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Course with Dr. Jason Farman at the University of Maryland

Final Paper Prompt

Final Paper


For your final paper, you must take your experience working on the documentary of a digital community and tie it into an analysis of how new media are altering the ways we understand identity and community. Your paper must have a well-worded and strongly argued thesis that develops a theory of culture in the digital age, such as, “As seen in the example of the live action role playing (LARP) gaming group, NERO, I argue that cultural experiences of space no longer distinguish between ‘real’ and ‘virtual,’ but instead have become an experience of hybrid reality.” Your thesis should go at the end of your introductory paragraph. Your introductory paragraph should also function as a road map for your reader – let us know exactly where you plan on taking us. Tell us what argument you’re going to make and how you’re going to make it. Be sure to include enough detail to give your readers a clear sense of the specifics of your argument.

While your essay will, at times, be descriptive and given from your own perspective, it is important that you do not simply describe the documentary or simply retell your experience with the group. Instead, use these descriptive moments as a springboard into a deeper analysis of the group’s use of technology. Therefore, your group’s use of technology should comment on the larger implications of these technologies for your chosen community as a whole. Be sure to keep the big picture in mind: what are the consequences implied (for this segment of society) in your chosen group’s use of digital technologies?

Your paper must utilize at least one of the readings from this class as well as quoting from two outside scholarly journal articles and one scholarly book related to your thesis. Your paper should also have an informative title. You must also include a conclusion that revisits your ideas and offers readers a clear sense of the arguments that your paper worked through. Your paper should be 8-10 pages long, typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced, and must cite all outside sources accurately in MLA or APA style.

You must turn in an electronic copy of this essay to me on Monday, May 14th by 10am to jasonfarman@gmail.com. This final paper is worth 20% of your grade.


Here is the grading rubric I will use to determine your grade on this assignment:


1. Has a strong introductory paragraph.

2. Has a strong and well-developed thesis statement.

3. Thesis statement is supported and developed in each paragraph.

4. Uses clear examples from documentary.

5. Engages outside sources in a compelling way.

6. Analysis comments on the larger implications for this community and technology.

7. All ideas are clear and fully developed.

8. Well-written essay: no spelling or grammatical errors/no awkward sentences.

9. Has a strong concluding paragraph.

10. Citations are done correctly.

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