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Written assignments
Discussion lead

For all of your assignments, you will be asked to find articles from academic journals.
To help you locate articles that are relevant to your research, I've created a PDF with a list of the most prominent journals in media and cultural studies:
Media and cultural studies journals PDF.

For your discussion lead assignment, you should be using an article drawn from one the journals on this list.

Short written assignments: Creating a research project

You will be using MLA citation style for all of your writing assignments. If you have any questions about MLA format, you should refer to the MLA Style Guide.

You have seven short written assignments over the course of the semester. These seven assignments are seven building blocks toward creating a successful analytical project in the discpline of media studies. You don't have a final paper in this class; however, you will create the constituent pieces that would lead to a final paper.

These assignments build on each other: they are pieces of the same research project. In other words, you are doing everything you would do to create an analytical paper, you just won't do the actual paper.
If, as your research project moves forward, you decide to make a change, you must return to the beginning, to the object of analysis, and start over, doing all the assignments again.

Assignments 1, 2, and 3: Defining an object of analysis. (~500-1000 words)
Due Sundays 9/29, 10/6, and 10/14 at 11:59pm.
First, you'll define your 'object of analysis', the 'what' for your research project. You'll define specifically what you plan to study, including the perspective you plan to take on it. You'll then propose the 'why' of your research (your "intervention" as we talked about in class), stating why this object is worthy of analysis. Finally, you'll propose 3-4 possible research questions that link the 'why' of your research to the 'what' of your object.
You'll do this assignment three times, proposing a different object for each assignment.

Assignment 4: Research Question + Annotated Bibliography. (~3-5 scholarly sources)
Due Sunday 10/27 at 11:59pm.
For this fourth written assignment, you will do an annotated bibliography for your research project.
Your first task will be choose one of your objects of analysis. You'll begin with a brief, revised, restated version of this object of analysis.
Then, you'll state your research question.
You'll identify and describe relevant literature for your research project. This literature should include correct MLA citations.
The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to begin to identify the theoretical paradigm of your research project. Each annotation should clearly state how the text contributes to the research project.
Use this as a model: "How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography", Cornell University Library

Assignment 5: Theoretical paradigm and methodology. (~1000-1200 words)
Due Sunday 11/10 at 11:59pm.
For this fifth written assignment, you'll create a concise statement of your research project's theoretical paradigm and methodology.
For this assignment, the word limit will be strictly enforced. I want you to be as concise and direct as possible. In approx. three paragraphs, you should state your object of analysis, your research question, your intervention, your theoretical paradigm, and your choice of methodology. For the theoretical paradigm and your methodology, you will include citations to the scholarly literature that supports each.
This might be stated this way: "Using [X scholar's] concept of [Y], I'll argue..."

Assignment 6: Preliminary research. (~3-4.5 double-spaced pages)
Due Friday 11/22 at 11:59pm.
Once you have finished a concise statement of your theoretical paradigm and methodology, you'll be ready to start some preliminary research. You should be delving far enough into your analysis to begin to see trends emerging, trends from which you can start to make claims.
You might reveal findings that present new paths for your research, or reveal data that might contradict your initial thesis or claims. Take careful note of this, and account for it.

Presentation of preliminary research. (6min with 2min for questions.)
11/25, 12/2, 12/4.
Your presentation should briefly discuss your object, theoretical paradigm, and methodology. Most of your presentation time should focus on your preliminary research, emerging trends, and the beginnings of the claims you're be making from this research.
I expect your presentation to be organized and rehearsed: going over your alloted time, or not foregrounding the discussion your research findings will count against you.

Assignment 7: Abstract and Analysis Outline. (~3-5 double-spaced pages)
Due Thursday 12/12 at 11:59pm.
For you final written assignment, you'll do two things:
• Create an abstract for your reseach paper. This abstract should be 5-7 sentences/300 words.
• Propose an outline for how you'd structure your analysis section. Divide your analysis up into sections, and provide justification for how each section contributes to your overall argument and claims.
In this assignment, define each section in one paragraph.
For each section of your analysis, you'll define exactly what the data is, what you're drawing from it, what it adds to your analysis, and how it connects to the claims you're making.

Resources on how to write an abstract:
The MLA Style Center, "How to write an abstract"
USC Library Research Guides, "Writing an abstract"
Purdue OWL, "Journal Abstracts"

Make sure you:
• Have a bibliography and correct MLA in-text citations. You can use the Purdue OWL and The MLA Style Center
links above if you have any questions about MLA citation format.
• Use the correct puncuation format for titles and sections of your media, including the appropiate use of italics and quotation marks.

Discussion lead

Onc during the semester you will be assigned to lead a discussion in which you wll find a scholarly article and apply its theories and concepts to a new object of analysis.
The purpose of the discussion lead is to give you a chance to apply your critical tools to an analysis of your own.

• You will find an article from a scholarly research journal in media and cultural studies (use the PDF above).
• You will send a citation for the article to me by Monday at 6pm of your presentation week, and i'll send the citation on to the class.
• Students will be expected to have read your article by Wednesday of your presentation week.
• Your presentation should be organized and rehearsed. If you go over time, don't "get to" a section, or aren't concise enough, it'll count against you.

Your discussion leadership will have three parts:
• Introduce the article, its thesis, theories, methods, and object of analysis (as much as is relevant to your analysis).
• Present to us an object of analysis.
• Bring your object of analysis into conversation with the ideas from the article.
• Propose 1-2 open-ended questions and lead a discussion with the class on those questions.

Your grade will depend on how specific your object of analysis is, how precisely you use the texts to analyze the object, and how well you lead the class in discussion.

You are also required to submit a set of organized, correctly-cited notes on the day of your presentation. Failure to submit will result in points off your grade.

Discussion lead assignments:

Thursday, 9/19.
· Jillian Piano
· Jacob Proctor

Thursday, 9/26.
· Shaquille Walters
· Hailey Otero

Thursday, 10/3.
· Aritra Ghosh
· Olivia Oriaku
· Dalia Sadaka

Thursday, 10/10.
· Melody Lee
· Thomas Vachon
· Lauren Smith

Thursday, 10/24.
· Michael Henshaw
· Nell Snow
· Joseph DeSomma

Thursday, 10/31.
· Isabelle Hahn
· Inika Shetty
· Wesley Cannon

Thursday, 11/7.
· Sheng Fan
· Sijie Sun
· Rowan Van Lare