IM 355 01, 02 & 03: Interactive Media Theories, Concepts, and Practices

Spring 2020

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

You must select (and cannot change from) one of three options for the research/writing project: (C): a 6-page final paper; (B): an 9-page final paper; (A): a 12-page final paper. The designations DO NOT mean that your paper will automatically receive an A, B, OR C; the specify the length of the paper and that relates to the highest possible grade for a final paper of each type.

You "declare" which option you are using when you turn in your outline.
Normally, You may not change paper options after turning in the outline.
You may only change topics (a) if you complete and turn in a new/second outline no later than 1 full week (7 days) prior to the due date for the draft.

Values for the outline and rough draft are the same for all versions; values for the final paper vary, based on option. 70 points will be entered as the "base" score for the final paper assignment. Option (C) final papers are worth up to 50; Option (B) final papers are worth up to 75; Option (A) final papers are worth up to 100 points.

Your paper/project must address topics/issues that are directly relevant to IM 355. You may use the text and/or the concepts (writings and/0r lectiures) as "jumping off points." Your topic must be submitted for approval before March 3 (earlier the better). Late topic submissions result in a 1-grade reduction in value for the outline. Outlines may not be completed/turned in without Lamoureux's approval of your topic. Post your name and topic to the Sakai Wiki. Drop a 60 sec. Mp3 file (lastname_topic.Mp3) explaining your idea(s) into your Sakai drop box. Send Ed an email after you post and drop the file.

Each paper (outline/draft/final) must start with (1) project type (C, B, A) (2) the topic approved from the wiki (3) your name, and (4) the title of YOUR paper.

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 the specified/modified MLA

Drafts without sections with section headings, main points organized by one of the patterns presented in class, and without properly formatted evidence and bibliographic citations [including URLs 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 Sakai. All three portions of the project must be turned in and graded in order for you to pass the course.

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.

All sources should be carefully documented, and included in each assignment file, using modified MLA style.

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 or .docx documents.
I do NOT accept Google Docs, Pages documents, .pdf files, or any other file types.
If you do not own a copy of Microsoft Word, arrange for document translation to WORD in the library or other work station.
When you translate to WORD, be sure to look over its "auto-correction" mark-up and make the necessary changes.

I return the papers (to your Sakai dropbox for 355) via a WORD document with review COMMENTS. I sometimes add an mp3 file. Be sure that you read and listen to all of my comments.

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

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


Head your submissions as follows:

At the top of page 1: your name, the project topic written out, the A/B/C project type, all set in 10 point font, single spaced. Then the paper's title, centered. That and the rest are 12 point font, double spaced.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. What is the relationship among your main points? 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. 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.

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 previewing and reviewing as you go.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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. NO BULLETS.

7. In general, you are making an argument and can use the following structure as a template:

    Main point







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

    Transition to the next main point


8. 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 (modified MLA style). Use internal citations (at the point in the paper you are using the evidence) and a reference list. The forms of evidence include:

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

Include the evidence you have in your outline. Indicate places you know you need (but don't yet have) evidence and suggest the sort of material you are looking for. The draft should be mostly complete, but again, if you make claims that you know you will need evidence for in your final paper, indicate your awareness of that in (parenthesis) in the draft.

9. 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.

10. Use 12 point font throughout; double spaced, 1" 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).

11. End of the paper has 3 sections:
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.

12. Don't forget that our library features kind and knowledgeable librarians who are expert at suggesting effective/efficient research strategies. You should take advantage of their expertise. Kari Garman is our CFA librarian; others are also very helpful.

13. Also remember that, in many instances, print resources are superior to materials found 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. 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.

14. Below, find links that will down load 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. This is how I will mark up your papers, so be sure that you can see my comments.

Sample Outline
Sample Draft
Sample Final

© Ed Lamoureux, 2020

(A) Concept Exams

(B) Text Reading

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