Studio 2 Critical Research and Writing
Studio 2 Critical Research and Writing WRT 205
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Date Created: 10/21/15
D Nentwick W39RT 205 Spring 2004 Group Assignment for Wednesday February 4 We will meet in HBC 227 Individually Read the online reserve materials 4 readings take notes on the readings and be prepared to discuss with your group the items that you found important compelling notable that is what you think everyone should know about the reading in order to understand it Write down your reactions questions and comments As a group action meet once to compare notes on each reading39 the aim is for comprehensiveness cover as much as you can decide which person will be responsible for which readingsection of the handout decide who will be responsible for compiling the groups notes and creating the handout products produce a handout that represents your combined knowledge and ideas the handout must consist of 5 sections 1 each for each reading that summarizes main points and presents important information and 1 section devoted to comments and questions each person should come to the group meeting with questions and comments each group member will be responsible for one section for gathering notes on each reading from the other group members and typing them up presentyour information to the class I personfrom the group will be responsiblefor gathering together typed notes from all group members and creating the handout an making it available for in class presentation because this entails extra work extra credit will be awarded groups will present their work to the class each member will present their respective section I suggest that you meet compare and compile notes for each reading then go your separate ways and type up your chosen section of the handout The person who chooses to create the handout should accept typed notes from group members via email easy to cut and paste and organize the notes in the order that he she sees fit questionscomments should be the last section This person should email the handout to himherself so that it will be available for onscreen projection during class D Nentwick W39RT 205 Sp 04 Unit 1 Assignment Voting in America Research Paper For this assignment I want you to do three things 1 First decide on a topic Choose a topic from the list of suggested topics or choose your own Your choice must have something to do with voting in America Choose a topic that you are interested in for whatever reason because you want to find out more about it because it39s in the news and under current debate because it39s controversial because it ts in with what you39re doing for another course or because you think its important I want you to come to class on Monday February 9 with a speci c topic for research You will not be able to change your mind after Monday so you will need to do some preliminary exploring over the weekend You39ll need to go to the library or visit the library39s website to use their electronic resources and find out how feasible it will be to research your topic Look around see what you can find decide whether your first choice will be something you can work with 2 Research Read Pursue different perspectives follow up on questions or problems As you know it takes a lot of research to begin to get a picture of an object of study To get a very broad sketch of voting in America we39ve looked at 10 book chapters and of course there are many many areas we didn39t39 cover As you conduct your research therefore it will be important for you to quickly narrow down your line of inquiry Choosing a topic is the first step The work you do for that rst step should not only yield a topic of inquiry but also some direction some focus I want you to come to class on Monday February 16 with a list of source materials that you have looked at and a brief description of what39s contained in those sources Essentially I39m asking for a particular kind of research journal Every time you pick up a book magazine journal newspaper article or view a microform file I want you to take some brief notes Every entry should begin with a presentation of the source in MLA citation format After you provide proper citation then write a onesentence assessment of the source will you be using this source or not Why or why not Make this note as soon as you pick up a source and begin to look at it Note the assumption here is that not everything you find in the library is going to be the best usable source You will need to sift through things a little to find the good stuff lfyou do not use a source then you need not add any more to that entry in your journal For the sources that you do use write 34 more sentences for that source that describe what the article chapter or book is about Here39s my suggestion nd about 10 different sources and gather them together in front of you Do this as soon as possible Skim the rst pages of each and then quickly rank them in terms of their relevance and usefulness for your project Some may prove themselves useless at this point Decide which ones you want to keep for further consideration Then start reading working first from the sources that will be necessary then moving toward the ones that seem less relevant Take notes as you read read with a purpose with your eye and your mind turned in the direction that you39ve chosen for your project This will reduce the amount of notes you need to take and increase the value of the notes you do take 3 Write The length of this essay should be 56 pages at the most Don39t go overboard and don39t think you need to write down everything you learn Decide what angle or perspective you want to take on your topic and focus your writing and your reading and your notetaking toward that purpose Maybe you want to focus on how several different authors have several different perspectives on the same topic thereby highlighting the complex contested nature of your chosen topic Maybe you will identify a problem and further maybe you will offer a possible solution Maybe you want to focus on something incredibly detailed and specific perhaps even obscure about your topic Perhaps you will want to relate what you found with something we39ve covered in class or something that you already know or are leaming in another class I want you to bring a final draft of this essay to class on Wednesday February 25 Your essay should readily show that you39ve searched around for information from a variety of sources In that respect your presentation of your topic will also include the voices of other people the authors of the sources you explored in your research Research writing is not simply a matter of presenting facts 39 information comes from somewhere it39s communicated by someone in some form and authors and forms exist in various contexts I want you to avoid presenting material as though it39s just there Tell your readers where you got your information who said what when and why Your essay should show that there has been discussion and debate regarding the topic One obvious way to do this of course is to quote your sources directly or present brief summaries of authors39 perspectives or use footnotes The last page of the essay will be a works cited page a page devoted singly to the purpose of providing scholarly documentation MLA