Paper Topics To Avoid
some broad superficial pros and cons of a topic >
Twitter is more good than bad because of these seven obvious but unoriginal and superficial reasons. Pick one of those seven reasons, do some actual deep research on it, and tell us something about humans and culture based on that reason.
Something that speculates about what may or may not happen in a future that may or may not come to pass based on some new piece of media. iPads will change the world in 20 years. Instead, tell us a specific way they are changing the world now.
Something that analyzes a medium but never gets into the influences it has on human culture. 3D special effects in Hollywood movies and how much more realistic they are than they used to be. Instead, what is a specific way that this increased realism affects culture?
Something that presumes an "authentic state of real" prior to the advent of a piece of new media, and then a "corrupted state of unreal" after the advent of said media. "Kids these days don't know how to have authentic relationships anymore thanks to texting. Here are some quotes from two cranky authors who say so." Instead, tell us some specific, unique, nuanced ways that your chosen form of new media has altered the world.
Something that takes on a topic way too broad:
digital vs. analog
new media art (in its entirety)
the human soul (in its entirety)
Something that compares an old medium to another old medium:
film vs. photography (film is not new media)
mass media television vs. mass media newspapers (television is not new media)
dada vs. impressionism (dada is not new media).
Something that you present as if it is so novel that no one reading your paper has ever heard of this unique, groundbreaking underground phenomenon, and you have some unique insight into it (simply because you play video games, or listen to music, or read graphic novels, or watch movies):
remix culture (in its entirety)
gaming (in its entirety)
anime (in its entirety)
science fiction (in its entirety)
You may write within these fields about something specific, but not about these fields in their broad entirety.
Something mostly about some non-new media topic (philosophy, literature, psychology, history, law, old media) that just happens to sprinkle a tiny bit of new media throughout, and/or tack a tiny bit of new media on at the end. You may bring in all of those other topics, but your "main" topic needs to be something having to do with new media.