Dr. JessicaA. Gish HLTHAGE 1BB3 Fall, 2013
ASSIGNMENT #2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY OFANAGING ISSUE
(worth 25% of your final grade)
You are required to write a FIVE (5) page paper that discusses a topic related to aging and make
critical connections to theories, concepts, and insights from course material. Your assignment is
due in lecture on November 21 promptly at 4:30pm.
Your paper should begin by discussing an issue relevant to aging in contemporary Canada by
reporting on information that is found in a recent local or national newspaper (e.g., Hamilton
Spectator, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, National Post). You can find current newspaper articles
by reading articles on-line or in a printed newspaper. You can also find newspaper articles in a
more systematic manner by using a search engine or database available at McMaster University
library that contains an expansive collection of Canadian newspaper and newsmagazine
publications. This search engine is called CBCAComplete (Canadian Business & Current
Affairs). Using specific key words (e.g., widowhood) it is easy to identify and browse a
collection of articles on a topic when using this database.
The topic or idea for your paper can develop in one of two ways. You can find a newspaper
article with a topic of interest that describes something that is happening to older adults in
contemporary Canadian society and then make connections to course content.Another option is
to identify in the textbook or lecture materials a topic of interest and then find a newspaper
article that aligns with your topic.
The remainder of your paper will contain critical commentary and analysis of the issue (e.g.,
widowhood, caregiving, leisure) using course theories, concepts, and empirical insights (e.g.,
findings from published gerontological research) that have been discussed in lecture and/or the
textbook. If you wish, you can independently conduct research and integrate into your discussion
published scholarly research outside of the textbook (e.g., journal articles, book chapters),
although this is not a direct requirement of this assignment.
The assignment instructions are somewhat opened ended to provide each student with freedom in
choice of topic, to pick a note-worthy newspaper article, and to put together critical commentary
of the topic in interesting and relevant ways. What is most important is that your writing shows
strong and relevant connections to course/research material. Here are a couple of ideas for how
you could put your assignment together:
1) You may find that the writing of a newspaper article contains a myth or stereotypical
ideas about older people and the process of aging. Your introduction would then
identify the misunderstandings and misperceptions of aging in the newspaper article.
The body of your paper would provide evidence and discussion with the intent of de-
bunking the myth about aging that you identified in the article.
2) You might find that a newspaper article discusses an issue or social problem that
was raised either in class or in the textbook (e.g., caregiver burden, poverty among
seniors). Your introduction will summarize what was discussed about this issue in the
1 Dr. JessicaA. Gish HLTHAGE 1BB3 Fall, 2013
newspaper article. The body of your paper would provide more details, information,
and analysis of the issue. Your writing will aim to identify the social origins of this
personal issue in the lives of older people (e.g., re: poverty – insufficient pension
policies or unstable work histories). Your paper might want to consider how
gerontologists and health care providers are trying to address this issue in practice and
policy to better improve the lives of older people.
YOUR PAPER WILL CONSIST OF THREE MAIN PARTS:
• The introduction of your paper should contain a clearly written paragraph that outlines
the topic of your paper. It should also include a thesis statement.Athesis statement is 1
or 2 carefully written sentences that describe the main purpose or intent of your paper in
relation to the main arguments that follow. Consider your thesis statement as a moving
target; it may only be at the end of the writing process that you really know what it is that
your term paper is about. For this reason, it is important to allot enough time to edit and
revise your term paper before the due date.
• Your writing should also describe in an appropriate amount of detail what your
newspaper article has to say about the aging process or old age. Your writing should use
the newspaper article as evidence that there is a problematic issue occurring in the lives
of older adults in Canadian socie