citation of the sources that you39ve used or referred to in the essay Possible Paper Topics I Should the Electoral College be abolished I Should the Electoral College be reformed I Initial Debates over The Electoral College for example Hamilton in The F ederalisl I The Electoral and the Popular Vote Why Florida was so Important to Election 2000 I Women39s Suffrage I The Right ofBlacks to Vote I The Role of Black Women in the Women39s Suffrage Movement I Intemet Voting I Voting MachinesMethods for Counting Votes I News Election Service I Voter ApathyAlienation I Impact of YoungNew Voters on Presidential Elections I The Role of Third Parties in Presidential Elections I One Man One Vote The Benefits and Pitfalls of Representational Democracy I Campaign Finance I Imagemaking in Presidential Campaigns I 1848 Seneca Falls Convention I Who Cannot Vote in America Today I Gerrymandering I English Literacy Tests at the Polls I Topic ofyour choice please discuss your choice with me D Nentwick WRT 205 Writing Assignment for Monday March 1 Your ultimate goal in this assignment is to show how in what ways to what extent the film Ucovered provides positive evidence of the vailidity and accuracy of Chomsky and Herman39s propaganda model as an explanation of how the mass media operates The writing should take the form of an argumentative essay This essay should demonstrate a solid grasp of the propaganda model works what its various components and main claimshypotheses are provide specific examples from the film show in what ways the film supports the model and what ways it does not Your explanation of the propaganda model should be presented first Make your presentation and explanation as detailed and thorough as you can This is important because if you do this well your reader will be able to make judgments about the match or mismatch between the model and what is represented in the film When describingexplaining the model reserve your evaluation and critique at this stage you should aim for as faithful objective a representation of the model as possible The next sections of the essay should be devoted to providing very specific details from the film as evidence in support of the model Devote a paragraph to each example you bring into the discussion Each paragraph should therefore match up a specific aspectclaim from the model with a relevant example from the film In this part of the essay yourjob is to play the believing game That is you stance in relation to the model is supportive not critical Make the best case you can for the validity of the model In the next part be critical Do your best to poke holes in the model by using examplesfrom the lm This last criteria is extremely important DO NOT argue agains the model using any other evidence except that provided in the lm Is there something in the film that is not explained by the model suggesting the model should be revised Is there something in the film that directly challenges the mo e 7 Last offer a critique positive negative or both ofthe model based on your own personal knowledge and experience By personal knowledge and experience I mean that you should use any and all information you have available to you In your own reasoned and wellthought out opinion how would you judge the ability for the model to explain what you know or believe to be true about the structural relationships presented in the Introduction to Manufacturing Consent This essay should be about 34 pages long You may double space single space or spaceandahalf your text Acceptable font sizes 1012 You can go over the specified length ifyou wish but I don39t think you can do this assignment in any less space With such limited space you will need to be as concise and specific as possible in your arguments Don39t waste words Offer tight descriptions when you make arguments provide clear obvious examples when you explain the relevance of your examples be direct and get straight to the point You can shift your style however for the final section in which you offer your own critique Remember to provide a proper heading and running header for your paper Ifyou quote directly be sure to provide MLA citation DNentwick WRT205 Sp04 Major Research Project Description A primary concern of this course has been to investigate the role of mass media in shaping public opinion and knowledge concerning the 2004 Presidential Election In that regard another concern of this course has been to take a critical stance in relation to the mass media and its ability to provide the American people with reliable information needed to make an intelligent choice in November This research project provides you with the opportunity to become something of an quotexpertquot source of information regarding campaign issues and presidential candidates But more than that this project provides you with the opportunity to critically discuss the role of the media in the election process whether it be quotmainstreamquot quot alternative quot or quotscholarlyquot sources of quotnewsquot Here39s the bottom line For this project you will choose either an issue or a candidate You will conduct research in the mainstream mass media the quotalternativequot media and other media sources scholarly historical government artistic etc You will write an extended essay that presents your findings from your research that provides a comparison of information available from your various types of sources that provides in the end a comprehensive and relatively quotobjectivequot presentation of important information necessary for a potential voter to understand what is at stake regarding the candidates and their stances on the issues Research You will choose at least 4 mainstream mass media news sources as sites for conducting research into your chosen issue or candidate You must choose at least one and no more than two television broadcast sources You must choose at least one and no more than two newspaper sources and you must choose at least one and no more than two weekly or monthly magazines You may choose any combination of sources you wish Yourjob here will be to track all coverage ofyour chosen issue or candidate across your sources up until the time you are ready to begin writing You should check your newspaper source everyday39 you should scan each magazine issue published and you should watch your chosen television source daily Some things to keep in mind Take notes Write summaries of the coverage If necessary photocopy the articles and keep them with you this is a good idea because you can use a highlighter andor write notes on the copy which ifyou do not subscribe to your chosen newspaper or magazine you wouldn39t otherwise be able to do You will choose at least 3 quotalternativequot news sources as sites for researching your chosen issue or candidate You must choose at least one but no more than two print sources and at least one but no more than two online sources You may choose any combination of sources you wish Yourjob here will be to track all coverage ofyour chosen issue or candidate across your sources up until the time you are ready to begin writing You should check your online sources everyday39 and you should scan each issue ofyour print source that is published Some things to keep in mind39 Take notes Write summaries of the coverage lfnecessary photocopy or