Assignment 1 Analyzing Sociology

Analyzing Sociology – Chapter 2
Should You Believe Everything You Read? - Supplemental Writing Activity
Background: In this Information Age, we are inundated with more information than we can process.
Often we depend upon journalists and other evaluators to keep up with the latest information and just
“give us the basic facts.” But do they really do that for us? In order to evaluate the usefulness of the
information we are bombarded with on a daily basis, we must determine whether they are giving us a
complete picture or if there are other factors at work.
Objective: To become considerate and thoughtful consumers of information, especially regarding
complex and controversial material, students will research articles over scientific breakthroughs and
evaluate the usefulness of the article for themselves, the general public, and non-experts.
1) Research Internet, newspaper, or periodical articles that cover one specific scientific, medical, or
health related breakthrough in 2013. Choose one breakthrough to research and collect at least
three articles from different publications. These publications can be print or electronic media.
Print your articles and bring to class.
2) Using those articles, analyze each using the following questions:
What claims or promises were made in the article?
What actual quotes by the researchers were included, if any?
Was the article well documented? Did it provide source information?
Were there any “disclaimers” or warnings about the results not being proven, or more
testing needing to be done? If so, where were these cautionary words placed in the
e) What is your opinion about the actions of the reporter? Do you think he or she was
journalistically responsible, or do you think the article was an attempt to grab
3) After researching articles on scientific breakthroughs, write a review that summarizes the
articles and evaluates the usefulness of the information to the ordinary reader. Be sure to
support your position with evidence from your research.