research pale for media technology classr: online dating
I. General Instructions
Select a topic of your choice and submit it for approval to the instructor. This assignment is a research paper, not an essay, and as such, you are expected to research your topic thoroughly, describe it comprehensively, and write formally. Your paper must be typed, double spaced, on standard 8 ½ x 11 paper. The body of the text (excluding title page, endnotes, and bibliography) must be 10 pages in length. Do not forget to number the pages (starting with page #2) and to include a title page, indicating the title of the paper, your name, the title of the course, the name of the instructor, and the date.
References should be properly cited according to a standard citation style guide. MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), or A Uniform System of Citation (legal style) is recommended. Whichever you select, be consistent. Citation style includes title page, citation of sources, pagination, and bibliography. The bibliography should include at least 10 different sources (e.g., different articles, books, reports).
II. Research Procedures
The research paper, if properly planned and executed, will add to the value of the course by increasing the depth of your knowledge in one or more subject areas and by familiarizing you with the use of the resources of the UM libraries. As you begin your research, your readings can provide you with a useful introduction to your topic. When researching your topic, you are expected to go beyond course readings and lectures; simply rehashing materials presented in class will not be satisfactory. Also consider that books take at least one year to get published; so even a 2013 book may contain outdated information–this is especially true in the telecommunications field. You will find that you will need to use trade magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, and primary sources for gathering up-to-date information.
The Richter Library offers access to on-line indexes and databases covering different aspects of the telecommunication industries, such as Expanded Academic ASAP, LexisNexis Academic, and ABI/INFORM (see http://findit.library.miami.edu/findit/Communication_guide.php?subject_id=communication).
Expanded Academic ASAP may be a good place to start finding trade periodical articles. In addition, you can electronically access two web-based databases of the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS), ComIndex and ComAbstracts.
For legal sources, consult LexisNexis Academic. Of course, you can access all these databases remotely (i.e., from home). Regardless of your research approach, do not hesitate to request help from the reference librarians (or from me).
It will take time to familiarize yourself with the ramifications of your topic. Do not imagine that you can finish a quality research paper in just a few days–it cannot be done. Plan and work ahead. Research takes time, planning, and patience. You may (indeed, should) discuss progress on your paper with me any time before the due date.
III. Final check before turning in the paper
1. REREAD THE PAPER GUIDELINES before turning in your paper.
2. MISSTATEMENT OF FACT: Your grade will suffer considerably if you present inaccurate information. Avoid factual errors.
3. INADEQUATE IDENTIFICATION: Inadequate identification of sources is a major deficiency in a research paper. When you rely on expert opinion, identify your source. Do not fudge your citations. When I check them, I lose faith in the overall accuracy of your research if I discover that the quote or the idea does not appear in the place you have indicated. When you use somebody else’s words or ideas (i.e., not common knowledge), be sure to say so through a proper citation. It is plagiarism when one gives no appropriate credit for language or ideas.
4. RELIANCE ON OUTDATED SOURCES: In the field of telecommunications, information from even the last year may be dated and inaccurate. Your research should be up to date. Make sure that your bibliography contains current sources.
5. PROOFREAD: Spell-check and go over the paper to correct typos, unclear sentences, and grammatical errors before turning it in.
6. DO NOT USE PLASTIC BINDERS: Just staple the paper.
IV. Grading Criteria
Papers will be graded based on (1) the description of the issue(s) (statement of purpose, factual accuracy, whether your description is up to date); (2) your analysis of the issue(s) (your resolution of the issue and why, based on fact, logic, and/or law, not emotion); (3) the quality of your research (whether you find good sources, whether your sources are current and diverse); and (4) writing mechanics (correct spelling and grammar, clarity and style, citation form, and organization).
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