Our Final Paper (minimum 1,800 words) gives you an opportunity to write about a topic of your choice at greater length and in more detail. As outlined below, there are a few different approaches you can potentially take on the paper. Regardless of which approach you take, your work on the paper should involve research so that you are engaging with sources beyond our class readings.
The first step in your work toward the Final Paper is completing a paper proposal (minimum 500 words). Your proposal should address the following prompts:
- What approach will you take to the Final Paper? See more on the options below.
- What topic will you address? What will be the focus of your paper? If you need help figuring out a topic, refer to these suggestions.
- What do you think will be the main purpose, point, or argument of your paper? What do you hope to achieve through the paper? This might change over time, but offer a sense for where you think you are headed.
- What types of sources or texts will help you write this paper? What sort of research will you do?
- How do you see your paper contributing to our class conversations and ideas?
Final Paper Options
Here are the main options for your approach to the Final Paper:
- Argument paper. This approach involves making an argument about some aspect of digital culture. You would need to develop and support your argument throughout the paper. Your research would likely focus on finding sources that help you support your argument or that you can respond to as you develop your ideas. You would aim to persuade us or otherwise shape our thinking about your topic and help us see it in a new way, such that you are adding to our class conversations and understanding of digital rhetoric.
- Rhetorical analysis. This approach involves analyzing some aspect of digital culture through the lens of one or more of our class readings. You could focus your analysis on one text or aspect of digital culture in particular or look at multiple aspects or texts and compare them. Your research would likely involve finding sources that comment on these aspects of digital culture or that otherwise help you analyze them. You would aim both to help us better understand this aspect of digital culture through your analysis and to help us better understand our class readings and ideas by applying them.
- Research paper. This approach involves picking a topic relevant to digital culture and doing research to learn more about it. Your paper would organize and analyze your research findings so that you are presenting what you learn about the topic with clarity and insight. Your research would likely involve finding sources that help you learn more about the topic. You can potentially make an argument or otherwise comment on what you find through your research, but the main focus of the paper would be presenting your research findings.
- Reflection paper. This approach involves applying the readings and ideas from our class to your own experience. Your paper would include a narrative or discussion of some aspect of your experience with digital culture and an analysis of your experience through the lens of our class readings and/or other sources. Your research would likely involve finding sources that discuss topics related to your experience, that give you another lens through which to analyze your experience, or that discuss other people’s related experiences. You would aim both to better understand your experience through your analysis and to help us better understand ideas and issues from our class by drawing on your experience as an example.