Summer 2022

Week 4 The Opinion Essay: Writing About a Current Event

[This Week’s Assignment: Summary of NYTimes article due Mon., Aug. 1st]

Thank you for uploading your Literacy Narrative drafts (Unit #1), which I will be reviewing this week. 

For this week, I ask that you prepare for your next (and final) assignment (UNIT#2), by following a current issue in the news.  Begin by finding an article from the New York Times on a topic that interests you.  By next Monday, Aug. 1st, I ask that you summarize the main points of this article in one paragraph (post under “comments”). Please also tell me why this topic interests you.

Once you have done this, you can begin working on Unit #2 (Due. Tues. Aug. 9).

Here are the steps to help you on your way.

  1. Set up a FREE New York Times account with your City Tech account here: Academic Pass Account
  2. Read this sample OpEd assignment (“Let’s End Anti-Asian Hate Now”) by City Tech student Enson Zhou
  3. View “Gentrification in Brooklyn” to get a taste of what an Opinion Documentary (OpDoc) looks like:
  • 4. Find a recent article from the New York Times on a topic that interests you.

Possible topics including: the overturning of Roe v. Wade, confronting Climate Change, the war in Ukraine, racial injustice, the rise in crime, the incarceration of WNBA star Brittney Griner in Russia, inflation, etc. Free free to run your topic by me (mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu)

  • 5. Summarize this article, following these directions:

How To Write a Summary

6. Post your summary (use “comments” above) by Monday, Aug. 1st

13 Comments

  1. Tamjeeda Uddin

    In Pam Belluck’s article “They Had Miscarriages, and New Abortion Laws Obstructed Treatment (2022), the author discusses instances where women who had miscarriages didn’t receive the necessary care, which resulted in harsher circumstances. After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many women’s lives have been in danger. Miscarriage care has allegedly been delayed or denied to certain patients due to doctors and pharmacists’ concerns about violating abortion laws, since there are some treatments for miscarriages that can also be used for abortion. Some of the women who have miscarried and are at danger of further pregnancies said they are thinking about leaving states with abortion restrictions. Others don’t want to even conceive anymore because they are scared and don’t feel safe in their state.
    This topic has my interest because the overturning of Roe v. Wade has triggered me and made me upset. The fact that our country and politicians have put us back in the past is really disturbing to me as a woman, and as a simple human being. It’s very upsetting that many women’s lives are now in danger because their health is not guaranteed. Although I am relieved to be in a state that upholds my right to make my own decisions, I have family and friends who live in the states where access to healthcare is limited due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

    • Mark Noonan

      Tamjeeda,

      You do a fine job discussing this article. This is a very important topic and I can already “hear” your OpEd piece. In this final assignment be sure to bring in direct quotes from your article and certainly add a discussion of the states where your family and friends where Roe v. Wade has very real consequences.

  2. Jose Bocio

    In the The Editorial Board’s article “Climate Change Is Not Negotiable” (July 23, 2022), the authors are trying to tell us as readers that the world is burning. They explain that Mr. Biden has great plans to change laws in order to make the U.S a more sustainable country. However, these goals are far from being approved because of the congress and the immense qualitative of money they will need. The authors want us to understand as the title states this problem is not negotiable because this country and humanity in general is being threatened. The Editorial Board’s states this “His recent prominence owes much to itch McConnell and other Senate Republicans, not on whom stepped forward to support the president or offer a plausible alternative.”

    • Mark Noonan

      You have a great OpEd topic here Jose. Be careful though because the piece you choose IS an OpEd already. Certainly use it as a model and reference but see if you can also draw some recent facts and figures from another current NYTimes article.

  3. Kofil Uddin

    In the article “Melting Profits Threaten the Ice Cream Man” by Christian Morales, it is explained to us that the cost of many items including the most common being gas prices has become prohibitive for many businesses and for people all over New York City. One of them is the Ice Cream Truck business which is getting very expensive to maintain. The cost of the ice cream is now $13 dollars a gallon while the cost of diesel is $7 per gallon. This is the fate that many ice cream truck workers are facing and it is putting many out of business. Many are reluctant to continue in this line of work. For example, “The price of gasoline has been the most shocking expense in recent months for Andrew Miscioscia, the owner of Andy’s Italian Ices NYC, which operates three trucks for private catering events. He spent $6,800 in June on gas alone.” This is due to gas inflation and can be seen here by the price he paid for only one month alone.

    • Mark Noonan

      This is a great topic for an OpEd piece, Kofil. Certainly use quotes and information from this article but also consider including examples of high inflation in your own experiences lately.

