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TCOM 254 Communication History - Wolf-Monteiro: Assignment & Citation Examples

Birthday Research Paper

In lieu of a final exam, you will research and write a four to six-­page paper that analyzes primary sources from different time periods. Completed papers are due in Canvas the day of our final exam (Thursday June 9, by 3 pm).

Instructions for the paper:

1) Primary Source: Choose one newspaper to study (you are encouraged to look at the New York Times because the archive is easily accessible through our library).

2) Select editions of that publication for the following dates:

A. Closest to your birthday1
B. Twenty-­five years before your birthday2
C. Fifty years before your birthday3
D. Seventy-­five years before your birthday 4

So if your birthday is May 1, 1995, you will look at four days of the New York Times:

A) 5/1/1995, B) 5/1/1970;; C) 5/1/1945;; D) 5/1/1920

3) Choose a topic – a prominent political, social or professional issue that is likely to be
discussed in all three time periods. Try to explore the oldest day first so you can get a sense
of what issues and topics were covered in the news during that era.

4) Examine the evidence:

A. How is the issue addressed in each time period? Do the approaches and the contents
of the articles differ? In what ways? Be specific.

B. Do the publications themselves seem to be different? How so? Make comparisons.

5.) Analyze what you find. How might these differences -­-­ in the issues and in the journalism -­-­
reflect the context of each time period?

Format: All assignments must be typed, double spaced with 12 pt. type and 1 inch margins.
Assignments must be within the required page range, 4 – 6 pages, excluding references
(approx. 1100 – 1500 words). Your paper must have your name and page numbers.

Bibliography: Include a bibliography page at the end of your paper which all the sources you
quote or analyze. This page does not count towards your page requirements. You may use any
citation style – it is recommended that you use endnotes at the end of your paper (see example
in this assignment sheet). Your citations should include the author (if any), article or document
title (like an advertisement), publication (in italics), article/document date, and the link where you
found the article.

Grading: Assignments must be well-­written and will be penalized for technical errors such as
typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, etc. You must also demonstrate a clear and
organized point of view and careful analytic skills. The strongest papers will use textual
evidence through paraphrases and quotations. Use the following rubric to ensure you have met
all the requirements.


Sample Bibliography Format

1 Andrews, Edmund L. “Question of Trust: Do the Same Rules Apply for Oil, Phones,
Software?: Ambiguity Shows in the Zig-­Zag U.S. Course with Microsoft.” New York Times. May
1, 1995.

2 “City Urges Penalty For Poor Service By Phone Company.” New York Times. May 1, 1970.

3 “Lawyer Who Wants Service Sues To Force Ban on Extension Phones: Court Reserves
Decision on Demand for Recapture of Instruments So Those on Waiting List Can Use Them.”
New York Times. May 1, 1945. 9EF027492CPQ/333

4 “Daniels to Speak by Radio Today.” New York Times. May 1, 1920.