Category Archives: general

Extra credit opportunity 14

Dear Students:

I’m Junhan Chen, a master’s student at J-school. I’m doing a study about selective exposure as my MA thesis. 

I would like to invite you to help me with this study by filling out an online survey. The survey will take about 25 minutes.  Upon your completion of this survey, you will receive extra credit for the course you are recruited from. 

As with any research, your participation is voluntary, and all of the information you give will be kept strictly confidential. To participate in the study, please clock the link either on your phone or laptop: link to survey.

If you have any questions about the study, please contact Junhan Chen at 

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Best regards,

Junhan Chen

Extra credit opportunity 13

Dear students,

You are invited to participate in a research study called “Online Activism Project” which seeks to understand what are the inspirations and motivations for young people to join online social movements (especially hashtag movements).

The study is voluntary, takes about 15 minutes. Our IRB approval id is 2017-1357. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the researchers, Shreenita Ghosh ( or Ellie Yang ( or the principal investigator Doug McLeod ( If you have any questions about their rights as a research subject, you may contact the Education and Social/Behavioral Science IRB Office at (608) 263-2320.

Link to the survey:


Short Essay #4

DUE on Thursday, May 3rd by midnight to Turnitin

Choose any political campaign TV ad from the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. You can pick from the primaries or the general election.  We recommend YouTube searches to find examples.

Write a 500-600 word essay that makes any strategic-communication-related argument about the ad that incorporates course concepts and readings. We’ve purposely left this vague: You’ll want to demonstrate that you can analyze a TV ad but more importantly, that you can come up with your own creative approach to writing an essay, which includes a thesis and supporting evidence. Think about the evidence you might draw on from all course material. Think about the judgment you’ve developed over the last five papers in terms of what makes a good essay with a strong thesis. Then trust your judgment!


  • 500-600 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
  • At least two sources (readings or lectures)
  • 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: 565

Extra credit opportunity 10

Dear J201 Students,
You are invited to participate in a survey asking motivation and online groups or communities.
It will take about 10-15 minutes and will earn you 0.5 extra credit. This survey will be open until April 19th.
You can participate in this survey from any of your mobile device or computers by clicking the link below :
All the information you provide will be confidential. If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact Ryan Bower,
Thank you for your participation!


FAQ – Research paper #2

Please make sure you also read the original assignment sheet carefully, since that should be able to answer most questions. Good luck!

  1. How should I cite a magazine advertisement in APA format?

Here is what you will do when you want to cite a magazine ad in the text:
1. Start with the name of the company, followed by a period.
2. List the year and month in parentheses, followed by a period. Place a comma in between the year and month (provide day if known).
3. Provide the title of the advertisement. Place the term “Advertisement” in brackets before the period.
4. List the name of the magazine in italics, followed by volume number and issue number (the volume number should be italicized, and the issue number should appear in parentheses).
5. End your citation with the page number followed by a period.

Here is what you will do when you want to cite a magazine ad in the reference page:
For in-text citation, include the name of the company and year in parenthesis. Separate these elements with commas.


a) Advertisements in print from a magazine with known title
Name of Company That Owns the Product. (Year, Month Day of issue which contains the advertisement). Title of advertisement [Advertisement]. Magazine, Volume(Issue) if known, page number advertisement is found on.

In-text: (BMW, 2011)
References: BMW. (2011, June 4). Diesel reinvented [Advertisement]. Fictional Magazine, 7(1), 17.

b) Advertisements in print from a magazine without title
Name of Company That Owns the Product. (Year, Month Day of issue which contains advertisement). [Advertisement for Name of Product being advertised]. Magazine, Volume(Issue) if known, page number advertisement is found on.

In-text: (FedEx, 2011)
References: FedEx. (2011, May). [Advertisement for FedExCup]. Sample Magazine, 5(1), 30.


2.  What is a media kit? How should I cite media kits?
A media kit is a document that provides advertisers and advertising agencies with information on a magazine’s readership, advertising rates, editorial policy, and production requirements. It is designed to convince advertisers that a magazine represents the most cost-effective medium for communicating with a specific target audience. For your research paper, you might want to look at the media kit of the magazine in which your ad appears for information such as circulation statistics and readers profiles. This can help you decide whether the magazine is the smart placement decision given the ad’s strategic goals and target audience.

The APA Style recommends citing media kits as a website with a corporate author.

In-Text: (Name of Company, Year)

Reference: Name of Company. (Year). Title of document. Retrieved from URL [Retrieval Date].

Here are some examples:

In-text: (Jetstar, 2017)
Reference: Jetstar (2017). Media Kit 2017. Retrieved from [Accessed 5 April. 2018].

In-text: (National Geographic Magazine, 2018)
Reference: National Geographic Magazine (2018). Media Kit 2018. Retrieved from [Accessed 5 April. 2018].


3. Can I pick an ad from any year?
The answer is yes! But picking an older ad would require some more historical research.  For example, you might want to consider the different media environment, both in terms of professional norms or technological conditions, in which advertising professionals operated.

