Extra credit opportunity 3

Dear J201 students,

You are invited to participate in an online study concerning what people learn from reading news stories. By taking this online survey, you will receive 0.5 extra credit points for J201. In total, we expect your participation to take approximately 20 minutes. This study will be open until Friday February 23rd at 10pm.

You can participate in this study from any computer equipped with a Web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, or Safari) and an Internet connection. If you do not have an Internet connection at home, you can complete the study from a campus computer lab or library.

As with any research, your participation is voluntary, and all of the information you give will be kept strictly confidential. Douglas McLeod, Evjue Centennial professor, and graduate students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are conducting this study. If you have questions about the project, please contact Prof. Douglas McLeod at dmmcleod@wisc.edu.

If you would like to receive extra credit, but do not want to participate in the study, you may attend an alternate lecture on Friday March 23rd 11am-12pm, Vilas 2130. Please note that you cannot receive credit for both—you will get a maximum of .5 points for participating in the study or attending the lecture.

You must be at least 18 years old to participate in this study.

To participate in the online study, simply click on the following link and follow the directions: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bCJawc9HiNlDYvX

Thank you in advance for your help with our study.√

Research Paper #1

J201 – Spring 2018 – Research Paper #1: Newspaper Analysis

Please read carefully and to the end of the instructions before lecture on Wednesday, February 14th. We’ll start that lecture with any questions (but I’ll only answer them if those questions aren’t answered here!).

This assignment requires you to compare and contrast coverage from two different newspapers on one of the four stories listed below, having to do with campus unrest at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your essay must critically assess the similarities and differences in coverage between the newspapers on your chosen topic, with an academic audience in mind. That means that you won’t be giving your own opinion, but you will come up with your own argument, or thesis.

1. News Topics

Focus your essay around coverage of one of these stories:

  • October 1967 – protests against Dow Chemical
  • December 1968-February 1969 – Demands by black students and boycott of classes
  • August 1970 – Sterling Hall bombing
  • April 1972 – Madison riots

2. Thesis

Your essay should have a focused argument, or thesis, with evidence to support it.

In section, you and your TAs will be discussing how to craft a good thesis. Your argument will come from the sources, rather than the other way around. (Meaning, do your research with an open mind, then decide on your argument.)

 3. Requirements for both drafts

  • 1400-1600 words
  • Times New Roman, 12pt font, double-spaced
  • A title
  • A clearly stated thesis that is underlined in your text
  • Evidence to support your thesis
  • APA style for in-text citations and reference list
  • A heading that is formatted like this at the top-left of your paper and has all the same components:

Annie McStudent
J201 – Section 307
February 22, 2018
Word Count: 1565

  • Appendix that includes copies of the newspaper articles you’re citing in your paper. Keep in mind that Turnitin only allows you to submit one document, so you’ll want to combine all your materials into one file, as a single PDF or Doc.
  • Readings and lectures, especially from Weeks 2 and 3, should inform your work and be cited in your paper. You may also consult additional outside sources (meaning, in addition to the newspaper articles) as long as you include them in your reference list and give proper citation.

4. Deadlines

First draft is due to Turnitin and to your peer reviewers by email on Thursday, February 22nd by midnight. (Your TA will assign peer reviewers during Week 4.)

Final draft is due to Turnitin on Thursday, March 8th by midnight.

5. Description

This assignment requires you to compare and contrast coverage from two different newspapers on one of the four stories listed above. Use the Library Research Guide to learn how to find articles.

It’s possible to do this assignment well with your research entirely online. Not all newspapers are digitized, though, including the UW-Madison student newspapers, so some of you may wish to visit the libraries in person to look at microfilm. Your options are detailed in the Library Guide.

Keep in mind that a news story is rarely confined to a single article. You are likely to see news articles, columns, editorials, letters, and other content about the story over a period of time. So be sure you are comparing apples to apples when comparing and contrasting two newspapers. For example, a letter to the editor in one newspaper should not be directly compared to a news article in another. You’ll want to demonstrate that you understand the different elements of a newspaper and types of coverage.

After you’ve read enough to learn the context of the event being covered, narrow down your selection to about three to five articles from each of the two newspapers you’ve selected. You’ll include copies of these articles as an appendix to your drafts. Then do close readings of your articles to come up with your specific topic and argument.

An argument typically answers a question. For example, for this essay, you might ask:

  • Was the news coverage fair?
    • Accurate? Transparent? Use your readings and lecture notes to help you determine what makes for fair coverage. Was the story put in context? What sources were used and how does this shape the coverage? Are there differences in facts between the stories?
  • What is the big picture the newspaper is conveying with their coverage?
    • In other words, are they presenting it a as a story of a riot? Of an attempt for social justice? Of a battle between police and protesters? Something else?

You will not answer all of these questions in your essay, and you can come up with your own question to answer. We encourage you to be creative and take intellectual risks with your thesis! (If the risk doesn’t work, you can always try a different approach in the next draft.) There’s no one right way to approach this essay as long as you meet those requirements listed in section 3.

6. Close Reading

A close reading means you’ll analyze, among other aspects of coverage, the language used, the quotes selected, the sources, the order of information. Drawing from two different newspapers and noting the differences and similarities should help you determine what aspect of the news coverage you’d like to focus on. For instance, maybe you want to make an argument about straight news in a conservative versus liberal paper. Maybe you’ll want to situate your paper in a question about race by looking at a white newspaper and a black newspaper. You might find you want to make an argument about specific language, or about sources, or about fairness.

