6 pages paper 5


For this paper, you will use news articles and other online sources to research how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting one of three aspects of urban life that we are focusing on during the last half of the course; social interaction and civility in urban spaces, housing and homelessness, and crime and violence. Your goal will be to write a description of trends about your topic, based on the news and information you can find about it, and then discuss how these trends relate to the class readings and materials on your topic.

Sources: I expect that the news media will be an important source for everyone. You could also look at crime reporting data (keeping in mind the dates of social distancing and stay at home orders). Online “communities” like NextDoor or other neighborhood groups might also be good sources, as might local government websites.

I know you will ask me “how many sources do I need”? The true answer is: the more the better and that it also depends on your topic. I understand that you want an answer though, so I will say a minimum of 10 news sources. If your main source ends up being online communities or crime data, then fewer is fine. The key to finding useful sources will be figuring out the best way to search for them. A good way may simply be to search within websites of major newspapers and outlets (like San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, New York Times, NPR, etc.). Also think about different words to use in searches. For example, googling “civility COVID-19” is not as helpful as searching “neighbors helping COVID-19” (try it and see!). Try to think of different words to use to search for information on your topic. You also might consider limiting your search geographically, so you focus on a specific place (like LA, or California, or wherever you are living now.) Like NewsWatch and Lexis-Nexis, can be extremely helpful for projects like these! Give them a try.

Paper guidelines:

Start with an introduction that includes your argument (or thesis statement, if you prefer) about what trends you are seeing based on the information you have found. Briefly describe the trends in the introduction.

Provide a detailed and organized explanation of the trends you discover in the body of your paper, documenting your sources. At least half of your paper should be devoted to this.

After describing the trends, reflect on how what you’ve found relates to readings and information we’ve covered on the topic. Make sure to discuss at least two different class readings. Summarize information from the readings as needed in order to provide the context needed to connect to your discussion of trends related to COVID-19.

End your paper with a discussion and reflection on what you’ve learned. Are there any predictions you can make, or suggestions for future public policy? If you would like to add any personal reflections based on your experience of sheltering in place, here is where you can do that. Be sure to keep these brief!

Formatting Guidelines:

The paper should be about 6 pages, double spaced, in 12 point font with one inch margins.

Include a references page listing all the materials you used for the paper.

Make sure to reference the different sources you use to support your arguments about trends throughout the paper, as well as any course materials you bring in.

Here are a few articles to get you started:

Social interaction and civility:

“East Oaklanders Band Together in the Face of the Coronavirus Threat”, https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/East-Oaklanders-band-together-in-a-perilous-time-15170284.php (Links to an external site.)

“Stores Scramble to Enforce Senior Shopping Hours” https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Coronavirus-Stores-scramble-to-enforce-senior-15157248.php (Links to an external site.)

“Covid-19 Pandemic Prompts Berkeley Neighbors to Help Each Other” https://www.berkeleyside.com/2020/03/16/covid-19-pandemic-prompts-berkeley-neighbors-to-help-one-another (Links to an external site.)

Housing and Homelessness:

“Covid-19 and Eviction: Government Action Uneven Across the Country” https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogervaldez/2020/04/01/covid-19-and-eviction-uneven-actions-across-the-country/#5aa4dec53d05 (Links to an external site.)

“Covid-19 and People Experiencing Homelessness” from City of San Francisco, https://sf.gov/information/covid-19-and-people-experiencing-homelessness (Links to an external site.)

“Safe From Coronavirus? Dozens of Bay Area Homeless Move Into Hotels to Ride Out Pandemic” https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/27/safe-from-coronavirus-dozens-of-homeless-move-into-hotels-to-ride-out-pandemic/ (Links to an external site.)

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