Module 5: Critical Thinking

Option #1: Media Literacy in the Digital Age


Using the concepts learned through the readings and interactive lecture pages, select a social issue or ethical dilemma in the news. Find two recent articles from two different types of media sources on the issue. In your introduction, for both of your examples, be sure to carefully identify what types of sources you are analyzing (news story, editorial, commentary), the name of the media company, and the date and author. Then, answer the following questions:

  1. What assumptions do you make about these articles before reading them? How is your mind already at work?
  2. What is the main claim and/or point of view expressed (if there is one) by the article? Is the article objectively written? Be careful here - if the article is an editorial opinion, note that the purpose of this type of article is very different from that of a news story. If you are analyzing an editorial, is the argument presented logically?
  3. Apply evaluative criteria to your analysis. Is there a particular audience that the article is targeting? Is there an appeal to sensationalism? Can you discern a vested ideological perspective?
  4. What is a peer-reviewed source? What peer-reviewed sources did you find that helped in thinking critically about your issue?


  • Cite all claims and ideas using scholarly sources.
  • Include at least one scholarly source that is not part of the required or recommended reading for this course. The CSU Global Library (Links to an external site.) is a good place to find these scholarly sources.
  • Your paper should be 4-5 pages in length (not including the title page and reference page). Format your paper according to the CSU Global Writing Center (Links to an external site.).

You may wish to review the APA Template Paper (Links to an external site.) for help formatting your essay according to the requirements. If you need assistance with your writing style or you need writing tips or tutorials, visit the CSU Global Writing Center (Links to an external site.). Review the grading rubric to see how you will be graded for this assignment.

Module 5: Critical Thinking

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Please take at least two of these sources below:


  • Chapter 1, Chapter 3, and Chapter 9 in Poepsel, M. (2018). Media, society, culture, and you. Open Textbook Library. Rebus Community.
  • El-Shamy, A. (2019). The democratic consequences of online media consumption in post-revolutionary Egypt. Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research12(1), 65-86.
  • Lei, H. (2019). Modern information warfare: Analysis and policy recommendations. Foresight21(4), 506-522.
  • Machiorlatti, J. A. (2017). Media literacy. In M. Allen (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of communication research methods (Vols. 1-4). SAGE Publications, Inc.
  • Schiffrin, A. (2017). Disinformation and democracy: The internet transformed protest but did not improve democracy. Journal of International Affairs, 71(1), 117125.
  • Wiyeh, A., Cooper, S., Jaca, A., Mavundza, Ed., Ndwandwe, D., & Wiysonge, C. (2019). Social media and HPV vaccination: Unsolicited public comments on a Facebook post by the Western Cape Department of Health provide insights into determinants of vaccine hesitancy in South Africa. Vaccine37(43), 6317-6323.

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