concept paper

I’m studying for my Communications class and need an explanation.

Concept paper 3 approved topics:

  • Media framing
  • Rhetorical presidency
  • Fake news
  • Isegoria and/or parrhesia
  • Fairness Doctrine
  • Media concentration (as a general process encompassing either vertical or horizontal integration)

Concept paper overview

We will discuss many communication concepts this quarter. Far more than we can explore in depth. These concept papers give you additional space to deeper your understanding of specific class concepts. In each paper, you will select a topic from a weekly list (posted to Canvas) of approved concepts and write a 400-800 word paper discussing it in greater depth. Your grade for this portion of the course will be based on your best five essays.

After writing a concept paper, students should be able to:

  • Define and explain a communication concept in their own words.
  • Provide an accurate example of the concept.
  • Discuss an example in terms of the concept well.
  • Appropriately link their concept discussion to relevant class materials.

Requirements and format

These concept papers are tightly focused on making sure you have an accurate understanding of the concept. These are not reflection papers that ask for your personal opinions about the concepts; they are papers reinforcing and testing accuracy. While the topics for the papers will change from week to week, the format will not.

Introduction. This is a paper and it should have an introduction that orients the reader to the topic.

Concept. You should spend a paragraph defining the concept. We’re looking for how well you understand the concept and can explain it in your own words. Do not use definitions and examples provided in lecture or the readings. I don’t need to reread what I said. This is about you generating accurate definitions and examples on your own.

Example. Next you should spend a paragraph applying the concept to an example. This should be an example you find, not a personal example. Why? External examples require more thought and deliberation You need to find a good example that fits the concept. You are graded both on the quality of the example (how much it is a good fit for the concept) and on your discussion (how well you explain the relationship between the concept and the example). A good paragraph here moves in two directions. The example clarifies the concept and the concept clarifies what’s happening in the example.

Course link. With the conceptual work done, you can now spend a paragraph situating the concept in relationship to another course concept. How you do this is up to you. You can show how the concept is similar to another one discussed. You could point to some specific reading passages that reinforce and extend your example from the previous section.

Conclusion. Since this is an essay, you should include a few sentences winding down the essay and reinforcing the key themes.

References. If you cited any sources, please list them at the end. APA format is preferred. You can always look at Purdue’s reliable OWL site for guidance on citation practices.

A note about word count. You have 400-800 words. 600 words equal about two double-spaced pages. You should write in complete sentences, use paragraphs, spell check, and proofread. Also, for each assignment, EVERY word (including quoted words) count toward the total word count.


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