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Please note: The example provided here is only an illustration and may not reflect the current course assignment. Students should not rely on this information to shape their assignments but should instead refer to the assignment description provided by their instructor.

1. Assignment description: COMM310 research paper

2. Marked-up version with verbs, keywords, and instructions indicated: COMM310 research paper mark-up

Condensed interpretation of the assignment:

  • 1500 words (max. 2000), double-spaced, typed research paper
    • Name, course number, and date must be on paper
    • Use meaningful title
    • Bibliography on separate page
  • Choose any phenomenon, issue, or incident that can be explored through interpersonal or organizational communication, or though media or cultural theory
  • Select topic would like to learn more about
    • What interesting phenomenon, issue, or incident relating to language, communication, media, culture, or technology recently read/heard of?
    • Choose limited scope that is appropriate to 1500 word paper
  • Working with sources
    • Primary source=Griffin
      • Can read chapters in Griffin not covered in 310
    • Can use Internet to research basic information about topic for background/general information
    • Limit non-Griffin sources that explain/provide basic information (including web-based materials)
    • Total number of sources should be 2-4 (e.g., Griffin chapters, theories/theorists therein, lecture materials)
    • Can use theories selected for other 310 assignments but should expand range and demonstrate breadth of knowledge
    • Do not repeat arguments/language used in other assignments
  • Developing research question and thesis statement
    • Develop argument focused by research question that is distilled in a thesis statement
      • Answer to research question is thesis statement that leads to and summarizes what evidence supports
      • Argument will be supported by Griffin material, lecture material, and own thinking about topic
      • Argument will be supported empirically by data gathered through case studies, informal survey, field experiment, findings of other research studies, or other forms of data/evidence.
  • Provide evidence and data
    • Evidence should answer research question
  • Writing and APA requirements
    • Follow standard essay and research report format
    • First-person voice okay
    • Grammar, spelling, and style count; writing errors will be penalized
    • Use APA for referencing and in-text citations
    • Paper must be clearly and logically written without spelling mistakes/typos so proofread before submission 

Dr. Virginia McKendry, Program Head for the BAPC On-Campus and Online programs in the School of Communication and Culture, approved this interpretation of the assignment.