Monday, December 19, 2016

Phase 2, week 5-6

Hi all

This is the second-to-last post of this phase. It's due on the Monday before we come back, and it can cover the whole time since your last post.
Don't forget to check previous posts for all the rules,
Also, don't hesitate to check last year's posts or even the comments of others doing your conflict for source ideas.

Good luck!

Mr. H

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Phase 2, week 4

Hi all

Take a look at last week's post about instructions...
More sources are more fun (you should have at least two different news outlets).

And like last week, bring croquis questions to class if you have them.

Good luck!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Phase 2, week 3

Hi all

Don't forget this week:
     name and conflict
     sources in-text
     hyperlinks at the bottom

You should have at least two sources.

Bring questions if you wonder how to represent things on your croquis.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Phase 2, week 2

Hi all

At this point you should really just be looking at the past week. You can scan many headlines or try to summarize a source or two; in either case, it's important from now on that you keep the source with the information, not at the bottom.

Keep going with the map. You'll have to figure out how to indicate different types of information; we'll debrief in class.

Good luck.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Phase 2, Week 1

Welcome to Phase 2!

The primary task for this phase is weekly updates; follow the news, or updates to think tank projects, or anything else you have, and explain what's going on.

Again, these should only be about 150 words, and you have to give sources, hyperlinked at the bottom.

The secondary task is the map: Print a copy of a good, detailed map (I suggest a topographic map with place names), and mark new events each week.

We'll talk about it in class next week.
Good luck!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Phase 1, last week!

Hi all

This is it; your last chance to look at any questions you might still have on the rubric. Take a look back at your previous comments and sources. Take your time on it; you have until Nov 2 at 11 for this.

Like the last post, remember to hyperlink your sources and respect the word count - 200 max!

Have a good break!

Mr. H

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Phase 1, week 4

Hi all

(and sorry for posting so late)

Here is the complete rubric for the essay you will have to write:

The origin, length, general evolution, and current status of the conflict;
the names, motivations and relative strengths of each actor or belligerent;
any international or global threat posed by an escalation of the conflict.

You most likely have most of this information already. If you don't, you have two more entries before the essay is due. If you have more, it's allowed in the essay, but keep in mind the length you have to respect.
If you really feel like you could write the essay now, I would advise you to start doing Phase 2 stuff: find a good map and start to mark important places, and keep track of current events.

Please remember to copy the url of your sources into your message (or send it to me if you can't). Also, this week, there is a 200-word limit on the post!

Good luck

Mr. H

Friday, October 7, 2016

Phase 1, week 3

Hi all

By now, you should be getting comfortable with the general history of the conflict.
If you've gotten everything I've listed so far, there are a couple of new things you can look at:

A) You can try to figure out the recent pattern of violence : looking at news sources spread over the past year or so, you should be able to give a general summary of what's going on in terms of military action, anywhere on the spectrum from a quiet, immobile stalemate all the way to major military operations to take and hold territory.
B) The other thing you can try to discover is what each group in your conflict has publicly claimed as its mission or objective.

Starting with this post, I'd like you to copy-paste the URL of each of your sources at the bottom of your comment. This will be helpful for Phase 3, and it will make it easier to show if you find any significant differences.

Some tips for everyone:
1) Don't forget that some work on your conflict may well have been done by somebody last year: go back over old posts, find those people, and see what they've said in terms of background information, sources, etc.
2) Finding (even downloading and printing) a map of your conflict zone will make it easier to keep track of who owns what and what happens where.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Phase 1, week 2

Welcome back!

You're all off to a good start. I've sent you all some suggestions about what to look at next, but here are some other things:
Check for any significant wars or events that have defined the conflict.
See what you can find out about the leaders of relevant groups or governments: names, backgrounds, etc.

You'll probably need to go beyond the CFR site... now would be a good time to take note of the sources you find useful... they're likely to continue to be useful as the year goes on!

Good luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Hi all

Welcome to the Modern Conflicts project!
During this school year, you will follow an ongoing conflict: anything from the war in Syria to cyber-espionage.  Each week you'll post a brief update on a variety of subjects.

There will be four main themes: Background, evolution, media coverage, and foreign involvement. They'll last about six weeks each, and in each week's post, I'll give you specific things to look for.

This week's assignment is simply a description of the who, where and why of your conflict. You can find this information on the conflict homepage, which is here.

You submit your entry by commenting on each week's post. (So I know it's you, always have your name and your conflict at the top of the post.)

Good luck!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Phase 4, week 4

This is it, folks; the last official blog entry for this project!

