Public Budgeting

Contemporary Events Journal Guidelines and Rubric

Guidelines You are required to submit a contemporary events journal. It must contain electronic copies of two newspaper or magazine articles, each of which reports an event related to an important topic covered in class materials, including the required readings. A variety of topics should be selected. Articles chosen should be news pieces. Avoid editorials and opinion pieces. Each article must be accompanied by a 3-4 page analysis of the meaning and significance of the event (typed, double-spaced, 12-point font). The analysis should be a demonstration of your critical thinking about the event reported in the article as it relates to issues discussed in this class. It should not be a simple repetition or summary of the article. Here are some questions you should address.

• What is the overall connection of the article to the concepts covered in the course? o How does it relate to the topics we’ve covered?

• Why did you choose the article? o How does the subject matter affect you? o What are your feelings about the subject matter? o How does the article add to your understanding of public budgeting? Or, how has your knowledge added to your

understanding of the article? • What are the major questions addressed by the article?

o Does the article seem to support or contradict the concepts discussed in class? In what way? o Are there any controversies surrounding the article? If so, explain. o Who are the key players involved? o What are the options that can be considered by the decision makers? o What are your suggestions for decision makers to consider? Describe any opposing viewpoints.

The relevance of the articles selected and the quality of the analysis will be considered in evaluating the contemporary events journal. Remember, this is a course on public sector budgeting. Your articles and analysis should focus on the public sector rather than private sector. A fully legible copy of each article must be attached to your submission, and the source must be fully cited.

Name _________________________________ Contemporary Events Journal Rubric The grading rubric located below will assist you in understanding how your instructor will be evaluating your Contemporary Events Journal submission.

Criteria Below Expectations Proficient Exemplary The topic of the selected article meets the requirements of the assignment

The selected articles do not relate to important themes covered in class materials, the textbook, or required readings.

The selected articles somewhat relate to important themes covered in class materials, the textbook, or required readings.

The selected articles closely relate to important themes covered in class materials, the textbook, or required readings.

Points Earned 0-8 points 9-17 points 18-25 points

The spelling, grammar, and punctuation in the journal is accurate

Significant errors in sentence structure, grammar, and diction. Frequent major errors in citation style, punctuation, and spelling. May have many run-on sentences and comma splices. Inadequate organization and/or development.

Sentence structure, grammar, and diction strong despite occasional lapses; punctuation and citation style often used correctly. Some spelling errors; may have one run-on sentence or comma splice. Some organization evident, but inconsistent.

Sentence structure, grammar, and diction excellent; correct use of punctuation and citation style; minimal to no spelling errors; absolutely no run-on sentences or comma splices. Effective organization contributes to full development of written presentation.

Points Earned 0-8 points 9-17 points 18-25 points

Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of course content

Journal shows little evidence of knowledge and understanding of course content and applicability of the article to class. Most of the journal may be a simple repetition of the contents of the article.

Journal shows evidence of knowledge and understanding of course content and applicability of the article to the class. Analysis is included, but may be incomplete or weak. Writing goes beyond a repetition or summary of the article.

The analysis demonstrates strong critical thinking about the event reported in the article as it relates to topics covered in class.

Points Earned 0-8 points 9-17 points 18-25 points

The journal is complete and includes all required information

Not all required questions are answered. If answered, they are not answered fully. Copies of selected articles are not included or are illegible or incomplete.

All of the required questions are answered, but some are not answered fully. Legible, copies of selected articles are included, but may not be well organized.

All three required questions are answered fully. Legible, complete copies of all selected articles are included and well organized.

Points Earned 0-8 points 9-17 points 18-25 points