Source-Based Essay

Access: LimitedShow Details
  • This Doc can be read by: Anyone
  • This Doc can be edited by: The Doc author only
  • Comments are visible to: Anyone
  • Comments can be posted by: Logged-in Users
  • History can be viewed by: Anyone
Hide Details

Samuel Landesman

Professor Justin

English 110


A Source Based Essay

      The news and media industry is vast. Its many genres range from scholarly articles, to social media posts, from video presentations, to podcasts and more. Each makes particular use of the rhetorical elements author, tone, medium, language, purpose, audience, and stance but many share similarities. Looking at “A Peaceless Process”, a magazine article, “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, a newspaper article, “The Two State Solution: Towards a Long-Term Israeli-Palestinian Truce”, a journal, and one of Mayor de Blasio’s Facebook posts helps reveal these similarities and differences. Each article discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but belongs to a different genre of media. The four articles have similarities and differences in their use of the rhetorical elements.

The author of each article is obviously different. Each author presents in a different way, and some articles make completely different use of the concept of author. “A Peaceless Process”, for example, has a few different authors. It is a collection of responses to another article written by Michael Mandelbaum. The various responses don’t drive home any particular point; rather, they discuss Mandelbaum’s content. The succession of responses is set up in response to one another, flowing from Mandelbaum’s article as a “conversation.” “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, on the other hand, is written by Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. Zunes writes with a sense of authority, stating, “Not only will Jewish Israelis be faced with ongoing Palestinian resistance…either accept Palestinian leadership or impose what would essentially be apartheid” (2). His opinion comes off as fact. “The Two State Solution: Towards a Long-Term Israeli-Palestinian Truce” is authored by Nathan Thrall. He writes in a straightforward manner, not focused on fancy language. He focuses only on relaying the information he would like to share. The article also has a disclaimer at the end about the author, “No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author” (436). An employee wrote Mayor de Blasio’s Facebook post. The Author is not listed. Each article makes different use of author. “A Peaceless Process” has a string of authors, “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” has an authoritative composer, “The Two State Solution: Towards a Long-Term Israeli-Palestinian Truce” has an unbiased academic author, and Mayor de Blasio’s Facebook post has an unknown author who writes in his name.

Tone is the emotion in a piece. The tone in all four of the sources is serious, as the topic is serious. “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, though, has somewhat of an angry tone as well.

In general, media comes in all forms of medium. From written, to video and audio and from billboards to thumbnails. Three of the sources are printed, and only the Facebook post is digital.

Each article has its own way or relaying information. Often, news articles will use exciting and descriptive words to get eyes on the page and excite the reader. “A Peaceless Process” and “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” do a great job at that, using words such as “terrorism,” “dehumanization,” “outright war,” “occupied territory,” and “apartheid.” “A Peaceless Process” makes use of narrative as well, comparing the Finns decision to make an unjust peace agreement with Stalin to the Palestinian people’s predicament. “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” refers to Trump’s plan to move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem as an “order” (Zunes 1), and references the “right-wing” (Zunes 1-2) three times throughout the course of the article. Both of these word choices seem to place the writer on a more left side of the political spectrum discussing Trump’s right policies. “The Two State Solution: Towards a Long-Term Israeli-Palestinian Truce” is not written this way. Instead, it simply rolls through information and analysis. There seems to be no motive in grabbing the reader, rather it intends just to relay information and analysis. Mayor de Blasio’s post is succinct, providing the information he would like to share in just a few sentences. It doesn’t need fancy language to keep the reader because it is already to short. Both the newspaper and the magazine article make use of writing skills to attract the reader, while the scholarly article and Facebook post do not.

