Journalism, mass media and communication
Identify ways in which individuals or society have changed due to the introduction or advancement of a communication technology. Provide supporting evidence through all of the following: (1) an interview with someone at least 40 years of age, (2) research evidence from at least two primary sources, including those found in an AU Library database, and (3) your own observations or examples.
Approach this assignment as a five-paragraph essay. Your essay should be polished, with clear arguments and crisp sentences. A list of themes and topics to choose from is on the last page of this document. Feel free to select one of these or come up with one on your own. Originality and creativity are always welcomed.
For the topic selected, you must:
• In first paragraph, provide a clear and concise thesis of your topic (that is, what is the essay about). Be sure to define or describe any key terms.
• In the second paragraph, identify the person interviewed and what he/she has to say about the topic, especially any observations about the past as compared to the present.
o Focus on what that person has to say about the past as related to the relevant communication technology, especially any personal experiences. You may compare/contrast how that communication technology affected the person’s everyday life in the past or present. DO NOT write in a question/answer format.
• In the third paragraph, identify two (or more) primary sources of research evidence and what the research has to say on the topic. Include in-text citations as needed. (Use APA style format; examples can be found later in this assignment.)
o Academic journal articles and books you can find by using an AU database may provide good primary sources for this topic. News articles are also appropriate. Wikipedia and other encyclopedias are NOT primary sources, although they may contain references to primary sources.
• In the fourth paragraph, provide your own ideas about the topic. Include examples to explain or illustrate your points.
o Focus on observations and/or examples that closely fit the theme of the essay.
• In the fifth paragraph, synthesize material in the essay. Compare and contrast the points made by the person interviewed, in the research and in your own observations. Draw conclusions that reflect how the specific communication technology changed individuals or society.
• Not included in your 600-word limit is a bibliography that provides contact information for the person interviewed (e-mail address or phone number) for verification and a formal reference for any works cited.
Grading and assessment
You are being graded on your ability to write a cogent explanation of the topic. Your essay should be clear and accurate. Material used in the essay should be properly attributed. If you copy information from a source and do not cite where that information came from, it is considered plagiarism. You can find additional information about academic misconduct in American University’s Academic Integrity Code.
Your writing is not specifically being graded for grammar. However, poor writing may make it difficult to understand your key points and may result in a lower grade. Allow time to review your work before submitting it. Have a friend read it to make sure it is clear.
Characteristics of good essays:
• A strong, clear thesis that covers the focus of the essay, identifying specific ways that individuals or society have changed, and a specific communication technology
• Following directions (e.g., no more than 600 words, putting the proper information in the proper paragraph)
• Clarity of writing and purpose
• Reliable and valid sources used to support arguments
• Providing citations for material used in your essay
• A solid conclusion that reflects what was learned and why it was important.
Late submissions and penalties
Although the submission folder will remain open after the deadline, late papers will be penalized at the following rate: up to 12 hours, one letter grade; 12-24 hours, two letter grades; and 24-48 hours, three letter grades.
Submission: Load your assignment into the Assignment folder on Blackboard. Do not submit assignments that are printed out or emailed. Put your name on the top of the essay.
Sources: Sources in your paper should be of a high quality, preferably academic journal articles or articles from well-established primary sources (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.). Do not use blogs or Wikipedia as sources to support your arguments. You can find reliable sources through the AU library website. If you have any questions about the reliability of your sources please ask.
Citations: Indicate in-text whenever you are using material from the textbook, lecture or other sources. For all works cited, please use the following in-text style:
• Payola was so common that New York’s attorney general was able to force music companies to pay fines of $10 million each (Rodman, 2012).
• Ritual markings on caves suggest worship of animals or worship of a higher power for successful hunt (lecture, September 5).
• For a direct quote, include a page number for printed material or a paragraph number for material from websites. For instance: “… fines of $10 million each” (Rodman, 2012, p. 275).
References: Add any works cited to a list of references, using APA style:
• Johnson-Cartee, K.S. (2005). News narratives and news framing: Constructing political reality. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
• Snow, D.A., Rochford Jr., Burke, E.,Worden, S.K., & Benford, R.D. (1986). Frame alignment processes, micromobilization and movement participation. American Sociological Review 51, 464-481.
• A reference for formatting references in APA style can be found at Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL): http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
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