Sunday, December 17, 2017

Phase 2, week 5

Hi all

You're looking for the same information as in weeks past, and the rules about length, citation and analysis are the same.

This week, please use 2 or 3 sources... at least two so you have a chance to try out sources for phase three, and no more than 3 so you have to decide what's most important this week!

Good luck!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Phase 2, week 4

Hi all

You're continuing your weekly updates, with all the rules we've established so far (citation, word count, etc.)
It is worth thinking about two things at this point in the project: a) having at least TWO reliable sources (you'll need them for Phase 3), so if you find yourself going back to the same source every week, start to branch out; and b) how to represent events on a croquis: what kind of "figur├ęs" would work for what's going on?

Good luck!

Mr. H

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Phase 2, week 3

Hi all

You're still working on weekly updates. Remember: name and conflict at the top, no more than 250 words, cite in-text, to hyperlink your sources

New thing: After giving the update you find this week, and if you're not already doing this, please make sure to give a note about how significant it is in terms of the conflict.
It does not have to be revolutionary, or even a big change. If things happen all the time, that becomes the new "normal," which is an important characteristic of the conflict. It is also useful to remember the objectives of each side to determine if things tip the scales one way or the other. Finally, remember that public declarations, even if they have no direct impact on the ground, can signal a change in diplomatic support during negotiations, or can impy a change in economic or other forms of aid.

Good luck!

Mr. H

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Phase 2, week 2

Hi all

You're continuing to look for current events on your conflict (from the past week).
 Remember a few things: a) you might have to look specifically for people or places, rather than just the country or name of the conflict. b) branch out in your research: Wikipedia won't help you with this phase! Look at local media sources as well as research institutes. c) developments are not necessarily in the form of artillery fire or civilian deaths: they can be diplomatic meetings, speeches, assistance programs, etc.

As usual, keep your posts under 250 words, and starting this week, you must cite in-text as well (this can be done by simply putting a shortened name of the source in parentheses: "NYTimes," "CFR" etc, or by numbering the sources and giving the number)

Good luck!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Phase 2!

Hi all

Welcome back to the project!

Phase two is about how conflicts play out from day to day, so you'll be writing updates on what's been going on each week. Battles or skirmishes would of course be relevant, but could also include diplomatic meetings or major announcements.

In your research, use varied keywords: not just the country, but also names of leaders, regions, allies etc. There is a filter in the Google search bar that allows you to specify dates, so that you can filter out things that were published before last week.

Your sources will likely be more newspapers and research institutes than general information pages like CFR or Wikipedia. Don't be afraid to try new and different types of sources, but use your judgment about what seems reliable. Make sure you keep track of them, because you'll need to pick and stick with two reliable sources in phase three.

Finally, since the final product of this phase is a "croquis," you should have a good map to keep track of what's happening where.

As usual, keep these entries between 200 and 250 words, and hyperlink your sources.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Phase 1, week 5

Hi all

Penultimate entry! At this point, you should be filling gaps in the information you have.
Also, don't forget that you can calculate relative strength, in some cases,  by plotting on a map the towns and regions occupied by each group; this will allow you to make general comparisons.

Good luck!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Phase 1, week 4

Hi all

After this, you have two more blog posts before the essay. You should strategize about how to collect all the information: if you haven't already, make a checklist of the content for that essay, then check your previous posts to see what's missing (origins and milestones of the conflict, and leadership, strength and objectives of the actors involved).

If you don't find particular things, make a note of it and we'll talk about it in class.

Good luck!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Phase 1, week 3

Hi all

This week, start to think about the essay, what you have and what you need.

You should be able to give the length and origin of the conflict, and, for each belligerent, names of leaders, size, power and objectives.

Remember to link your sources, and don't go above 200 words!

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Phase 1, week 2!

Hi all

You're continuing Phase 1 this week, collecting background information on the conflict. You should make sure to get the origin and length of the conflict, as well as basics about the various groups involved.

New rule! Your post can't be more than 200 words! (not including your name/conflict, and sources)

Good luck!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Round Three!

Hi all!

Welcome to the third year of this Modern Conflict project, which tracks and analyses the major conflicts of the world.

In this first part of the project, you're writing blog entries about the background of the conflict, covering the who, what, where, and why.

The "Background" rubric on the Global Conflict Tracker should be enough to get you started.

Post your entries as comments below. At the top, write your name and your conflict's title.

They should be short (150-200 words) but concise - you will put together a larger essay based on this work at the end of Phase 1: if the blog posts are good enough, the essay will be barely any work at all.

You MUST include hyperlinks to your sources, and if you're talking about more than one source, indicate it in-text.

I will grade these as check, check-plus, or check-minus. At the end of each trimester, they can boost (or lower!) your moyenne by up to one point.

