Tuesday, August 26, 2008

UnSpun reading guidelines

21st Century Symposium

UnSpun reading guidelines

Fall, 2008

As a class, we will be reading and discussing UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Jamieson during the first few weeks of school. In doing so, we are hoping you can build a critical thinking foundation related to media use and advertising, particularly as we begin to discuss issues such as truth, credibility, and accountability in public information.

We would like for you to do the following:

Read carefully! Take notes, annotate, outline major ideas and concepts, note unfamiliar words, and document your reactions to the text. Keep in mind anything you find interesting, significant, revealing, or strange.

Make sure you are ready to discuss your thinking by completing the following tasks and making notes of the insights you’ve found for each chapter on the dates listed below.

Reading schedule:

By Tuesday, September 2:

Read Introduction and Chapter 1: Note 3 important points for discussion.

By Tuesday, September 9:

Read Chapters 2, 3, and 4: With these chapters, please find an example of an advertisement, promotional, or other piece of public information that employs one of the techniques illustrated in that chapter. For example, you should find a “warning sign” for Chapter 2, a “trick” for Chapter 3, and a “trap” for Chapter 4. You may want to make note of the technique used, the source of your example, and a justification as to why the example is representative of the technique.

By Tuesday, September 16:

Chapters 5, 6, and 7: For Chapter 5, note 3 important points for discussion. For Chapter 6, from some form of media communication find an example of an appeal or logical fallacy outlined in this chapter. For Chapter 7, find a faulty web source or hoax email, then find the facts; be prepared to explain the difference and your process. Again, you may want to make note of the techniques used, the sources of your examples, and justifications as to why the examples are representative.

By Tuesday, September 23:

Reach Chapter 8 and outline 3 important points. Read the conclusion and be prepared to write a final reflection on your reading (further guidelines for this will follow).

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