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Formal Essay: Theory Analysis and Response Paper

Starting from your most promising Daily Response Essay, develop a longer (6-12 page?) academic research paper that explores the connections between a theoretical media position and an aspect of new media encountered during our trip. Your essay should show evidence of original thinking.

Don't just assert a position that you think is true; convince me that it is true by explaining why and giving examples that prove your point. Consider opposing arguments and address them.

A good way to do original research is to make nuanced connections heretofore unseen. Don't just assert that two things are connected; explain how and why they are connected, and the cultural implications of this connection. Get into a detailed analysis of what the media is actually doing.


  1. The paper is NOT simply a book report where you summarize the main points of the essay to which you are responding. (You can assume your reader is already familiar with the essay.)
  2. NOR is the paper simply a personal, subjective response to a piece of work you encountered on the trip.
  3. Instead, the paper is a reasoned response to the theory, wherein you apply it originally to some aspect of new media.
  4. The paper should be as long as necessary to theoretically analyze the new media you are investigating. Five paragraphs will not be enough. Fifteen pages may be too long.
  5. Don't just tell me what you think, explain WHY and convince me with EXAMPLES.
  6. Credit any sources via footnotes (according to the MLA style). You don't have to footnote your own position or argument, but you do have to footnote historical facts, quotations, and examples that support your argument.
  7. Make sure your paper addresses *new* media. You may even address *old*(er) media, but from a new media perspective.

Grading criteria:

  1. Knowledge and Scope of Topic: evidences a clear understanding of the theory, its cultural implications, and its applicability to new media. scope of topic is not overly broad or overly narrow.
  2. Convincing Position: original, clearly stated, sensibly reasoned, well supported; research is ample, relevant, and valuable.
  3. Well Written: includes specific details, dynamic introduction and conclusion, continuity of critique, correct spelling and proper grammar, appropriate academic tone, research is properly documented.

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