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Research Paper Guidelines and Writing Rubrics (200 Points)
Research Paper Guidelines:
Students shall research and write an eight to ten-page (including bibliography) research paper based on an enduring issue pertaining to American mass media and popular culture in American society. An enduring problem can either be a specific research topic or case study.

Research topics and case studies must encompass an enduring issue as it pertains to American mass media and popular culture. Students should, however, consult the instructor for approval before commencing any research provided they feel uncertain about their research topic and case study. Given the extent of material covered in class, students research topics and case studies will be varied. In addition, the websites: www.cutluralpolitics.net and www.mediaethicsmagazine.com encompass numerous Internet sources that could aid students in formulating a research topic or case study. Furthermore, there are Internet resources in the textbook Media/Society, Appendix section that students might find useful.

Students’ research papers must include at minimum five different scholarly primary source materials. Wikipedia, blogs, and secondary Internet information-based websites and sources are not permitted. Students should inquire with the instructor if they are uncertain about the validity of source material(s). Remember, the Media/Society text provides numerous and credible Internet primary sources (see text appendix: Selected Media-Related Internet Resources).

Research Paper Objectives:
To draw upon the reading materials, class lectures, and media literacy materials as much as possible when formulating, interrogating, as well as applying concepts and theories towards your research topic or case study. In other words, think of your research paper as a “show me what you know” paper.

Research Paper Format:
Students’ research papers must be written in M.L.A. format; be typed in 12-point Time New Roman font, have one-inch margins, and be double-spaced. In addition, basic writing rubrics of mechanics, grammar, and syntax will be part of the grading process.

For Future Consideration Paragraph:
After the conclusionary paragraph of students’ research papers, provide one well-thought out paragraph titled “For Future Consideration” that indicates possible flaws to your research methods, logical analysis, and/or conclusion. This paragraph should reveal what future scholars should take into consideration when researching the same, similar, or associated research topic and/or case study. This is common practice in academia. Remember too, good academic and scholarly research should be self-reflective, objective, and be open to criticism by other scholars, academics, and researchers.
Total Possible Points = 120

Research Paper Rubrics:

100-120 Points: Students’ research papers unquestionably demonstrate the precise enduring issue as it pertains to American mass media and popular culture in their rhetorical argument. Students’ research papers reflect a comprehensive understanding of, or one aspect of, the production-content-audience processes in the society/culture model covered in the Media/Society text. In addition, students’ research papers establish a comprehensive understanding of all the applicable models, theories, and concepts applied to their research topic and case study. Moreover, students’ research papers, if applicable, exhibits a concise application of any of the following perspectives: Narrative, Dramatistic, neo-Aristotelian, Marxist, Feminist, or Visual-Pleasure Theory. Finally, students’ papers visibly display a cohesive, detailed rhetorical analysis in the interpretive process, the analytical development process, the conclusion of their research topic or case study, and the “For Future Consideration” paragraph.
Writing Rubrics:
Good writing mechanics for students’ research papers shall include introductory paragraphs, body paragraphs, and conclusionary paragraphs. Students must articulate a rhetorical argument and clearly state what their research paper will do in the introductory paragraph. Remember: students caught plagiarizing will, at minimum, forfeit all 200 points allocated for the paper.

65–80 Points: In addition to meeting the requirements for a “50-64 point paper, the writing is essentially error free in terms of writing mechanics, grammar, and syntax. The writers’ articulation of ideas, information, details, etc. cohesively connect from one sentence and paragraph to the next. Moreover, the writer has taken pains to assist the reader in following the logic of the ideas expressed. Furthermore, the writer’s decisions regarding word and phrasal choices, citation accuracy, quote usages, focus, organization, style/tone, and content reflect meeting writing standards for an upper-division academic course. Finally, the writer’s paper could be used as an assignment model for demonstrating competency, efficiency, and proficiency.

Total Possible Points = 80

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