  4. Gurpreet

    In the article “Brittney Griner and the Total Lopsidedness of prisoner Swaps with Russia” by Serge Schmemann(July 29, 2022), The United States is negotiating with Russia to exchange two Americans being held in Russian prisons for a notorious arms dealer serving time in America. The deal is lopsided, but if it’s the only way to get American citizens out of a Russian prison, do it. Mr. Fogel and Ms. Griner were teachers at the Anglo-American School in Moscow who took medical marijuana for pain. Mr. Whelan was a former Marine who visited Russia several times and was arrested for spying. The issue is not whether the three American prisoners are guilty but whether the Russian justice system is political, and any American imprisoned in Russia is likely to be held either for propaganda purposes or as a hostage to exchange for imprisoned Russians. In 1986, a U.S. News and World Report correspondent was arrested on espionage charges and quickly swapped for a Soviet employee of the Soviet mission to the United Nations. A former U.S. Marine held for two years in Russia was swapped in April for a Russian pilot convicted of drug trafficking. The swaps are rarely even, and it would be painful for prosecutors and those who suffered in the violence to release the Russian.

    • Mark Noonan

      This is a great topic Gurpreet. In your OpEd you can really use the information above to inform your reader about the history of prisoner swaps and how Russia’s policies are entirely “political” as you say. You might want to consider if professional basketball leagues have done enough to express their concern over the incarceration of Griner.

  5. Kehinde Bello

    In Jack Nicas’s article “Ukraine War Threatens to Cause a Global Food Crisis,” (2022). The author explains that the Russia-Ukraine war has brought hunger around the globe.
    This war has thrown the world’s energy markets into a tailspin. The world is now confronting a more serious crisis of a supply deficit. A critical amount of the world’s wheat, corn, and barley are stranded in Russia and Ukraine, while an even greater portion of the world’s fertilizers is stranded in Russia and Belarus. As a result, global food and fertilizer costs are skyrocketing. Prices of products have increased by a greater percentage.
    The World Food Program’s monthly expenditures have already risen by $71 million, enough to reduce daily supplies for 3.8 million people. The author further explains that economists warn that the consequences will exacerbate.
    This topic is interesting to me because increasing costs and hunger have given a new dimension to the world’s perception of this war. Pushing the global economy into inflation.
    Due to sanctions, Russia has been unable to export food in huge quantities. Meanwhile, Ukraine has been physically isolated because Russia has closed the Black Sea to export.
    All over the world, we are experiencing higher living expenses, gas prices increasing, and some countries are struggling to even get adequate food.

    • Mark Noonan

      You have lots of great facts on this important topic, Kehinde. In your OpED, in addition to referring to these facts, see if you can suggest the best possible solution. Also consider whether rising prices are worth the price of continuing to send aid to Ukraine (which will elongate the war). Where do you stand on all of this? It’s also worth noting that is poorer nations that will suffer (especially in Africa) if the fertilizer and grain blockage is not addressed.

  6. Mohammed Ahmed

    Climate change and environmental justice were discussed in the article “Environmental Justice Was a Climate Forum Theme.” The author points out that everyone but former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. mentioned or alluded to environmental justice in some way throughout the presidential debates. Environmental justice is a concept for addressing racial and economic inequality in environmental policy. Those with the fewest resources are frequently the ones that suffer the most promptly and severely as a result of climate change. When it comes to living in a polluted area, people of color have a higher prevalence than whites. There was a noticeable shift in the Democratic Party’s approach to environmental justice when it was brought up in a presidential forum. According to Dr. Bullard, environmental justice initiatives should not only help underprivileged groups, but also include them in the policymaking process. According to Dr. Martin, the issue has been oversimplified and preconceptions of powerlessness have been perpetuated.

    • Mark Noonan

      This is an interesting angle on this important topic. In your OpEd, try to bring out this particular poing much more:

      “Those with the fewest resources are frequently the ones that suffer the most promptly and severely as a result of climate change. ”

      See if you can give several examples of this. You might need to find another article from the NYTimes to fill out your piece.

  7. Dabin Tang

    In the article “Monkeypox Is About to Become the Next Public Health Failure” by Scott Gottlieb (July 30, 2022), One of the biggest public health disasters in recent times will occur if monkeypox spreads to become an endemic disease. The C.D.C. should be in charge of organizing America’s response to viral emergencies, but it lacks the infrastructure to do so. Following Covid, several people hold the opinion that public health organizations applied poor analysis and underestimated their advice. It is politically impossible to achieve a political agreement that the C.D.C. needs to be given more power. The late attempt at change by the Biden administration was unsuccessful. By giving part of the C.D.C.’s work on disease prevention to other organizations, the Biden administration needs to return the C.D.C. to its roots in disease management. Cancer and heart disease can be treated by the National Institutes of Health, whereas quitting smoking is handled by the FDA.

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