Final Paper/Project Handout

For your final paper or project, you will be either writing or putting together a more creative project that in some way demonstrates your learning about media analysis. If you choose to write a paper, you can write your paper about mostly anything, so long as you are applying theoretical frameworks discussed in the course to understand or compare media examples. If you choose to do a project, your work should engage questions of meaning-making and social change through media.

Due Dates

  • paper/project proposal: February 11, 2013 (100 points)

  • bibliography: March 4, 2013 (300 points)

  • outline/storyboard: March 20, 2013 (300 points)

  • first draft/production check-in: April 10, 2013 (300 points)

  • finished paper/project: May 8, 2013 (800 points)

Final Paper

Your final paper will be 2500-3000 words in length. You may choose write a comparison paper (comparing two pieces of media or eras of media production), a analysis paper (reading deeply one piece of media, placing it in historical context, etc.), or a theoretical paper (investigating concepts on a deeper, more rigorous level). Each of these approaches yields different results, so consider carefully how you feel most comfortable approaching your topic.

Picking a Paper Topic

Paper topics should be specific—don’t say you’re going to write a paper about the internet, for instance—and should be related in some way to the theoretical frameworks discussed in the course. A good paper topic will make an argument about an example or type of media, drawing justifications and examples from both the media itself as well as one or two related theoretical texts. An excellent paper topic doesn’t just rehash ideas discussed in class, but adds something fresh to the discussion.

Final Project

If you opt instead to do a final project, the length/quantity requirements must be worked out with me, personally. Include your intended length as part of your proposal (due next week).

Picking a Project Topic

Project topics should be focused on something immediately relevant and engaged with a community you are a part of. The project itself may be a form of analysis (i.e., a video showing how news is made) or may be self-reflexive (i.e., a comic book about your involvement in a social movement and how that experience has led you to think differently about media). Projects should not simply show something you see, but should also show how you think.

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