Please submit three ideas outline for your term paper.
Compose complete sentences.
Build an opinion into each idea.
Make sure to keep your topic narrow enough–probably focused on 1-2 branches of the media.
- This semester, as we are learning about the different media, we will be discussing many media-related issues–issues such as the increased fragmentation of the media, privacy issues, the impact of convergence, fake news, censorship, and the increased concentration of media ownership. For this assignment, you will have the opportunity to choose one of these topics—or any others that relate to mass media and society–and make an argument concerning its effects, making sure that you focus on the impact on only one or two branches of the media so that your topic isn’t overly broad. Because writing a term paper can sometimes be overwhelming, we will break this assignment down into smaller components, each with its own deadline. Consult our modules for individual deadlines.
- What to do:
Begin to decide what you’d like as your paper topic: Browse your textbook and media clips for potential media issues. Another good source for topics are the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Also, consider some of the topics that I ask you about for happy quizzes.
Once you’ve decided on a topic, find at least six magazine or newspaper articles concerning the particular media issue that you are examining. You may also include sources from books and web sites. You may not use web sites of questionable legitimacy or advocacy sites. You will be using and citing your chosen sources directly in the body of the paper with a specific citation.
Come up with a working thesis for your essay.
Freewrite on this working thesis. Or try other prewriting techniques, such as brainstorming, listing, clustering, talking with people about your idea, etc.
Write an outline for the essay. This outline should be detailed enough to really guide you through the process of writing the paper; it should, essentially, be a road map. Be sure to include a section in your outline in which you address the opposition, those people who would potentially disagree with your position: How will you convince them?
Next, write an ideas draft; this will be sloppy, disorganized, grammatically incorrect–but, hey, at least you’ve got something on paper!
Now, write a rough draft. We will have a peer-response workshop in class for you to get feedback from a few classmates. This will be followed by a citation rough draft (one in which you include all your citations).
- You are ready to refine your draft and make it into a product of which you feel proud. Don’t forget to proofread this final draft.
- What I’ll be looking for:
A clear, focused thesis that tells the reader what point you’ll be arguing and–very briefly–why you hold the position you do.
Well-developed paragraphs with strong topic sentences.
- Lots of evidence, examples, statistics, quotes from experts and other forms of support to back up your claims.
- At least six different print sources (books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, or scholarly articles) used and cited in the body of your essay. Yes, it is acceptable to get these print sources from a legitimate Web site, such as the NY Times, etc.)