Term Paper Instructions:
The term paper will combine what you have learned in the class and apply it to your media intake. This essay is to involve your favorite form of media (something specific such as your favorite show, your favorite book, your favorite magazine, your favorite Internet site, etc.) and/or your least favorite form of ‘media (something specific such as your least favorite show, your least favorite book, your least favorite magazine, your least favorite Internet site, etc.). Yes, that was an either/or—you may choose or do both your favorite and least favorite if you’d like. During the essay, you will take one or both of these two forms of media and analyze them.
First, the analysis must provide insight on how your least favorite and/or your favorite form of media has an effect on or in your life (positive and/or negative):
- Example: Let’s say your favorite movie is Rocky.This movie could literally have a profound effect on the way your daily workout goes (i.e. it might actually motivate you to not give up when you get tired at the end of your workout and help you keep going). For example, you might be able to envision Rocky running up the stairs when the Rocky theme plays on your iPod while you’re working out. As a result of hearing this song, you become motivated during that workout.
- Example: Let’s say your least favorite magazine is Field and Stream, because you are a vegetarian. This might have an effect on your attitude toward those who read the magazine (i.e. you might think that those who read the magazine are cruel to animals). You might even dislike those who are subscribers to the magazine. Nevertheless, it is an instance to where the media have had an effect on you in some way, form, or fashion.
Also, your analysis will include at least one of the many mass communication theories we have gone over (i.e. the agenda-setting theory, the cultivation theory, the spiral of silence theory, the skyscraper analogy, etc.). You are to utilize a theory or instance you’ve learned from class (or, if you’re feeling brave, you may also utilize a mass communication or media theory outside of the class as well—please note if you take this route you must thoroughly describe the theory and apply it properly) to effectively analyze your favorite form of media, least favorite form of media, or both.
You may want to explain the theory or theories you choose in your paper (this might be a good place to get some of your necessary sources plugged into your term-paper). You will examine either or both your favorite and/or least favorite forms of media in relation to one of the many mass communication theories, models, or any other important information you have taken away from the class:
- Example: Utilizing the Rocky example mentioned above, you may not be able to tell everyone you are motivated or “pumped up” because you’re thinking about a movie to help you get through a workout. This would be because you are doing something that would be “out of the norm” and would constitute the spiral of silence theory applied in your life (due to the fact you do not want to tell everyone a movie is helping you exercise effectively).
- Example: Perhaps, you could talk about how all of the news is the same to you, and you feel as though all the media stations are saying and reporting the same thing. You could apply the agenda-setting theory in this case or even apply the concept of media conglomerates (i.e. media conglomerates have so much control over various media that maybe your favorite stations are owned by the same conglomerate; hence, perhaps that is why you hear the same thing with these channels).
Necessary Elements: This paper/analysis must be a minimum of 1,500 words in length (this is approximately five (5) pages double-spaced, and there is no length maximum—note—the number of words will be counted; so, no shortcuts here). It must be double-spaced and must be twelve (12) point type with Arial or Times New Roman font-types, and you must have a minimum of three (3) different outside sources within your paper. Sources may include but are not limited to books, professional journal entries, magazine articles, newspaper articles, a quote or quotes from a form of media (i.e. a movie, a music CD, etc.), etc. The choosing of your outside source elements is at your discretion, but you must make sure you include at least three (3) different outside sources.
You are also required to have a bibliography page citing all of your work in APA or MLA style. You must attribute your sources to the respectful authors/owners while using them in your analysis in APA or MLA style (please remain consistent in your attribution style method). Remember to cite correctly for full credit. DO NOT PLAGERIZE; IT’S SIMPLY NOT WORTH IT! If this (citing in APA or MLA style) is something you are unfamiliar with or you do not know how to do, I suggest the following sites to assist you with your citations: