IM 355 Interactive Media Theories, Concepts, and Practices

Spring 2022


(D) Research/Writing Project (in three parts, 2-page outline, rough draft, 9-page final paper):

Spring 2022 assignment:

Topics will be selected from the list provided on the CANVAS DISCUSSION (first come, first served, after 3pm January 20). Your topic must be selected before 5pm February 20 (earlier the better). Late topic selection results in a 1-grade reduction in value for the outline. Write a discussion post with your selected topic on the CANVAS DISCUSSION THREAD. Be sure to check the thread list so you do not duplicate selections. Send email w/selection to Ed so that the item will get assigned to you and crossed off the list for others to see. Do not shift/change your topic without checking with me.

The writing goal is a 9-page research paper preceded by a brief, 2-page outline and a fully-formed draft. References/Bibliography do not count in the page count. I will only read 9 pages; anything after that is as though you did not write it. Shorter than 9 pages, I start grading from % of total pages compared to 9.

In addition to the next 14 paragraphs, carefully review and follow instructions in the Key Reminders section that follows, below.

Rough drafts and final papers MUST feature sections with content-specific section headings, main points organized by one of the patterns presented in class, and bib/ref section using MLA (see Purdue University OWL for MLA style) with a few modifications as listed at this link. Set all papers double spaced with 1/2" margins using 12 point font. Include page numbers but no additional running heads or footers.

Drafts without sections, section headings, main points organized by one of the patterns presented in class, and without properly formatted evidence and bibliographic citations [including URLs and paragraph numbers for retrieving web materials at the point you found them] will receive a zero, will be returned without critical commentary, and the "late submission" clock will start running from the time I return the paper.

Final papers without the materials indicated above will receive a zero, without opportunity for redemption.

Submit outlines as an email attachment, directly to me. Draft and final papers are posted to the ASSIGNMENTS section on CANVAS. All three portions of the project must be turned in and graded in order for you to pass the course.

Our three texts, Zuboff, Couldry and Mejias, Crain, provide the conceptual frameworks for your papers. Use and cite them about the concepts as needed. DO NOT use those books as sources for your evidence (beyond explaining the concepts).

You may use the supplemental readings and/or the concepts (writings and/0r lectures) as "jumping off points," but you should NOT use them as evidence more than a couple of times. This assignment calls for research on your part.

I set up the draft and final paper assignments using "Turnitin." Turnitin checks for source and documentation issues (plagiarism, copying, and proper documentation, etc.). Your papers are submitted to our intuitional repository (we do NOT submit your papers to the external Turnitin repository). Submitting your papers to me gives me explicit permission to submit your papers to this repository for our continued use for this purpose at BU. I might also use your paper(s) as examples in this or future classes. When I use your paper as an example, I'll remove your name.

There are NO GRACE PERIODS for the 3 parts of the paper.
Papers for the first two steps are reduced by one full letter grade per 24 hours after the due date/time for each portion (full sentence outline & rough draft). Only students with a documented, completed, graded, and returned, full sentence outline may turn in a rough draft; only students with a completed, graded, and returned, rough draft may turn in the final paper. The first two parts (full sentence outlines & drafts) will NOT be accepted more than 4 calendar days after the due date. If a paper is not turned in by then, you must drop the course or receive an "F." Students must complete the term paper assignment in order to pass the class. Skipping any of the three phases of the paper will result in course failure, regardless of point accumulation. Final papers will only be accepted on time, as scheduled.

Turn in .doc, .docx, files. Be sure to use the proper file extension.
I do NOT accept Google Docs, Pages, .pdf files, or other file types.
If you do not own a copy of Microsoft Word use other software but "save as" a WORD doc.
Be sure to examine items that WORD has suggested "auto-corrections" for and make the necessary changes. If you are working on an Apple machine and do not have Microsoft Word, use PAGES, then save as WORD. Pages is MUCH CLOSER to WORD than is Google Docs, allowing you to use more WORD-like functions.

I return the papers via email in a WORD document with review COMMENTS. Be sure that you read all of my comments.

Title the files (save or save as) according to the naming convention (ALL LOWER CASE):

Papers turned in with improper file names will be returned, ungraded, zero credit, late clock ticking.

I will schedule teleconference meetings with students on April 28. Those meetings will be with students who got their draft back, graded &w/comments, early enough to make changes before our meeting. I will ask before I schedule you.

Later meetings are by appoinment. Check the wiki/discussion page for open days/times, put up a post indicating your preference, and send me email. You don't have the appointment until I post it and get back to you. I must receive your CORRECTED/MODIFIED draft 24 hours before the meeting. If not, I'll cancel. If you have questions about my comments on your draft, ask them via email immediately. The scheduled teleconference meetings are for me to go over completed papers so you could make last minute changes.


Head your submissions as follows:

At the top left of each paper (outline/draft/final) type (1) the topic as listed on the CANVAS DISCUSSION (2) The critical approach you are going to use (3) your name (please set those single spaced in 10 point font). Then change to centered, 12 point and write the title of your paper. Set the rest of the paper in 12 point, double-spaced, 1/2 inch margins.

1. Preface

a. Summary of surveillance capitalism
b. Summary of data colonialism
c. Summary of surveillance advertising
d. Your choice and brief rationale

2. The introduction of your paper should accomplish at least three tasks:
a) Clearly state the thesis of the paper, indicating the conclusion of your critical analysis;
b) Use at least one factor of interest. It should be a narrative, with evidence (and citation) that draws us into being interested in your paper;
c) Preview of the main points.

3. Your main points should follow predictable relationships (and your section headings will follow those). Readers should be able to understand the relationships from the preview in the introduction. Main points should have a predictable relationship to each other such that they are “organized” so that they lead the reader so that the reader can “follow along” based on the logic of your main points. You do not explicitly list the pattern. For example:
Past, present, future.
Big, little, small.
Extreme, average, minimized.
West, central, east.
Hot, medium, cold.
Problem, solution, benefit/cost.
Executive, Judicial, Legislative.
Active, stuck, passive.
Problem, solution, effects/outcomes.
Compare, contrast, benefits/drawbacks of the differences.
Use Categories only when they are familiar to readers (e.g. Executive, Judicial, Legislative branches of government)

When the reader looks at your main points, they should be able to predict, from the first main point, a lot about what your analysis will propose. You can help by signposting, previewing, and reviewing as you go.

4. All papers must have sections with meaningful titles.
While the introduction, summary, and conclusion sections can have these words as “blank” titles, sections within the body of the paper should have meaningful indicators that are more than just blank phrases or placeholders. Section headings should relate to the topic of the section and be written in complete thought units (not single words or overly-short phrases). Don't make readers guess about the subject of the section.

5. Make sure that material that is in sub points (or sub-sub points) applies to the point directly above it.
When you divide, you must end up with at least two sub-divisions.

6. Turn in a two-page outline.
Outlining is more than just a way to divide up paragraphs into sentences and pages into paragraphs. Outlining is a design function. Outline before you write. Don't write out the piece and then go back and break it into an outline.

7. When you outline, use indentation and numeration to specify levels of abstraction.
Make sure all materials at a given level match that level (in other places). Don't repeat the same symbol at different levels of abstraction. DO NOT USE BULLETS FOR OUTLINES IN IM 355.

8. In general, you are making an argument and can use the following structure as a template (Do NOT include the words listed here [main point, etc.]:

    1. Main point

    A. Subpoint

    i. Evidence

    ii. Evidence

    B. Subpoint

    i. Evidence

    ii. Evidence

    C. Determination of the subpoints (what did we learn about the main point)?

    D. Transition to the next main point


9. When one makes claims, one must provide evidence.
Evidence is material used in support of claims. The material must be acceptable to the reader/listener in support of the claim. Be sure to document the evidence that you use (MLA style). Use internal citations (at the point in the paper you are using the evidence--including in your outline) and a reference list. The forms of evidence include:

    1. expert testimony and/or expert quotation
    2. examples
    3. analogies (including comparisons/contrasts)
    4. statistics
    5. numerical analysis
    6. quotation (word for word, in quotations, but not the expert witness of a particular person)
    7. definition

Indicate evidence in all 3 versions. Be sure readers can tell where it will be used and what kind of evidence it is. Indicate places you know you need (but don't yet have) evidence and suggest the sort of material you are looking for. INCLUDE THE PROPER MLA-STYLED CITATION AT THE PLACE IT BELONGS/WHERE THE EVIDENCE WILL BE USED.

The draft should be mostly complete, but again, if you make claims that you know you still need evidence for, indicate your awareness of that in (parenthesis) in the draft.

10. When you use word for word, the material must be in quotation marks, with a page/paragraph number/citation
When you summarize someone else’s ideas, you list the source citation but the page/paragraph number isn't required. See the MLA with modifications page for more style information. Be sure the URL/link takes me to the material, not to the front door of a database or to an abstract. See the BU Library guide to permalinks to generate permalinks.

11. Use 12 point font throughout
Double spaced, 1/2" margins, no running head (but page numbers are ok), Remove extra line spaces between paragraphs of the same style (a setting in WORD: FORMAT/ PARAGRAPH).

12. End of the paper has 3 sections and goals:
a) summarize the determination of the main points--what did we learn/you show in each main point?
b) discussion--now you can discuss the outcome of your analysis. This is the "so what?" section
c) conclusion--Readers tend to remember what they read last. Leave readers with a pithy saying or strong quotation that relates to your point and sticks.

Remember: You can't introduce new arguments or evidence at the end of the paper. Use what you've established in the body.

13. Our library features kind and knowledgeable librarians who are expert at suggesting effective/efficient research strategies.
You should take advantage of their expertise. Christina Norton is our CFA librarian; others are also very helpful.

14. In many instances, print resources are superior to materials only published online.
Research materials found using our academic databases are far superior to resources found using a basic web search. Using Google Scholar search from the library page often returns higher quality, academic, research than a general web search. Wikipedia and Encyclopedias are jumping off points for real research and sources: DO NOT cite them as primary sources. Personal blogs are also frowned on. Author/source credibility is always at issue when judging evidence.

15. URLs should link to the material used. Do not link to the abstract or the "front door/directory" of a database. Information at this link will show you how to create article permanent links for material found via our library's databases:

16. Below, find links that will download 3 WORD document samples. Please note: (a) these are not perfect papers, but they received the highest score in the round (b) you can see my comments using the WORD "reviewing" view. If you can't see/read my comments on these papers, you won't be able to see them on yours and that might cause you to FLUNK. Be sure you read my comments when I return your papers and be responsive to them when you re-write. If you have questions about my comments, ask.

These papers responded to a significantly different assignment; this term's assignment is unique. So the papers give you a sense of my expectations and represent SOME of what you'll need to do. THEY ARE NOT TEMPLATES.

Be sure to view my comments (using the WORD review/comment function).
I do not care what software you use to write your papers but I only except WORD documents and I return WORD documents, with comments. Be sure you have access to a machine that can save files as WORD and that can read the comments included with returned papers using WORD files.

Sample Outline
Sample Draft
Sample Final

(A) Concept Exams

(B) Text Reading

(C) Concept Application
Notes & Discussions
(D) 3-part-Research Writing Project
(E) Extra Credit (F) Grading Special Considerations
Concepts Schedule IM 355 Homepage
© Ed Lamoureux, 2022