1250-1750 words (including the title and bibliography/works cited pages). For every 100 words under or over the word count, papers will be penalized 2%, e.g., a 1000-word paper will incur a 4% penalty, while a 1900-word paper will be levied a 2% penalty.
Students should upload their assignment to Canvas as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF (.pdf) document.
Submissions emailed to the instructors will not be accepted and will be considered late if they have not been uploaded to the submission box on Canvas.
Submissions should be double-spaced, with a 12-point font (Times New Roman/Arial/Cambria). Citations should be formatted in APA citation style, with a bibliography or works cited section at the end of their submission. Students unfamiliar with APA citations are encouraged to review the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s manual (Links to an external site.) or avail themselves of an online citation generating service (Links to an external site.).
Submissions should include a cover page that includes student name, number, and course information, along with an appropriate title (e.g., “Soundcloud Killed the Video Star: Hip-Hop as Subculture and as Cultural Dominant” or “An Analysis of Jeffree Star as Micro-Celebrity”).
Students may use first-person pronouns (e.g., “I,” “my,” etc.) in the course of writing their response.
Students’ submissions will be checked for originality after they have uploaded their assignment, using Turnitin (see the syllabus). By submitting their paper to the dropbox on Canvas, students will have automatically uploaded their papers to Turnitin; they do not have to access the Turnitin site directly, as the anti-plagiarism functionality is built into the dropbox on Canvas. For their paper to be accepted for grading, students must produce a similarity index score lower than 20%. Papers submitted with a score of 20% or higher will not be graded until they are resubmitted with a satisfactory score.
Students must cite or refer to at least five (5) academic sources, of which no more than two (2) can be from the course assigned readings. (Course assigned readings do not have to be used; all five academic sources can be from outside of the course.) An academic source can include an article from a peer-reviewed journal, a chapter from a text published by a university or scholarly press, etc. If students are unsure as to whether a source can be considered sufficiently academic, they should ask the instructor to confirm its acceptability. Non-academic sources like newspaper articles or blog entries can also be used but will not count towards the minimum number of academic sources that must be included in the paper.
Students may choose to write on one of the following topics:
- Choose one or more movie franchises and describe their relationship to the political economy and business of the film industry.
- Choose one or more contemporary television series and describe their relationship to the technological changes in the production, distribution, and consumption of television.
- Choose one or more advertising or marketing campaigns and describe their relationship to the ideology of advertising and consumerism.
- Choose one or more musical genre, countercultural community or fandom, and describe them as subcultures in relation to mainstream culture.
- Choose one or more music video or advertising campaign, and explain whether or not they fit in with broader patterns in the history of gender and sexual representations.
- Choose one or more comedian or comedy television series, and explain how they negotiate and/or reproduce racial, gender, and other stereotypes through their humour.
- Choose one or more animated films or television series, and describe their relationship with globalization.
- Choose one or more video game title or franchise, and explain its relationship with the economic and labour conditions of the gaming industry.
- Students may pursue their own research agenda and pose their own questions (or modify an existing one), with the prior approval of the instructor.
The paper will be evaluated according to the following criteria (in order of importance):
• persuasiveness and rigour in arguing for a particular position or perspective in relation to the chosen theme from the course, as illustrated through references to contemporary examples, issues, and debates about pop culture related to that theme;
• relevance, use, and explication of academic sources, that is, how judiciously they choose and faithfully they reconstruct the scholarly literature on the chosen theme from the course, demonstrating that they have undertaken a studied engagement of the course material and/or external scholarship through quotes, paraphrases, etc.;
• quality of writing, as reflected both in the attention to proofreading, editing, citations, etc., to limit typographical, grammatical, and other errors, and in the observance of the assignment’s formal and technical requirements, e.g., citation style, spacing and margins, etc.
Papers will be graded out of one hundred (100).