print the articles and keep them with you this is a good idea because you can use a highlighter andor write notes on the copy which if you do not subscribe to your chosen newspaper or magazine you wouldn39t otherwise be able to do Note when looking at mainstream and alternative sources editorials must be given special treatment because they are not presented as quotnewsquot they are presented as the quotopinionquot of quotexpertsquot That is editorials make different claims on quotobjectivityquot and quotfacticityquot Significantly editorials are just as much a part of the mainstream media as news articles are The next phase of your research involves quotgetting to the bottomquot of the issue or the position of your candidate on the key issues This stage will necessarily involve research into legal and government documents statistical analysis searching legislation records and so forth For example if you are researching quoteducationquot as an issue you will need to locate the original text of the quotNo Child Left Behind Actquot and give your readers an accurate and comprehensive explanation of what the act provides for You will also want to provide some sort of historical context what was the federal education policy in place before NCLB was put in place Why did the current administration feel that a change was necessary What specific problems does the Act aim to address or redress Your aim in this stage of research is to the best ofyour ability find out quotthe real dealquot If you are researching an issue You cannot provide useful information to potential voters without to some extent also reporting on the candidates39 stances on the issue Therefore another aspect of your research will be to investigate and gain a solid understanding of the candidates39 positions If you are researching a candidate You will need to provide comprehensive information regarding your candidate39s position on the major issues Here you should pay attention both to what mainstream media portrays as the major issues concerning both candidates and your candidate39s position on these issues as well as the issues your candidate has made the important quotplanksquot of his quotplatformquot Writing length reguirement minimum of 12 pages doublespaced size 10 or 12 font with works cited page39 MLA format The essay should be divided into 4 sections 1 a presentation of information gathered from mainstream news sources 2 a presentation of information gathered from quotalternativequot news sources 3 a section that provides the most quotobjectivequot and quotfactualquot information possible39 this is where you you sift through what you found in the mainstream media the altemative media and what you found from your other sources to present the deepest most useful explanation of your issue or of your candidate39s position on the issues In this section you are the expert who has investigated quotwhat39s out therequot and who is reporting useful accurate information to your readers 4 A final section that addresses candidates39 pronouncements as represented in the media and compares them to the quotfactsquot you found For example when Bush says mat he will quotmake America saferquot what does he mean by that What specifically has he done and does he plan to do to live up to this promise This final section is the place where you tie together your research into the quotfacts39 and your research into the candidates and tell potential voters what they39re going to get if they vote for a particular candidate If you39re researching an issue like education here you will put the two candidates39 next to each other and show your readers what the alternatives will be at the ballot box Due Dates first draft due Monday April 19 individual conferences Wednesday April 21 Friday April 23 final draft due Wednesday April 28 DNa1twick WRT205 Sp04 Re ective Essay quotTo re ectquot means many things to mirror to look back to remember to look within to think to think critically This essay provides the opportunity for you to do all of these thingsiin writing It invites you to look back over the course and remember everything we ve done discussed investigated criticized and thought about It invites you to look inward to assess how the work for the course has affected you as a student and as a person It invites you to think and think critically about what you ve done what you ve learned and how it has affected youiso that you can through writing become more aware of your learning and thinking and make sense out of the positives and negatives the ups and downs of your engagement with the course To that end I would like you to write 3 short essays each 1 Yi to 2 pages in length each in response to a different set of questions Below are three topics each followed by a set of questions The questions are there to spark your thinking and you shouldn t feel like you need to address all of them Use the questions to get you started on your re ection then you can decide what it is you will focus on in your responses 1 Reading the media The course asked you to pay close attention to the media and it presented you with some theories of the role of the media in American democracy What was this like for you What did you learn How did those activities help you during the course What can you take away from these activities and use elsewhere How useful were the readings Manufacturing Consent and Weapons ofMass Deception In general how has this course affected your quotmedia literacyquot 2 Conducting research The course kept you busy conducting various types of research from reading book chapters in order to give presentations in class to watching videos TV commercials and lms searching the Internet reading newspapers and other periodical journals and using the library resourcesionline in the current periodical section and in the stacks You had a relative amount of choice for topics and the research papers provided you with the opportunity to eXplore your chosen topics in some detail How was the research for this course different from the way you imagined research before you took the course What challenges did you face What successes did you achieve In what ways will the kinds of research and research writing that you completed in this course help you be a better more critical processor of information 3 Voting and democracy It may seem like it was ages ago but we started this course by looking at theories and conceptions of democracy the role of quotthe peoplequot and the signi cance for the democratic process of their ability to vote We saw that democracy is centered around public support and rati cation of administrative initiatives we saw that as a representative democracy Americans may or may not have their views represented in public debate we saw that historical notions of quotthe citizenquot have worked to exclude blacks native peoples women and immigrants from the voting process And nally your nal research project asked you to research your way into a position of quotexpertisequot on election issues and candidates so that you are able to engage in substantive critical debate about the implications of casting a vote in November 2004 This last essay asks you to answer the following and invites you to bring all of your experience and knowledge to bear on the response Should people vote Why or why not