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term paper due

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commented draft due back from peer reviewer

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term paper draft due

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annotated bibliography due

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term paper proposal due

Introduction to Media Studies
Assignment: Term Paper
Length: 8-10 pages (with 1″ margins, double-spaced, in 12-point Times)
Due Dates:
Proposal: Wed., March 9
Annotated Bibliography: Mon., March 28
Draft due to me and peer reviewer: Wed., April 13
Final paper: Wed., May 4, 5:00 pm

Your final assignment is to write a well-researched, thoughtful, critically astute, and above all interesting analytical research paper on the media text of your choice, using the forms of analysis we’ve studied this semester. Your paper should make a focused, insightful, well-elaborated, well-supported argument about the object you select. That object may be drawn from print media, television, music, or the Internet.
In addition to addressing your primary text, your paper must engage a minimum of TWO secondary texts derived from your own research. These may be critical, historical, cultural, theoretical, etc., so long as your use of the secondary texts is significant. In other words, your secondary texts must illuminate something about the text you’re discussing that is absolutely pertinent to your argument. Moreover, you must closely engage with at least TWO of the critical texts we’ve dicussed in class. Be sure, however, that your paper does not devolve into a report on your research; the center of this paper should be, as always, your own original thought.
This assignment involves three requirements:
1. Proposal: On Wednesday, March 9, you will hand in to me a 250-500 word (1-2 page, double-spaced) statement of the argument that you intend to explore in your paper. This is of course not to suggest that you will be tied to this argument, or that it won’t be affected by the research you will do. But this proposal should let me know the basics of what you’re interested in: the text you want to deal with, the approach you intend to take, the conclusions you suspect you might reach — and, above all, why you’re interested in this topic or question. This need not be a polished piece of prose, but do give me as much information as you can; my feedback on this proposal may be helpful in focusing your investigation.
2. Annotated bibliography: On Monday, March 28, you will hand in to me an annotated bibliography, letting me know the extent of the research you’ve done so far. This bibliography must contain at least seven separate critical texts (books, articles, etc.) derived from your own resesarch (i.e., not class texts); each entry must also contain a note from you (hence the “annotated” part) about the text, explaining what this text is, what its basic argument is, and how this item will benefit your investigation. Note that you will not be required to cite all of the works you list in your paper, but this range of texts should help you find secondary texts that genuinely illuminate your argument, rather than simply fulfilling the secondary text requirement.
3. Paper: The thing itself. Which must, as always, use MLA format, must conform to the length guidelines above, and must — MUST — be carefully proofread. Papers whose meaning is obscured by a plethora of typographical or spelling or grammatical errors will be returned unread, and will incur late penalties until resubmitted. You should also make use of your friends, classmates, and the writing fellows in refining both your ideas and your writing. To that end, there is a subsidiary requirement:
3a. Peer review: On Wednesday, April 13, you should hand a draft of your paper to me and to your peer review partner, and you should get a copy of your partner’s paper. I will leave it to you to pair yourselves up, but make sure you speak with your partner soon. The two of you should compare notes as you’re working on your drafts, and should comment thoroughly and constructively on the drafts themselves, helping one another to clarify writing issues, deepen your analysis, and complicate your argument. These commented drafts must be returned to the author no later than Monday, April 25, so that each of you will have at least a week and a half to revise your papers as necessary. As revision time will be short, the paper you hand your peer reviewer should be as complete as possible. The peer review is not optional. When you turn in your final draft, you must turn in the commented first draft as well.
Note: All deadlines are firm. No extensions will be granted.