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How to Analyze a Current Event. A Social Studies Reading & Writing Component. Analyzing Current Events.

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how to analyze a current event

How to Analyze a Current Event

A Social Studies

Reading & Writing Component

analyzing current events
Analyzing Current Events

When prompted to give a current events report, use the following steps to evaluate your information source, identify the most important people and ideas, and develop your own position on the topic.


Coming home to lend a hand

By Darren Vaughan The Daily Times

Article Launched: 08/18/2008 12:47:44 AM MDT

FARMINGTON — With the popularity of softball and baseball in the Four Corners and the number of talented players in the area, it is somewhat of a mystery as to why more of those budding stars don't go on to succeed at higher levels of the game.

That is something Farmington natives Piper Marten and Duane Ward are out to change. Marten, fourth on the Big Ten Conference's all-time list in strikeouts and the pitching coach at the University of Minnesota, and Ward, who pitched professionally for the Toronto Blue Jays in the early 1990's, were both in their hometown Saturday and Sunday to teach a softball pitching clinic on the baseball field at Piedra Vista High School.

"To have the number of kids we had, I'm proud of every one of them," Ward said. "I think it shows initiative, and it shows that they're willing to learn and want to learn more. When I was growing up, I would have killed to have major-league ballplayers and record-holding college athletes come to Farmington and educate us."

The clinic, moved to PVHS because

of the Special Olympics competition that occupied the fields at Ricketts Park and the Farmington Sports Complex, saw girls from age 9 to 18 try to soak up whatever knowledge they could glean from one of college softball's most decorated stars. The group included 14 high school pitchers from Bloomfield, Kirtland Central and Piedra Vista.

"It was great for the girls to get a chance to learn from someone like Piper," PV coach Kevin Werth said.

Werth's assistant coach, Tommy Ward, summed up the impact Marten's visit had.

"This may not be what the rest of the district wants to hear, but our pitchers got better this weekend," he said.

Marten came to the weekend camp with an impressive resumé. A member of Minnesota's softball Hall of Fame, she racked up 1,122 strikeouts, the 23rd-highest mark in NCAA history, to go with 33 shutouts. She was a three-time First Team All-Mideast Region selection, and was a First Team All-Big Ten choice as a junior in 2003. She was also named the Gophers' Most Valuable Player in 2003 and 2004.

Marten was a two-time New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year in softball, helping to lead Farmington High to the Class 4A title in 2000.

With that kind of expertise leading the way, Duane Ward was among those content just to watch the Minnesota pitching coach work her magic.

"I learned a lot just watching her, and we'll definitely bring her back next year," Ward said. "It was great to have her come home and educate these girls. The best way to get better is to learn from people that have been at that level."

Ward asked Marten to help him with the camp to follow up on a commitment he made during the summer of 2007. He hosted a baseball pitching camp in Farmington along with former Toronto teammate Mark Eichhorn, and promised to return with a camp just for softball players.

"I just thought, who better than one of Farmington's own?'" Ward concluded. "We were fortunate to get Piper Marten to do this, and we had a pretty good turnout."

Darren Vaughan:

step 1

Identify the source of your information (book, newspaper, magazine, broadcast media, etc.). List the date of publication and the author or authors of the news story if available.

EXAMPLE: The Daily Times. 8/18/08. Darren Vaughan

step 2

Using “Better Answers”, answer the following question.

Do you believe the reporting is accurate? Why or Why Not?

EXAMPLE: Yes, I believe the reporting is accurate as I was one of the participants in the clinic and saw first hand the impact Coach Marten made.

step 3

Using “Better Answers”, answer the following question.

Is the coverage in sufficient depth for your report? Have there been new developments since the story was written? Explain.

EXAMPLE: Yes, I believe the coverage is enough to create a report on. There are no new developments as far as I know since the story was written.

step 4

List the people or groups who play an important role in or who may be affected by this event. If there are opposing sides involved in this event, explain the viewpoint of each one.

EXAMPLE: Duane Ward, Piper Marten, Local Softball Players. No Opposition as far as I know.

step 5

Summarize the main idea, event, or issue covered in your news story or source. Explain why this is a newsworthy topic.

EXAMPLE: This article focuses on the popularity of softball in the four corners area and two highly touted former residents of Farmington coming home to share their knowledge and expertise. Duane Ward, former big league pitcher and FHS grad brought in Piper Marten, former Big 10 All Conference pitcher and FHS grad to teach the nuances of pitching to girls age 9-18 this past weekend. The girls that participated in this event learned a great deal and learned to appreciate the hard work it takes to make it at the level both Marten and Ward did. This is a newsworthy topic based on the popularity of softball in Farmington and the fact that PVHS student/athletes participated in this clinic.

step 6

List THREE important facts from the source.

EXAMPLE: 1. Piper Marten was a former Big-10 All conference Pitcher. 2. Duane Ward played professional baseball in the early 90’s. 3. Local girls age 9-18 participated in this clinic.

step 7

Use these facts to draw a conclusion or formulate your own opinion concerning this topic.

EXAMPLE: Local Softball Players were treated to some top notch coaching over the weekend. Former FHS Grads Piper Marten and Duane Ward teamed up to host a fastpitch pitching clinic for girls in the Farmington area. Several girls took advantage of this offer, thus making each one better before she left the ballpark on Sunday. It is an honor for girls to learn from some of the best and I believe that we should be greatful that two former standouts from this area took the time to share their knowledge with young ladies across the county. The participation sounds like it warrants another visit and I’m sure girls in this area will be excited to attend another clinic in the future.

step 8

If you were to write your own title or headline for this news story, what would it be?

EXAMPLE: Former Farmington Standouts Share their Knowledge with Local Girls