these areas. To do so, you will rework your Commentary essay into a short document that will either be submitted as a letter to the editor to a specified publication, or published as a blog post. Your goal is not to summarize your entire essay for this new context, but to instead share one important point as an addition to the public conversation. As you review the Commentary essay final you submitted last week, think about the most important point you would leave with readers if you had only a limited amount of time to express yourself; that one main point is where you’ll want to focus this revision assignment.
To begin, think about where you originally came across your topic or the different publications that you chose as sources for your Commentary essay. In doing so, select one of the contexts for revision below.
Letter to the Editor: You are likely somewhat familiar with this genre because it is a common inclusion in the opinion section of a newspaper, magazine, or news site. Newspaper editors publish the submissions of readers who share their opinions on current topics as part of the ongoing public conversation. Normally, a letter to the editor is a direct response to an article that was recently published in the paper. If one of the publications you used in your research for the Commentary essay includes a Letter to the Editor section, it is likely a good choice for your chosen context for this assignment. Please review pp. 186–187 of your text for further information about letters to the editor. Blog Post: If you already have a blog or would like to create one, this is your opportunity to use this genre to share a main point from your Commentary essay for a wider public audience. Be sure to review Chapter 29 in your text for more information about Blogs.
Your public response should include the following elements.
Brief summary of issue to provide context for readers; if you are writing a letter to the editor, remember that you are responding to a specific story or article that was published (likely one of your sources from the Commentary essay). A precise thesis that provides your clear purpose, whether it is to agree or disagree with a point previously published (in the Letter to the Editor) or to provide a main point of your position. Support through personal experiences or factual evidence. A professional tone and style that does not attack or berate, but is instead reasoned and respectful.
Your Blog Post or Letter to the Editor should be approximately 250 words. It should use APA format for in-text citations and an end References page for any included sources. The essay should be typed and submitted as a Microsoft Word 2010 document (.docx), with 12-point font and double spacing. Due to meeting the standards of the publication, a title page is not required. Following your Blog Post or Letter to the Editor, please write a brief statement that explains where you intend to publish your writing. If you are writing a Blog Post, post it to your site and include the URL in your assignment submission. If you are writing a Letter to the Editor, include the name of the specific publication to which you will submit.
IMPORTANT POSTSCRIPT ADDITION: In addition to submitting your revision, please also complete a brief postscript (one to two paragraphs), written in first person, to address the questions below. Include this postscript after your References page in your assignment submission this week.
How did you determine what main point to share from your Commentary essay in the revision activity? What changes did you make in your writing style as you revised the essay for a new audience and context? What new insights have you gained on your Commentary topic throughout the process of drafting, researching, and revising?