The term paper is submitted in two parts; a compete draft of a short research paper (5-6 pages), and the same paper in a revised, expanded, deepened form (15 pages).
Writing a research paper in a new media journalism class is a little different than writing one in an English literature class.
Use scholarly evidence, primary/professional examples, and personal experience to defend a debatable claim about some important issue concerning media and culture.
For example, “Gender in video games” is not a claim, but “Lara Croft may not be a feminist icon, but the fact that so many girls consider her an inspiring figure is far more important than the fact that so many boys objectify her” is a debatable claim, that one would lead a reader expect to follow in the form of statistics, an analysis of scenes in the game, fan pages, testimonials, etc.
- MLA Style Papers: Step-by-step Instructions for Formatting Research Essays
- MLA Bibliography Builder
- Short Research Papers
- Finding Scholarly Sources (the term paper assignment requires you to demonstrate the ability to find and use peer-reviewed academic sources; you may also use historical documents, original interviews, etc., but a successful paper must demonstrate your ability to engage with recent scholarly research)
- Thesis Statements
- Reasoning Blueprints
- Editing vs Revision
1) Think about a new media topic that interests you. (Possible topics: multimedia editing and bias; new media storytelling; how social media has changed youth culture)
2) Look for specific examples (the following section builds on the sample topics above; you are of course free to pick your own topic and come up with your own examples)
- Editing: Time magazine infamously darkened an image of OJ Simpson to make him look more menacing; just recently, MSNBC was caught editing the George Zimmerman 911 call to make it look like he brought up the subject of race, when in fact he only mentioned Trayvon Martin’s race when the 911 dispatcher asked him; how has journalism dealt with similar problems in older media, and what might be on the horizon?
- Storytelling: ”The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” and next week’s “The Garden of Forking Paths” are not only conventional media works (film short; short story), they also resonate in a new media class because of their connection to the technical and creative innovations that enabled new forms of creative storytelling, new forms of information transmission, and new questions that critics can ask about such things.
- Social Media and Youth Culture: The dangers faced by Nancy Drew in the old detective books (lost in a forest, trapped in a basement) would be obliterated if Nancy simply had a cell phone; is the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter still magical when we consider how young people all track each other on Facebook? How does Rowling’s decision to ban technology from Hogwarts affect the way her young readers perceive the magic in the books?
- Discuss research paper ideas Apr 12
- New media artifact progress report due Apr 24
- 5-6 page research paper due Apr 26 (this can be mostly exploratory/explanatory)
- Peer review assignment (starts Apr 27)
- 1:1 office consultations to help you develop your ideas (early May)
- 15 page version of research paper due May 8