Nothing But The Truth: Final Assignment

posted Dec 19, 2014, 12:02 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Dec 19, 2014, 12:03 AM ]

You’ve finished the book and learned all about bias. Now it’s time to put all of that knowledge in action. For your final assignment you will need to choose one of the following two writing assignments below. They are not meant to be long, and could be a bit of fun.

Choice 1: Continue the Story

For this assignment, you will reread the ending of Nothing But the Truth and decide how the story continues from there. Avi left the ending for this book ambiguous, meaning that we are not sure what ends up happening to our characters. Does Phillip end up ok? Does he eventually get to run track somewhere? Does Ms. Narwin come back to teaching or retire in sunny Florida? And, what about those schools since the budget didn’t pass?


You get a chance to answer some of these questions for this assignment by writing a few more pages to put at the end of the book. For this assignment you should:

  • Experiment with the “documentary novel” style of the book by telling what happens through different types of documents (e.g. diary entries, transcripts of conversations, memos, phone calls, etc.)

  • You must resolve the storyline for at least one character. In Nothing But the Truth, we really only know what happened to one character in the end, Mr. Griffen. Now you get to tell us what happens to another. End is so we some of our questions are answered, at least for one character.

  • Make sure your story reflects the necessary bias of each character. (look in the book and copy the personalities you see)

  • Introduce at least one new character. You will need to because Phil’s at a new school and Ms. Narwin is in Florida. A girlfriend for Phil, maybe?

  • Try to type it in Drive, but writing in your journal is ok

  • Proofread your work PLEASE! I really want to see your best writing.



Choice 2: Biased News Article

For this assignment you will play the role of a newspaper reporter working for a newspaper. Newspaper reporters have their biases like everyone else. However, because their words reach so many people, their biases can be far more dangerous/helpful/persuasive than most other people’s.


You will research the case of Eric Garner, a black man who died while being arrested in New York City on July 14, 2014. The officer who put a “chokehold” on Mr. Garner while arresting him was not charged or put on trial for any crimes. The decision not to even try the officer has sparked protests across the United States by people saying the case represents the unfair treatment of black people by a mostly white police force in America.


Follow the steps to complete this assignment.

Step 1: Research

Use the following links to research the case.


Step 2: Find your bias

After you research the case, you will write an article for one of the four newspapers below. Choose the point of view that would interest you the most.

  • Protesters’ Post (small paper that covers the protests and is mostly just read by protesters)

  • Cops’ Chronicle (a trade paper that is read only by police officers around the country)

  • USA Today (most read newspaper in America, they love selling papers)

  • New York News Rag (a major paper read only in New York, prides itself in “bringing you the truth”)


Think carefully about what kind of bias a writer for your newspaper might have, then prewrite your article using the graphic organizer provided (http://goo.gl/oCFoU7).


Examples of bias (video)


Step 3: Write your article

After prewriting, begin drafting your article. Your article should be written in proper news article format. See the handouts to review.


Step 4: Evaluate

After you finish your article, you should give it to your peer editing partner (assigned by Mr. Brunken) who will fill out a MAP it! worksheet for your article to check if your bias was correct.


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