A Media Ecology Writing Project (Honors Course)


Photo: Julian O’Hayon via Unsplash

 

Directions: For your additional requirement in the course to earn honors credit, please compose a 10 to 12-page research paper on a topic related to technology use in the social forum.


Some guiding questions and approaches to consider for your project


1. How does technology impact our daily lives? (E.g., daily routines, interpersonal relationships, kinesthetic movements—including health issues like “tech neck” and “tech thumb” emerging, etc.)


2. How can technology impact the mind? (E.g., focus of attention, mindfulness, reading habits, literacy, education, etc.)


3. Why have philosophers, media ecologists, and other scholars expressed concerns about the impact of technology on social patterns of behavior? Why is technology an important topic to address?


  • Some related scholarship you might like to explore as you work on your project: Nicholas Carr, Sherry Turkle, Maggie Jackson, Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, Lance Strate, Thomas de Zengotita, Larry Rosen (you are not expected to include all of these in your discussion, as that would likely be a daunting task, but you might like to check them out as starting points for springboard ideas; for example, Postman talks about us all “amusing ourselves to death” with technology/show business and published a book of that same title)

4. What types of behaviors are notably changing due to technology (e.g., politeness, social etiquette, self-awareness, narcissism, etc.)?


5. Develop a strong Rogerian-style paper to address your major concern while also acknowledging the other side of your argument. That is, how might you convince those who don’t agree with you in a way that says, “Consider these issues…”? (Prove your point in a way that encourages a higher-order conversation about social behaviors, for example.)

  • You might find yourself exploring the philosophical issues, rather than emphasizing an aggressive argument, and that is fine. Rogerian style lends itself to exploratory writing, which is a nice way to understand philosophical concerns surrounding technology use in the social forum, etc.

Technical Aspects

  • At least ~10 to 12 pages of higher-order discussion/essay content (i.e., the page count does not include the Works Cited list)

  • At least 10 to 15 sources should be included in the text (with a Works Cited list at the end)

  • Include a balanced mix of scholarly articles (use the library databases to find peer-reviewed journal articles) and books as sources. Limit your use of popular news sources, such as news articles, though citing a few should be fine.

  • MLA Style header, heading, page numbers, citations, Works Cited, etc.

  • The Works Cited list should start on its own page at the end, not at the end of your content in the essay

  • Double-spaced

  • 1-inch margins all around

Presentations

Short presentations will take place during the last week of class sessions together (after Thanksgiving break)

  • The presentation requires some type of visual, such as a nice handout/brochure, very short video clip with a couple minutes of speaking, etc. You’ll tell us about the research you’ve explored for the paper and talk about some of the major themes, scholarly concerns presented in the works you found, and major metaphors.

Points

  • The presentation is worth up to 20 points.

  • The paper is worth up to 100 points.


[Important due dates would go here.]


©Amanda L. Sevilla, 2019


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