I use this template to help my 11th grade students organize their thoughts when writing about a current event, although it could be used in any high school grade level. I require them to use outside sources; sometimes we read articles together in class, and sometimes they are required to do the reading on their own. This template will work for any topic currently or recently in the news, and requires students to use a quote from at least one article. The template includes sentence starters for using the quotes and for following up the quotes with an explanatory sentence. A rubric for grading an essay using this template is also included, and asks students to highlight at least two transitions and one vocabulary word from our studies in their essay. This product is in Word format so that teachers may easily make the point values and requirements of the rubric and template best fit their classrooms.