Each article has a distinct purpose in mind. “A Peaceless Process” provides a spread of opinions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the reader to take in multiple viewpoints in a succinct manner. “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” states Zune’s analysis of conflict as an almost inevitable fact, “Not only will Jewish Israelis be faced with ongoing Palestinian resistance and international isolation…and therefore they would have to…” (2). He is essentially warning the public about the possible future, or publicizing his insight to try and make an impact on political decisions to come. “The Two-Stage Solution: Toward a Long-Term Israeli-Palestinian Truce” mainly elaborates on the issues with the current peace plan, mentioning the dispute over the temple mount as well as the dispute over Gaza as just two examples, explains how neither side is willing to budge. The article goes through facts and ideas and analyses them closely. Mayor de Blasio’s post intends to give New Yorkers a quick read in their newsfeed to see their mayor’s feelings on the issue at hand. The four articles differ in their goals for the reader.

With separate purposes, each article intends to affect a different audience. The newspaper and magazine articles are meant for readers of those publications, attempting to interest those who follow their publications. The scholarly article is intended for those uninformed on the topic or those who could possibly have an impact on the outcome of the conflict. The Mayor’s post is intended for New York City residents. Each article intends to reach a distinct audience.

Articles, especially political ones, will often attempt to relay a particular opinion. “A Peaceless Process” reveals multiple different opinions. Firstly, that recognizing the Palestinian attacks at a legitimate threat “only further underscores the folly of the peace process” (Seth Sacher 12). Secondly, that absorption of Palestinians by Jordan should be a viable option as opposed to an assumed non-option. Thirdly, Mandelbaum respond, “Jordan is a relatively stable and pro-America country in a region in which most others are not…it seems to me unwise to alter American policy toward the Hashemite kingdom…[because it] could put either or both these features of Jordanian public life at risk” (Mandelbaum 13). “Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” shares an opinion conflicting with the bipartisan opinion of congress. It states, “Both republican and Democratic supporters of an Israeli takeover…assume it would somehow be good for Israel. In reality…they would have to either accept Palestinian leadership of impose what would essentially be apartheid.” Meaning that allowing Israel free reign over the occupied territories is, contrary to the belief of congress, not an effective way of dealing with the problem. “The Two-Stage Solution: Toward a Long-Term Israeli-Palestinian Truce” does not as much put forth an opinion as much explain where the situation is heading. It explains that the negotiations are at a standstill, because neither side wants to make an agreement which will in some way compromise on it’s own side. What must happen to break this standstill is a shift in surrounding factors to make a settlement more palatable than continued disagreement. Thrall writes, “…threats of increased isolation and economic boycott of Israel…[and] a collapse of the increasingly fragile Palestinian Authority” are bringing the two parties closer to a point where a settlement is the most viable option. Mayor de Blasio does not share any complex idea or opinion in his short post; rather he simply relays his feelings towards the tagged news article. Each article has its way of relaying opinion. The magazine and newspaper article state their opinions openly, the scholarly article uses more logic and analysis than sharing general thoughts, and the Facebook post states how the mayor feels briefly.

Different genres of sources have differences and similarities in their writing style. All four articles have different style authors, some being written by more than one author while others having either a credible author or no stated author at all. The articles all share a similar serious tone. All of the articles are written and typed. In their writing style, the newspaper and magazine and newspaper articles were similar in their use of writing to catch the reader, as well as their more opinionated relaying of information and analysis. The scholarly source, on the other hand, was more dry and attempted to relay information and analysis from a distance, explaining the nature of the conflict without necessarily picking a side. The Facebook post stands alone in this group, as its extremely short nature only allows for it to write briefly and have limited complexity. The articles had no shared purpose, rather all intended to share something different and to hit a different audience. Comparing these four sources shows the different writing styles in each.



Work Cited:

Brecher, Frank W. “A Peaceless Process.” Commentary, Sept. 2016, pp. 12–13. Academic Search Complete,

Facebook, 12 Sept. 2019,

Thrall, Nathan. “The Two-Stage Solution: Towards a Long-Term Israeli-Palestinian Truce.” Mediterranean Politics, vol. 21, no. 3, 1 Nov. 2016, pp. 432–436. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1080/13629395.2015.1126392.

Zunes, Stephen. “Hope Fades for a Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” 10 Jan. 2017,