4. Can the ad be an online image?
We don’t recommend it. You need to know what magazine the ad came from, and that’s often difficult to tell online. Ideally, you’d also know if this was a prominently placed ad (for instance, the back cover), since that might guide your research. But if you can find out the magazine, the issue date, and the placement online, we won’t ever know the difference.

Extra credit opportunity 9

Dear Students:

You have received an opportunity to participate in a research study in exchange for 0.5 extra credit in J201. If you choose to participate, you will be asked to complete a survey about media and language. This survey will take you about 20-25 minutes to complete. You will be asked to watch a video, possibly reading some comments, do a word-completion task, and answer questions about your media exposure habits and your reactions to some daily situations. 

 If you wish to participate, please go to the questionnaire at the link below:

The deadline of completing this survey is April 13th by 11:59 p.m. If you have any questions about the survey, please email Hannah Monroe at, Gaofei Li at, or Professor Hernando Rojas at

Thank you.

Research Paper #2

Research Paper #2: Advertising Analysis

DESCRIPTION: For this assignment, you’ll select a print advertisement. We highly recommend full-page advertisements in print magazines, but other print ads can work as well. (Don’t use an online ad.)

Your task is to assess the effectiveness of the advertisement, paying close attention to its likely purpose, its context (the media product it appears in), its content, and its likely target market.

You should make a case about what the aim of the ad was, and whether it achieved that aim.

One challenge of advertisement analysis today is that advertising campaigns are spread over a variety of media. Consider looking at the broader context of the campaign of which your ad was a part; you might mention how your ad was like, or unlike, others in the campaign in your essay.

In your analysis, use at least two outside, authoritative sources in the development of your argument. (Apart from lectures and required readings, especially from Week 11, which you’ll also use.)  In choosing the articles to help you analyze this ad, remember: you don’t have to agree with the authors of the articles you use, but you have to show that you understand how those authors would interpret the advertisement you’ve chosen. For help finding journal articles, please see our Writing Resources page.


  • 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
  • Include the ad you’ve selected as an appendix to your paper. You can scan it, take a photo, use an app like Turboscan to digitize it, or search for a digital version. If color plays an important part in the ad, make sure your TA has a color version.
  • At least two outside, authoritative sources (outside, meaning in addition to readings and lectures from class; authoritative, meaning scholarly, so a media kit isn’t one of your two — see our Writing Resources page for help with this)
  • 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

DEADLINES: First draft is due to Turnitin and to your peer reviewers by email on Thursday, April 12 by midnight. (Depending on the size of your section, these will be different peers than those you had for your first research paper. Your TA will assign them sometime before April 12.)

Final draft is due to Turnitin on Thursday, April 26 by midnight.

DETAILS: To make your case, consider these questions:

  •  What was the ad’s intended function? Why do you think this?
    • This will require a little bit of detective work: consider thinking about the nature of the product being advertised, and whom the marketers might be trying to reach.
  • How well does the ad perform that function? What is your evidence for this?
  • Where was it placed? Why was it placed there? (To learn about the magazine the ad appeared in, look for the magazine’s media kit, which will contain information about the audience of the magazine.)
  • What principles of persuasion were utilized in the ad? What might be the effects on the audience? (Be sure to use lecture content from April 6).
  • Would you say that this ad addresses some of the challenges that strategic communicators and marketing professionals are facing today? (Professor Douglas McLeod’s guest lecture on April 2 might be very relevant here)

HONORS STUDENTS: If you are taking this course for honors (you’d know if you were and you’ve already completed library training), you have a different assignment sheet that you got via email from me and that we discussed. Don’t do this assignment!

IMPT: Midterm on Wed. 3/21

Point breakdown:

  • Multiple choice: 12 questions, 0.75 point each = 9 points
  • IDs: 3 terms (out of 5 options), 2 points each = 6 points
  • Total: 15 points

Class, as we’ve discussed, the midterm is now on Wednesday, March 21st at 9:55am in Humanities 3650 — our regular lecture time and regular lecture room. This is also reflected on the corrected syllabus. (Too many of you were already going to be gone for spring break, which means also no lecture on Friday 3/23; no sections that week.)

Absolutely no makeups for unexcused absences.

I’m still hearing from people who think the midterm is on that Friday. If you think you know someone like that, please, please help them out!

We’ll have an optional review session Monday, March 19th from 6-7 p.m. in Humanities 3650. We’ve reserved the room for you until 8 p.m. if you’d like to stay and continue to study and exchange notes.

Instructions Below are only for Students with McBurney Visas

If you have a McBurney Visa that affects testing, please make sure you do the following by Tuesday, March 13th at 4 p.m.:

1. Go to this page to register for accommodated exam service (You will need to log in with your netID to register)

  1. As you register, you’ll need the following information
  • Instructor information:
    • First Name – Kathryn
    • Last Name – McGarr
    • NetID – kmcgarr
  • Exam information
    • Course: J201 Introduction to Mass Communication
    • Date: March, 21, 2018
    • Time (Please choose a start time between 9:05 – 9:55 a.m., depending on your accommodation and your schedule before and after the exam)
    • Duration: In accordance with your accommodation
  1. To have your request approved, if you haven’t given a copy of your VISA to either professor McGarr or your TA, please send it to msu26@wisc,edu.