COMMUNICATION STUDIES OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT  (evaluating claims, contexts, evidence)



Write & print out  your answers to 3a & 3b  and submit as part of final exam.


Outcome 3 – Research Grounding

                      ♦ 3a. assessing ability to methodically evaluate claims and contexts

DIRECTIONS:  Here’s a brief passage from President Obama’s well-known speech on race. 

1.      Please summarize two of his claims and evaluate how well he supports them.  In what ways does his message here address, either

               adequately or inadequately, the current context of racial relations in the U.S.?

2.      Aside from personal experience, please list two ways to gather more information on the U.S. racial context.

“Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, ‘The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.’ We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

“Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.

“Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

            “A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.”


3b. assessing ability to base decisions on critical and empirical evidence

DIRECTIONS: Answer the following questions as directed.


1.      Do you think that the U.S. should lower the drinking age to 18 in the near future? 

                                         a.       Yes             b. No

2.      List three sources for high quality evidence on this topic and briefly explain why each is a high quality source.

a.       _____________________________________________________________- _________________________________________________________________________________

b.      _____________________________________________________________ - _________________________________________________________________________________

c.       _____________________________________________________________- _________________________________________________________________________________