Overview: This assignment exposes the student to one specific aspect of mass communication on a deeper level.
Topic: In this paper each student will select a topic that will address one specific area of interest that relates to the course. The topic does not have to be approved by the instructor, but students are encouraged to check in with their instructor to make sure the topic is appropriate.
Stance: The student should write an informative (not persuasive) paper. It is written in 3rd person (referring to “the research”, “studies”, “the findings”, etc. and avoids using the first person: “me”, “my”, “I”, etc).
Thesis Statement: Each paper should have a thesis statement. A sentence that clearly articulates the objective of the research. An example is:
“THESIS STATEMENT: This paper will look at the link between violent behavior and playing violent video games.” (Bolded text should be avoided, but you should included “THESIS STATEMENT:”)
Style: In this assignment each student will usE APA style. For information on writing an APA style paper please feel free to visit the Owl Purdue website. The paper should have a cover page and References page.
Research: The paper should have the following:
A minimum of 5 different sources
No more than 1 “pure” website, please note: This doesn’t mean that only one online source can be used. For example, one could use CNN, New York Times, etc.. But if the source is solely a website, meaning no other medium, then only one can be used).
1 Peer reviewed source/journal source is required
The paper is assessed on the quality of the sources; unknown, outdated, or controversial sources will be graded negatively.
APA style title page
APA style reference page
Proper page format (spacing, indenting, margins, and font)
Students are not expected to know the exact APA style of citing sources. However, in-text citations are required. Failure to cite sources is considered plagiarism and will be dealt with accordingly. In short, it is important to cite exact words (quote) and/or ideas that are not original. Students will not be graded down if their format for citing the sources is not completely accurate.
Length of Paper: The paper should be 5 – 7 pages, not including the Title page or References page. Papers that fall short of the minimum are assessed more critically than papers that may exceed the 5 page limit.
Structure: Try to have a clear beginning, middle and end to the paper. A suggested format to follow is:
Intro: Begin with general comments about the field and/or topic, then begin to narrow the scope until the topic is addressed (reverse pyramid). The thesis typically comes at the end of the introduction.
Body: This section should introduce the research and clearly support the thesis statement.
Conclusion: This section should recap the research and offer closing comments (1 paragraph typically).
Questions: For guidance during the process please consider the following resources:
For information on APA style visit the Owl Purdue website
To get help with conducting research contact the NU Library
For help with writing the paper contact the NU Library writing center
Other: For any other questions always feel free to contact your instructor
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