A newspaper article.

The focus of this TMA is to assess your ability to summarise and critique a newspaper article and its claims that crime rates are rising in Northern Ireland. When reading this newspaper article think about whether the claims it makes are based on the statistical evidence from the police report, or whether the data has been mispresented. In addition, look at whether the data in the police report either supports or refutes the data presented in the media article. You will also need to critically discuss the report itself – for example, the figures only represent crimes that have been reported to the police. In your critique of the newspaper article, you should also draw on module materials, especially what you have read about media presentations and the way newspapers can misrepresent statistical data.

This TMA involves two tasks, with different command words.
It asks you to summarise and critique a newspaper article. This will involve you summarising the main points from the article and critiquing the data and claims made using the data reported in the report from the police. You should also draw on module materials to discuss why the media write about crime in this way. In your report, you must use headings and/or subheadings and include all the aspects given in the following sections.

You should use the third person when writing your report, and not use any first-person pronouns such as ‘me, I, we etc…’, for example, instead of writing things like ‘Firstly, I am going to do X’ write ‘Firstly, the report will do X’. Writing in the third person is the conventional academic style, and conveys that you are being objective.
You can use some bullet points and figures to illustrate your report, although the majority of the report should be written in full sentences and paragraphs.
You should begin the report by summarising the article under one heading, then critiquing the article under another heading. Ensure that when you are critiquing the newspaper article you use data from the police report to either refute or support the claims being made. Think about each claim that the article makes: is it based on the real data, or has it misinterpreted the data? If the claim has misinterpreted the data, describe the true pattern the data shows. You should also refer to what you have read about media presentations in both the module textbook and the VLE material. You should also critically discuss the report. How reliable is the data in the report: does it represent all crimes in Northern Ireland?

Sample Solution