If you want to add an editorial concerning any reactions you have about the whole conflict, feel free to do so!

We'll have a debrief session on Tuesday, and I'll explain the final conference. Have fun in Caen!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Phase 4, week 3

Hi all

Same assignment as last week... Do keep those questions in mind. If you come across interesting instances of interference or intervention that happened in the past, before this week, you can talk about those too!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Phase 4, week 2

Hi all

For this week, you're doing research on the two countries you picked past week, looking for whatever they have done this week.

By the end of the project, you will have to answer the following questions:
1) What does the country have ate stake in the current conflict?
2) What does it hope to achieve by it involvement?
3) By what methods it is trying to achieve these goals?

Remember you can use any sources you want!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Phase 4, week 1

Hi all

This phase will be shorter than the others; only four blog entries and an essay.

The topic is the involvement or interest of foreign global powers in your conflict (ie not your own country).

Special circumstances:
Some of your conflicts are either pretty much over (Iran nuclear crisis), or not of special interest to people outside the country.
In those cases, you may pick a new issue that is related to the old one (so that you know enough about it) BUT you have to pick it this week so you have time to do the research before the essay. Please explain the switch in this week's blog entry

The assignment:
You should write a paragraph or so explaining what other powers are implicated in your conflict, why, and what they are doing about it. You will have to keep track of those same powers for the next four weeks, so choose wisely. The bigger the power (China, US, Russia, France, Brazil, EU, even NATO), the better.

Please ask me if you need any clarification!
Good luck

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Phase 3 essay!

It needs to be 500-700 words

There are two main things to do in this essay
1) Describe how your sources deal with your conflict
     Do they take sides? *
     How much coverage has there been?

2) Compare the sources themselves
(In cases with an asterisk, you MUST use evidence to support what you are saying: How do you know it’s taking sides? What counts as easy or complex language?)

It is due on FRIDAY MARCH 4, in a google doc shared with me. Don't post it here!

Good luck!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Phase 3, final post!

Hi guys

So this is it for this phase; next up, the essay. I will give you all exact details on Tuesday, but it will involve the four topics I listed a few weeks back as well as summary of what angle each source has on your conflict.

If you're missing any of that stuff, this is the time to work on it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Phase 3-5

Hi all

This is the penultimate week for this phase.

Here is the quick version of what I would have covered in class if we had had time:
Newspapers are the rough draft of history
If you can decode the news, you can understand how history gets written, and why people think what they do.

Most sources are regular businesses; they worry about
     readers' preferences

(most have some “opinion" content:
     syndicated columns,

Some sources have varying degrees of connection to the government
     Official publications (government or party)

     Pro-government because of pressure 

NB: there is nothing automatically "wrong" or nefarious about these biases; these people aren't necessarily Bond villains!

What is this source doing and why?
You should by now be able to move beyond the article-by-article analysis and see what the source does in general. Having identified what it is doing, you also should draw some conclusions as to why.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Phase 3-4

Hi all

Carrying on from last time... except this time we'll have time to talk about it in class!
Remember to check the list from a few weeks ago if you need something to write about!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In-class reviews

Hi all!

When you've finished the exercise, post your paragraphs here; make sure both your names are on it!

The goal is to do a quick comparison, but with specific examples, of two of your news sources; this way you get to study two sources different from your own.


Mr. H

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Phase 3, week 3

Hi all

As you're doing your posts this week, don't forget all the things you can also cover (see the list in last week's post.

For next week, you'll have that essay on JFK in the double period.
It's open notes, so don't stress out.
Remember the structure and essay elements that we talked about in class.

Second, please note that you also have to read pages 97 to 146 in Darkness at Noon for Wednesday.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Phase 3, week 2

Hi guys

A quick recap of the grading criteria: Check-minus if you you don't have BOTH the article topic and something about the angle or bias; check if you do both; check-plus if you manage to do both within one or two reasonably concise sentences.

Aside from that, here are the other things that you need to cover by the end of this phase:

  • Layout/presentation
  • Language; how complicated is it? Is it objective or judgmental? 
  • Audience: age, interests, political leanings...
  • Publication: country of origin, distribution area, international versions (i.e. europe.chinadaily, International New York Times).
Good luck!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Phase 3!

Hi all

Starting this week, we're moving in to phase three!

Phase three is a little different from the last two because we're also reading Darkness at Noon every week.

Instead of a full blog entry, you will need to give hyperlinks and a one-sentence description of what each source is saying and how (This requires reading it!)

Over the course of the six weeks, you will also have to give extra bits of information about the sources, which I will let you know about each week.