Posts are due at 11pm on Sunday nights; I'll email you some feedback to help. If they're later, no feedback.
Warning! These should be quick and easy, but if you don't post at all, it counts as 10/20 in the book!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Phase 4, week 4

Hi all

This is the last week of phase 4!
(The essay is due at 11pm on May 21st)

Look back at last week's post for the details, figure out what you'll need for next week, and don't forget sources!

Good luck!

Mr. H

Friday, May 5, 2017

Phase 4, week 3

Hi all

So here, for the record, are the things you will have to cover in the phase 4 essay, for each of your countries:

What are the country's interests in the conflict?
What do they hope to achieve by their involvement?
What methods are they using to achieve those goals?
How are they viewed by other countries?

You will need three or more countries.

I advise you to try to cover one country per blog entry, to make the task easier to manage.
(I didn't say this explicitly last week, but because of the long weekend, you have until Monday night to do this).

Finally, there are only 25 comments on last week's post, and there are 37 of you... Make sure your post is there; if it's not or you've forgotten, get it done: a missed blog entry goes into the grade book as a 10/20!

Good luck!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Phase 4, Week 2

Hi all

Most of you have found one or more countries to investigate, but as you've figured out, you will have to dig for the answers you need.

Here's one lead to get you started: in terms of the country's interest in the conflict, look for information on government websites, or see what state-owned or government-friendly newspapers say; you may have to read between the lines a bit.

Good luck!

Mr. H

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Phase 4

Hi all

Phase 4 is about "spillover:" the fact that conflicts often implicate more than just the affected country. As you continue to read up on your conflict, keep track of what other nations are involved, and in your updates, focus on the following questions: How does the conflict affect other countries? What outcome do the countries hope to see? How are they attempting to realize those outcomes?

You are no longer bound to the two news sources you used in Phase 3; in fact you may find that you'll find more direct answers to your questions in more specialized sources.

As usual, keep these posts short (no more than 200 words), and link any relevant articles or commentaries.

Good luck!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Phase 3, last week!

Ok guys; last chance to prep your phase 3 essay. Like the last two weeks, check what you still need. If you've got everything you need, write an update on the conflict, from any source you like (remember to like the sources though).

Good luck!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Phase 3, week 6

As we discussed in class, you're now working specifically towards the essay; look over what you have so far and fill in what's missing.

Good luck!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Phase 3, week 5

Hi all

You have three more blog posts before the Phase 3 essay, including this one.

The assignment for the essay is to compare the two news sources, and you have to cover any five of the ten things below.  Before you start this week, check what you've already covered, then look for evidence to address things you don't have yet.

5 questions from Center for Media Literacy:
  • “Who created this message?”
  • “What creative techniques are being used to attract my attention?”
  • “How might different people understand this message differently from me?"
  • “What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in; or omitted from, this message?”
  • “Why is this message being sent?"

General discussion points

  • Source's general position on the conflict
  • amount of coverage
  • layout/presentation,
  • language (complicated? objective?),
  • publication (origin, funding, distribution/pageviews, international variants).

We will talk about this, and more, next Tuesday!

Good luck
Mr. H

Monday, February 6, 2017

Phase 3, week 3-4

Hi all
You have one entry to do over the break. It can cover any time since your last post.
Keep in mind the things I asked last week; otherwise you can also look at some of the "key questions" for media literacy (, notably creative techniques, or the way different people might interpret things.

Good luck!

Mr. H

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Phase 3, week 2

So, a recap of what you're doing in this phase:

Check the two sources you've chosen for coverage of the conflict.
Best-case scenario, you find the same topic/story covered in both your papers; in that case, compare how things are presented.
Worst-case scenario; neither of your sources covers your conflict this week; in that case, work on comparing your sources in terms of layout, presentation, audience, etc.

Among other things, you can:
a) try to find out the readership of each source (there are places online that track the page-views of news outlets);
b) look into any "about us" tabs on the site;
c) see what you can find out about the source from elsewhere online.

Remember; these are supposed to be relatively short; don't go over 250 words (not counting name-and-conflict or the hyperlinks, of course)!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Phase 3, week 1

Welcome to phase three!

For the next few weeks, your posts will be focused on comparing the coverage of your conflict in different news outlets. You should have found a few go-to sources in the past months; pick two: you will follow these each week.

At the end of this phase, you will turn in 500 words comparing the sources. Your blog entries should mention the story itself, but also aspects of the sources: for now, think about whether they seem to take sides and if so, how; what kind of language they use; their presentation (scary headlines, images etc.)

Have fun

Friday, January 6, 2017

Phase 2, last week!

This is it, folks; last weekly update for your croquis.
Aside from the regular rules, also think about what can be translated to the croquis; if you can't think of a good way to do it, maybe you don't need to report on it.

It's also the last shot you will get at finding two reliable sources for the next phase. You might start your research this week by looking for familiar sources, rather than looking for any news.

Good luck!