To that end, you may consider some of the following questions when critically assessing the articles:

  • What is the purpose of the piece?
    • To inform the public, to offer analysis, to investigate, to create a public forum?
  • What kind of article is this?
    • Is it an editorial or a news article? Straight news or news analysis? (Keep in mind it might not be labeled.) If it’s news, is it from the AP or UPI wire services, or is it a reporter for that newspaper? If it’s AP or UPI, in what other newspapers did this article appear at the same time and in what ways was it altered? Are there differences in headlines? If so, what can you conclude about the way the editors of that paper are shaping their coverage?
  • What kind of newspaper is this?
    • Daily? Weekly? Local? National? Were its editorials generally thought to be conservative or liberal? Is it a black newspaper or a white newspaper? Is it a student newspaper and if so, do its editorials lean conservative or liberal? Are any of these factors shaping coverage?

Again, you should NOT answer all of the above questions in your essay, and instead should have a focused argument, or thesis, with tailored evidence, but these can help get you started.

Library Research Guide:
https://researchguides.library.wisc.edu/J201

Extra credit opportunity 2

Dear J201 students,

Here’s another opportunity for you to earn .5 percentage points of extra credit. You are invited to participate in an online study concerning what people learn from reading opinion pieces. Douglas McLeod, Evjue Centennial professor, and graduate students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are conducting this study.

Your participation in the survey will involve reading opinion pieces and answering questions about various political and social issues. In total, we expect your participation to take approximately 20 minutes. This study will be open until Wednesday February 14th at 11pm.

 You can participate in this study from any computer equipped with a Web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, or Safari) and an Internet connection. If you do not have an Internet connection at home, you can complete the study from a campus computer lab or library.

As with any research, your participation is voluntary, and all of the information you give will be kept strictly confidential. If you have questions about the project, please contact Prof. Douglas McLeod at dmmcleod@wisc.edu.

If you would like to receive extra credit, but do not want to participate in the study, you may attend an alternate lecture on Friday March 16th 11am-12pm, Vilas 2130. Please note that you cannot receive credit for both—you will get a maximum of .5 points for participating in the study or attending the lecture.

You must be at least 18 years old to participate in this study.

To participate in the online study, simply click on the following link and follow the directions:

https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_88OPBnkCijE1TKd

Thank you in advance for your help with our study.

Extra Credit Opportunity 1

Dear J201 students,

Here’s an opportunity for you to earn extra credit for J201. You are invited to participate in an online study concerning what people learn from reading news stories. Douglas McLeod, Evjue Centennial professor, and graduate students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are conducting this study.

In this on-line study, some questions concerning your perceptions of social and political issues will be asked through a self-report questionnaire. You will also encounter a news story and potentially some additional content, followed by a second questionnaire. In total, we expect your participation to take approximately 20 minutes. This study will be open until Sunday, February 11th at 9pm.

You can participate in this study from any computer equipped with a Web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari) and an Internet connection. If you do not have an Internet connection at home, you can complete the study from a campus computer lab or library.

As with any research, your participation is voluntary, and all of the information you give will be kept strictly confidential. If you have questions about the project, please contact Prof. Douglas McLeod at dmmcleod@wisc.edu.

If you would like to receive extra credit, but do not want to participate in the study, you may attend an alternate lecture about the study on March 22nd at 4:30pm, Vilas 5055. Please note that you cannot receive credit for both—you will get extra point for participating in this study or attending the alternative lecture.

You must be at least 18 years old to participate in this study.

To participate in the online study, simply click on the following link and follow the directions: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2caNADqhzC23MSV

Thank you in advance for your help with our study.

Short Writing Assignment #1

J201: Short Writing Assignment #1 – Due Thursday, February 1 by midnight on Turnitin.com*

Interview a person in their sixties or older about their mass media experiences in the twentieth century, especially with news. Use the questions below as a starting point. Then write a short essay between 500 and 600 words describing, analyzing, and reflecting on the media life of your interviewee.

If you don’t have a family member or other acquaintance in this age bracket, you can interview the relative of a friend, as long as that person isn’t already the interviewee for someone else taking the course.

Assignment requirements:

  • 500-600 words
  • You may use first-person (“In my interview with…..” or “From such-and-such, I concluded….”)
  • The essay should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. For instance, you could have an introductory paragraph giving an introduction to your subject and what the key takeaways were from your interview, body paragraphs analyzing the content of your interview, drawing out themes, and reflecting on their media experiences, and a conclusion, maybe reflecting on what surprised you most. Make sure you don’t simply recount the whole interview but instead focus on your own analysis of the content.
  • Write in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced
  • Put your name, the participant’s name and age, and the relationship you have with your interview participant at the top of the page
  • Paraphrase your interview. However, if there’s a great quote, you can include what your participant said verbatim in quotation marks.
  • Include only information that seems the most poignant or interesting. For example, if your participant didn’t say anything interesting about radio, no need to include that. Focus on what you found interesting.
  • APA style is not required, since you won’t have discussed it in section yet, but feel free to get a head start practicing it: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/

 

Possible questions you could ask:

  • When you were growing up, how did your parents get their news? What newspaper subscriptions did they have, if any? When and why did that change, if it did?
  • How did you consume news growing up? As an adult? How did you hear about world or national events? When and how did that change in your lifetime?
  • What do you remember about your experiences with radio?
  • What kinds of radio programs, if any, did you listen to (entertainment, music, talk, )? When were they on, and why did you like them?
  • In what ways, if any, did TV shape your home life?
  • What do you remember about the nightly TV news broadcasts of the 1950s and 1960s? Did your family have a favorite anchor and why?
  • Anything else you want to share?

*Be on the lookout in Week 1 for an email from your TA with instructions on how to sign up for Turnitin.com