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During the term you will turn in two article reports. Each report will only take a few minutes to write if you spend enough time to find an appropriate article. You can submit your work on paper or by e-mail.
For each report, pick a newspaper, magazine, or internet news article. Write an essay that answers the following questions:
1. What is the main point of the article?
2. How is mathematics used to support the point of the article?
3. In what way is the mathematics misleading or could be misinterpreted?
4. What is another math question that could be asked and answered using the content of the article?
5. Is the math in the article correct? If it is not, show where the author made an error. If it is, then answer the question you invented for question four.
You are responsible for finding an article that is suitable for all five of the above questions. If an article you are considering writing about does not fit all five questions then you need to find a new article to write about.
(The most common problem students have with this assignment is when pick a very clear and straightforward article and are then unable to answer question three. If you cannot answer question three, pick a different article!)
Ideally your essay is one or two paragraphs that actually have proper paragraph structure. But this is not a writing class. You may instead answer each of the five questions with its own single-sentence paragraph.
Students might find NewsMap or Google News helpful for finding an article suitable for the portfolio's article report.
Sometimes The Equality of Opportunity Project, GapMinder and the Pew Research Blog also have articles appropriate for this assignment.