English 482 Projects: A Critique and Evaluation of the Digital Age

 

English 482 project assignment:

Your assignment is to prepare a semester project on a topic of your choosing that is related to the subject of this course: the digital revolution in the context of the history of communication technologies.

The topic: Your project may develop from the topic you chose for your classroom presentation, from one of the areas we discussed in class, or it might be something altogether different. In any case, the topic should be something you have some interest in, some intellectual or emotional investment to ensure that the result will be effective and insightful.

Your project should involve a critical analysis of the subject. Choose for your topic something you want to think about, deeply and critically.

I can’t stress this too strongly: Projects should not be reports, lists of things you found, or a kind of intellectual travelogue. Instead, you should frame a problem and address a solution, or observe and analyze a phenomenon and give a critical assessment of its causes and effects.

Sources: Although there are no specific number or type of sources to consult, your project should be well-researched. More important: present your take on the matter, your predictions or projections, your interpretations, concerns, or proposals. I want you to give lots of examples, the more the better, and real ones rather than hypotheticals. But I also want your ideas to control the presentation of the material, your spin to sort out the difficulties of the data. Cite any sources that you do use in a format that you are comfortable with.

Length: If your project takes the form of a traditional essay, plan to write some 3,000-4,500 words (that’s 10-15 pages, but giving a word count instead of a page count means you don’t have to fiddle with margins and fonts to fit your words into a frame).

If your project takes another format: a video, a website, or some other non-essay format, then of course word-count becomes irrelevant. The main length guideline is that your project should be long enough to do what you set out to do.

Due date: 5 pm, Dec. 15, at the latest, via email, URL, or some other electronic format. Hard copy is always acceptable, but e-submissions are preferred. Projects will be returned with comments via email as well.