SUNY College at Plattsburgh Sexuality in Popular Culture Discussion

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  1. 3.Final Research Paper: In this paper I ask you to analyze, in-depth, one of the topics (or sub-topics) that we have discussed in class. This is a research paper, the purpose of which is for you to research and write about a topic of your choice. Through the semester, we will be covering many different issues related to popular culture, and this will be an opportunity for you to study/research one particular topic in some depth. Some topics that students may find interesting are:

➢ The meaning and impact of Alternative music

  • Media & Sports: How did sports become part of popular culture?
  • Social Media & the making of a ‘new’ Popular Culture
  • Popular Culture: Definitions & Meanings
  • Popular History according to Disney
  • Pornography: The most popular culture of all
  • Sexuality & Masculinity in Popular Culture
  • Politics and Popular Culture
  • Your topic could be outside of this list. Please consult with the instructor if you have difficulty deciding on a topic which interests you the most.

    Due date: TBD (as per college’s final week schedule)

    Writing guidelines

    Writing papers lies at the heart of communication courses, and commitment to this activity should motivate our students. Class size and the amount of material we have to cover work against conditions which would be ideal for writing. Anyway, I ask you to write papers which are in essay form. The introductory and final papers should include a cover page with your name, the date and the class, and section number. The introductory paper should be 5-6 pages long and the final paper should be 8-10 pages, double-spaced, typed, excluding reference page.

    Things To Do: First, let’s rule out things not to do. I don’t want biographical information about yourself and also assume that I have some knowledge about the subject matter that you are writing about, that you write for a reader who does not need a detailed summary of definitions. Personal response always plays an important role when you read and react. But don’t use your research papers as opportunities to write in detail about why you like/dislike being in the class and/or reading class materials. Also, reading for ‘theme’ or ‘message’ has become ingrained in almost all modern readings. I don’t speak critically when I say this. Just be careful if you work on your theme not to sound too sweeping or dogmatic. And try to remember one thing: you are reading only a small portion of a larger and substantial corpus of writing and research on media and popular culture.

    Provide enough evidence and cite properly and clearly through the paper. The most convenient way to document anything you cite is to give a parenthetical reference like this: author’s name, title, followed by page number and year of publication. Consult the MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), Chicago, or Harvard style manual if you need more detailed advice about citations. These style-books can be found in the library in the reference section or online. You may want to put all your references on an additional page and place them under a heading of ‘Bibliography.’ Also, you will be graded on your references to class readings and discussions. Limit the use of Wikipedia as references. I do not bar the use of internet references but keep in mind the quality of source, i.e., the reference must be from a well-known site (for example, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stones, etc.).

    Format and Mechanics. Please take care to write in paragraphs, each with a topic sentence or one controlling idea. There is no absolute definition of the length of a paragraph. Keeping two extremes in mind, however, is useful. Avoid the single sentence paragraph and make sure that no one paragraph extends over the whole of a page. About the finished product — neatness and clarity help but they won’t rescue a paper that shows little thought or thought but absence of polish. Writers who take pride in their work always complete at least two drafts as they attempt to refine what they say and discover in the process their ideas and thoughts. Please proofread your paper carefully, checking for spelling, typographical errors, grammatical matters and word usage. Make sure that the print is dark and clearly legible.

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