Assignments

Sample work is presented courtesy of the students and used with permission.

24 Hours

Due: Lec #5

This assignment has two parts: for the first part, you must endure 24 hours without the Internet (this means on computers, via mobile phones, and via other smart devices). The second part asks you to write a four page paper about the experiment, exploring what you did during the day, how you felt about the change, and how you feel the Internet has integrated itself into your life. You are welcome to also go without other forms of media for an even purer experience, but that is not required for the paper.

Assignment guidelines (PDF)

Sample Student Work

"A Day Without Internet" by Phillip Seo (PDF)

Media Artifacts

Due: Throughout the class

You will be assigned three class sessions for which to find media artifacts related to the day's readings. The kinds of artifacts that are most helpful for this class include: news articles, critical analyses, podcasts, pedagogical materials, and interesting visual/graphical materials. Artifacts should be posted on the class blog with an accompanying short description. Please also print out examples and bring them to class.

Media Analysis

At the beginning of the semester you need to choose a media text (television show; film; videogame; album; magazine) for analysis. For the analysis you'll need to draw on genre theory or discussions of transmedia to determine what the text offers the viewer/reader/listener, and how it was designed to do so. You should also offer your analysis of how the text fulfills (or fails) its generic structures. The paper should draw from class readings as well as other readings you have found that explain your genre, and analyze your text accordingly. The paper should be at least six pages in length.

Assignment guidelines (PDF)

Sample Student Work

"Words and Images: The Narrative Techniques of Kabuki: Circle of Blood" by Phillip Seo (PDF - 2.4MB)

"Top Gear's Target Audience" by Josh Seigel (PDF)

Media Studies Interviews and Final Project

Other assignments have asked you to apply genre frameworks to media artifacts and their design, as well as your own experiences with the Internet (or its lack). This assignment has you focus on other media consumers, and the ways that they think about their relationship with the media. As a class we'll be developing guidelines for interviewing individuals about this topic, we'll decide on interview questions, and each member of the class is then responsible for conducting and transcribing three in-depth interviews.

Transcribed interviews will be shared among the class, and each individual will then choose a particular question to write about, and draw from the results of all available interviews to draft their paper, which should be at least 10 pages in length. Finally, we'll hear the results of those analyses in our final class, where we see how a larger group of media consumers thinks about their relationships with media.

Assignment guidelines (PDF)

Sample Student Work

Interview transcripts by MIT student (PDF)

Final project: "Analysis of Addiction: Technological Media Pervasion in Academia" by Josh Seigel (PDF)