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COMM 101 - Understanding Mass Media - Prof. Snider - Fall22: Develop a Research Topic

Your Assignment

Research paper & presentation using either MLA or APA format, students must prepare and submit a typed, double-spaced 5-page research paper. 

The topic must be on a concept covered in the class and/or text (Books, Magazines, Radio, TV, Internet, Video Games, Public Relations, etc.). This project allows students to examine in depth topics or material covered in the course. Student’s analysis and opinion should come from the text, as well as research.

Papers must include legitimate scholarly sources. 

You will need a research topic that is not too broad. You can start with a broad topic and narrow it down by thinking of some of the issues associated with it. Then turn your broad topic and issue into a debatable argument.

e.g. News and Reporting:

Subtopic: Delivery Method  (Print; Online; Cable; Social Media etc.)

Issues: Ethics; Censorship; Advertising; Revenue; Credentials; Credibility etc

Topic + Subtopic + Issue = Topic

Potential topics:

Can citizen reporters supplant the role of trained journalists?

How could shareholder concerns and advertising dollars affect reporting?

How can investigative journalism survive in the age of the internet?

Has the demand of a 24-hour online news cycle led to a decrease in journalism standards?

Visuals for Presentation

Visuals for the presentation should be informative and help your audience better understand your topic

Newsroom employment at US newspapers since 2008 (Pew Research Center) - infographic

Pew Research Center. (2021, July 13). Newsroom employment at U.S. newspapers has plummeted since 2008, but grown at digital publishers [Infographic]. Retrieved from



Do not forget to cite your graphics/visuals in your presentation: 

APA format: Lastname, FirstInitial. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of graphic [Infographic]. Retrieved from URL

* Infographic, Map, Photo as relevant to media type

if you cannot find a createor/author:

Title [Infographic]. (Year, Month Day of publication). Retrieved from URL


MLA format: 

"Title of graphic." Website Name, Day, Month Year, URL (minus http://) *for standalone graphics (individual printed maps etc, put title in italics and do not use quotation marks.

"Newsroom employment at U.S. newspapers has plummeted since 2008, but grown at digital publishers." Pew Research Center, 13, July 2021,



NOT an informative visual:


Pile of newspapers

"Newspaper pile" by Valerie Everett is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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