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TREND STORY

Your assignment is to write about a trend happening in society now. Your topic - which you will choose and discuss with me - can be something serious and newsy - for instance, the fact that while other crimes have dropped, rape continues to increase in Bucks County. Or it can be on something more light, such as the rise of Pokemon among the 10-and-under set.

You'll need to talk to real people who are affected by this trend - in the case of something like the Pokemon craze, for instance, you'd need to interview a lot of kids. You'll also want to talk to some experts, social critics or observers who can lend some perspective and context to the issue. You'll also need to incorporate statistics to back up your angle. You can't simply say that Pokemon is sweeping the country - you need to get the latest estimates of what the Pokemon merchandisers are raking in, or the box office grosses for the movie.

Again, you must come up with your own topic and discuss it with me before pursuing it. Make sure to choose a topic that's narrow and focused. Choosing a topic that's too broad will be unworkable.