21L.015 | Fall 2003 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Media Studies


Written and Oral Assignments

21L.015 is a Communication-Intensive (CI) course; writing and speaking are critical parts of the class. Essay assignments and shorter writing exercises enable students to make connections between the lectures, readings, screenings, discussion sections and their own lives. Over the course of the semester, we will stress strategies for effective writing and oral presentations in the humanities and social sciences. By the end of the semester you will have completed 25-30 pages of writing and three oral presentations. In addition, you will have the opportunity to practice the craft of revision in the preparation of your last essay.

  1. Short Writing Exercises: Students will regularly submit short written exercises (1- 2 pages, typed) on course readings/lectures assigned in class or section.
    • Oral and Written Assignment #1 (PDF)
    • Writing Assignment #2 (PDF)
  2. Essays: Students will write four essays (three shorter essays and one longer research paper–see #3: Final research project) by the end of the term. The shorter essays vary in length from 5-7 pg., typed, double-spaced. In the first essay, students will apply concepts from course lectures and readings to explore the role of media in their own lives. In the second essay assignment, students will address central issues in lectures/readings by analyzing comparatively the ways in which different news media present a contemporary issue or event. The third essay asks students to draw upon course lectures and readings (or other outside sources) to interpret the ways in which a contemporary film (feature or documentary) or television program represents a social or psychological issue or problem or translates a print text (short story, play, novel or nonfiction work) to the screen.
  3. Final Research Project: The final research project includes (a) a 10-15 pg. research essay and (b) an oral presentation. The research essay has a three-part sequence: proposal, first version and revision. Early in the semester students choose a topic in media studies to investigate through library research. They first submit a proposal and have a conference with the section leader. After this conference, most students revise their proposals to focus topics more narrowly and include additional bibliographical sources and a research plan (e.g. plan for interviewing, screening films or tapes, etc.). The next stage is the submission of the first version of the essay. This version should be a complete essay with bibliography, not a “rough draft.” First versions will be commented on by section leaders, but not graded. The revision of the essay is due at the end of the semester; students also give final oral reports at that time.
    • Final Research Project Sequence (PDF)
  4. Oral Presentations: Students in 21L.015 have several opportunities for oral presentations throughout the semester. The first presentation is an introductory talk at the first section meeting; the second presentation focuses on a course reading. The final presentation (see #3 above) centers on the final research project.
    • Oral and Written Assignment #1 (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2003
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Presentation Assignments