The sociology of mass media and social media

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Assignment Details

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Resubmissions Allowed?             No

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Assignment Instructions

SOCIOLOGY 498 – Senior Seminar in Sociology


TOPIC:  The Sociology of Mass Media and Social Media


As part of the academic rigor in this course, you will be expected to write a 12-17 page paper (page count not including cover page, references, etc) The purpose of the paper is for you to be able to explore a topic of interest to you from a sociological perspective. To do so, you must accomplish the following:

* Clearly state your thesis/research question and how it is significant to the study of society

* Select a minimum of 12 peer reviewed articles and 3 other sources which will permit you to explore and evaluate sociological research and perspectives on your thesis/question –

       – discussion of each article should include noting how the article addresses/answers your research question; the article’s main research question/thesis; primary theoretical perspective used; sample size and composition; methodology  and analysis used; brief summary of findings 

      – the best discussion will be formatted by themes comparing and contrasting articles (i.e. phrasing of question, methodology used, measurement of variables, size and composition of sample, findings, etc.)

* Be sure key concepts in your paper are defined (conceptual and operational definitions) and cited using sources such as past sociology texts and peer-reviewed articles

* Employ appropriate use of APA format in-text citations and references

Evaluation Criteria:

1. The paper begins with a clear thesis statement that is well articulated in the first or second paragraph

2. The paper draws appropriately 12 peer-reviewed articles and 3 other sources to support the thesis statement presented. This means that if you could have used findings from a paper listed to make your point more clearly and you do not do so, you will be penalized.

3. The paper is well structured and synthesizes the material appropriately. Rather than summarize each of the readings referenced, the paper identifies common themes or divergent findings that must be taken into account in making a logical argument in support of the thesis statement.

4. The concluding paragraph summarizes the focus of the paper and identifies the implications for the study of society.

5. Well written, proper grammar, proper referencing, spelling, and punctuation

Writing: Your written assignments will be graded not only for content but for logic, clarity, and mechanics. Remember to proofread your work carefully. When assignments are returned, take note of any corrections or recommendations, and incorporate these into later writings.

Further instructions:

1. Papers should have clear introductory and concluding paragraphs.

2. Avoid moral evaluations.

3. Avoid claims that you cannot back up. Only state something as a fact if you have supporting evidence, or you can cite someone reputable who does, or it is something truly

self-evident (e.g., a misstep while crossing the street can result in injury).

4. Use the thesaurus sparingly. So-called synonyms are rarely truly synonymous, and you

should never use a thesaurus in an attempt to create the impression that your vocabulary

is larger than it actually is.

5. Use in-text citations of the format (Gibson, 2004) or (Gibson, 2004, p. 12) and then provide full bibliographic information at the end of the paper.

6. Quote written sources sparingly, but strategically.

7. Avoid vacuous statements. An example: “Theorists such as Blau illuminate the social world by theorizing phenomena contained therein.”



Papers should be typed, include a title page, page numbers, and a reference page. You should double-space your papers, use 1” margins, and 11pt. Arial or Times New Roman font. You should carefully check your papers for spelling and grammar. You should use sub-headings throughout the paper.  You will use in-text citations in the American Psychology Association (APA) style. You may find more information at

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