The Promises and Pitfalls of Digital Media and the Internet (Timothy Wu, The Master Switch and Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion)

| May 20, 2015


One of the goals of this class is to push students to start thinking critically and analytically about the broad implications of the Digital Media Revolution for society (politically, economically, culturally, etc.). This final essay assignment is designed to make you think more deeply about one of the broad thematic issues/topics covered in class, formulate an argument based on those readings and a selection of articles that you find on your own, and to write out those arguments in the form of an essay.
*Please note: This assignment should not be treated as a �book report.� I�m not interested in a simple summary of the material you�ve read. What I am looking for is a synthesis of the material that incorporates the readings from class, current reporting on the topic, as well your own analysis of the connections and implications for how digital media are changing the way we live in the 21st century.
First, choose one of the following broad themes/topics (and accompanying authors)
that are listed in the syllabus:

ext, do a thorough reading of the material. You should have a firm grasp of the core arguments of the author(s), the positions they take, and why.
Then, begin looking for related articles from Mediashift,, or your own daily consumption of news and reporting that deals with digital media. These articles must be from legitimate sources and substantive in nature (look for at least one page of text; a 50 word blog posts does not count). Pick at least five articles that you will incorporate into your final essay.
Finally, spend some time thinking, brainstorming, making notes, thought bubbles, hieroglyphics (whatever your creative process!) on the connections (as well as contradictions) between the articles you’ve gathered and the original source material from the author(s). Once you�ve done this, formulate a strong thesis statement (core argument) about the how the articles and reporting you�ve gathered connects with, contradicts, or otherwise fits in with the source readings as well as the larger implications for society. The remainder of your paper should support your argument in a way that is clear, logical, and structured. Brief summaries of the source material and articles being presented will of course be part of your paper; however, I am more interested in your own critical thought process and analysis as you deliberate the implications of what you�ve read and the argument you�re making.
1. Overall Quality of Essay � this includes grammar, syntax, and structure, as well as proper use of sources and citations (45 poor, 70 fair, 100 Pulitzer)
2. Critical Thinking (10 poor, 35 fair, 50 brilliant)
3. Arguments/Assertions are Logical (10 illogical, 35 acceptable, 50 Socratic)
4. Use of Source Readings, Articles in Presenting arguments (10 marginal, 35
acceptable, 50 masterful)
A note on Citations/Sources
I am not requiring a certain citation format for this essay (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago Style, etc.). However, your citations should be consistent and include the following: Author, Title of book or article, page number (if applicable), date of publication or date of access to URL, and complete URL (for instance, safety-plan.html and NOT https://nytimes).
You must use in-text citations within your paper, using (Author, Date, pp#), and include a Works Cited list at the end of your essay



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