Assignments

There are 4 types of assignments upon which you will be graded: tweets, blog posts, blog comments, and your final research project. The remainder of your course grade will be based on your overall participation quality (see Policies for expectations on participation). There will be a total of 500 possible points.

Tweets
(50 points, 10% of final grade)

The purpose of tweets is to get you thinking about course content outside of the classroom and to keep up an ongoing conversation with your classmates (and possibly others) related to course material and themes. You must use a public account, but it need not be your personal Twitter account (you may create one just for the purpose of this class) and you need not attach your real name to it. Each week there will be specific types of tweets you will be required to post (these will be specified on the course schedule).

  • Reading response: a question or opinion you have about the readings, an encapsulation of a major point from the readings, further information you find relevant to the readings, etc.
  • Discussion response: like the reading response, but related to what happened in class; this could be a tweet you post during the in-class screening if you like
  • @reply tweet: a substantive response to or elaboration on something tweeted by a classmate
  • Research tweet: something related specifically to your research topic – could be a link to a site or text you discovered, a thought you’d like feedback on, etc.
  • Free tweet: can be a repeat of any of the above, or just something you come across that’s relevant to the course

You can always post more than the required number each week, as long as you hit the minimum requirements for the week (you can’t bank them up though). By the end of the semester, you must have tweeted 50 total times. In order to be counted, each tweet must include the class hashtag #repsub13.

Blog posts
(100 points, 20% of final grade)

You will sign up in groups of 3 to create a blog post of 1000 words (or more) based on a class session from the semester. Each post must include the following three elements:

  • Summary of the assigned readings, with special focus on how each relates to the weekly objectives
  • Summary of the in-class screening and how you believe it illustrated the weekly objectives
  • Summary of the class discussion, both in class and on Twitter. You should use Storify or screengrabs to embed actual tweets in your post.

Imagine that your audience is a classmate who wasn’t in class that day, or just a person interested in learning more about what our course is about. Your post should include an engaging and explanatory title, and should make use of hyperlinks and embedded images/media. Images/media must be properly linked and attributed to their sources. The writing should be polished and the prose should be clear. Feel free to editorialize – your own (respectful) opinions and responses to the reading/screening/discussion are welcome. You may divide up the work however you like, but all group members will receive a collective grade – this means you’re each responsible for making sure all the required elements are included. I recommend putting at least one person specifically in charge of formatting and editing the post once everyone has contributed their piece, then having the other two people double-check their work.

Blog comments
(2 @ 25 points each, 10% of total grade)

Twice throughout the semester you should leave a comment on a blog post written by your classmates. Each comment should be at least 125 words long and should be a substantive response to any of the points made in the post. If someone has already commented on a post, you may write a subsequent comment responding to that comment. This means that you can get credit for a comment on your own original post (but only if someone who wasn’t in the original group comments first). The first comment must be posted by class time on 10/23. The second must be posted by class time on 11/20 (it can be in response to any earlier post).

Final research project
(250 points, 50% of total grade)

For your final research project you will create a webpage in which you propose an original media representation of the subculture or social movement of your choice. Your proposed artifact could take the form of a documentary, a feature film, a television program, a podcast, an album, a print zine, etc. You will not actually be creating this artifact – rather you will do the necessary preliminary research and present it in webpage form. (Hypothetically, you could use this webpage as the basis for a funding campaign or thesis proposal, should you decide to actually develop your proposed artifact.) Your webpage/proposal should be at least 3000 words and will include multiple elements:

  • Background information about the subculture/movement, which you will gather through research
  • Reviews and analysis of at least 2 previous representations of the subculture/movement
  • A description of the artifact you would create, which should include the argument you intend to make, the representative strategies you will use to make this argument, and a discussion of why/how the media format you have chosen will support this argument
  • Accompanying visuals/multimedia to augment your written text

You will build your proposal in stages throughout the semester. I will give you feedback at each stage, but you are also strongly encouraged to meet with me during my office hours to discuss your project at any time in the semester! Here are the requirements and due dates for each part:

  • Initial topic ideas (due via email before class on 9/25/13)
    2-3 ideas of subcultures/movements you might research, with at least one sentence for each explaining why it’s interesting (10 points)
  • Research topic (due via email before class on 10/9/13)
    At least a paragraph describing the subculture/movement you have decided to research, some potential sources of background information, at least 2 potential media representations you could analyze, and any initial thoughts you have about the form your media artifact might take. You can also mention any course readings that you think will be useful as you develop your proposal. (10 points)
  • Preliminary annotated bibliography (due via email before class on 10/23/13)
    This will be a more formalized version of the information from your research topic paragraph. You should include bibliographic information for at least 5 sources (which can include course readings) and 2 media representations. Each entry in your bibliography should be accompanied by an annotation – at least one sentence describing the source and what’s useful about it. (20 points)
  • Annotated bibliography + paper outline (due via email before class on 11/13/13)
    This version of your bibliography should be updated based on any feedback received on your preliminary version, and should include all the sources you plan on using for your final project (each with its own annotation). You should also include an outline or sketch of the content of your final paper and how you plan to structure it. (The more you can provide at this point, the better feedback I can give you before your paper is due.) (25 points)
  • Text version of paper (due via email before regular class time on 11/27/13)
    This should be a full version of the text that you will ultimately post to your webpage, a minimum of 3000 words. I will give you feedback on this, which you can revise before posting to your webpage. (75 points)
  • Webpage skeleton (must be posted to WordPress as a draft by class time on 12/4/13)
    You will create a page to be integrated into the class website. You should fill it with as much content as you have by 12/4/13, including text, images, multimedia, hyperlinks, etc. You can use placeholders if you don’t have the final material ready to go yet, but the basic structure should be there. (10 points)
  • Final webpage (must be posted and published by 4:55pm on 12/11/13)
    A checklist of all requirements will be added here as the semester progresses. Your webpage will be evaluated on the rigor of the content, the extent to which you have incorporated previous feedback, and the professional public presentation of your ideas (essentially the technical polish of your page, including appropriate use of images, hyperlinks, attribution, etc.). (100 points)

Checklist for final webpage
Written content (75 points)
You may simply reproduce the written content (including bibliography and parenthetical references) you submitted as a paper draft on 11/27. If you do so, you will receive the same number of points on your final version as you did on that version. If you would like to improve your score, you can revise the text using the feedback I provided. If you would like to me to re-read and re-grade the written content on your webpage, you must submit an explanation in writing of the revisions you made and how they responded to the feedback you received. You should submit this explanation in an email to me, sent by the webpage deadline (4:55pm on 12/11/13).

Appropriate use of hyperlinks (10 points)
Provide hyperlinks for any authors, sources, public figures, and media texts mentioned in your paper. (Rule of thumb – all capitalized names or titles in your paper should be linked to a web presence.)

Multimedia (10 points)
Embed images and multimedia to support your written content – aim for at least 5. Any media texts you analyze should have at least one supporting image/video/etc. You may use screenshots. Images/multimedia should either link to their source or include a source credit caption. (The source should be a real webpage, not a Google Image page or a white page with just an image on it.)

Formatting (5 points)
Make sure your overall webpage is polished and pleasing to look at. Text should be formatted and justified neatly; sections should be separated by line breaks and subtitles.

Reminder: the course policy is that late submissions are penalized 10% for each day they are late. Any webpages/emails posted after 4:55pm on 12/11/13 will be counted as late.