Here’s a clue for finding connections for your Conversation Papers

Go over your reading journals for the books in question and look for where you might have reflected on connections to the other book — example: “When NewAuthor talks about addiction, I immediately thought about what OldAuthor said…” Of course, you don’t quote your actual reflection in your paper… but you have identified a connection! Use that New Author quote and a connecting quote from the other author in the same paragraph and voilà — you have something to work with. read more

Grading done on conversation paper #1

I’ve finished reviewing and editing all the conversation papers, and good work all around. As I mentioned in class, this was the first assignment graded on formal aspects (grammar, spelling, citations, etc.). Anyone who had a minimal number of errors (<5) got a no-edit Pass; you’re finished. If I asked you to do revisions, please make those and share them back to me by next week. But almost all the edits I noted were cosmetic; the thinking and writing was very impressive across the board. Well done, everybody. read more

Week 6: Surplusers & Laws of Media

Read… Things Due…
Cognitive Surplus: pp. 131-213
  • Reading Journal & Questions (paper copy brought to class)
  • Project Topic

We will brainstorm possible team projects in the second half of class and review Marshall McLuhan’s Laws of Media Tetrad as a method for analyzing the cultural impact of media technologies.

Conversation Paper #2

Neil Postman presents a media ecology approach to looking at media technology. Clay Shirky specifically looks at the sociological impacts of social technologies.

Put Amusing Ourselves to Death in conversation with  Cognitive Surplus

Specifications
Length 500 to 750 words (2-3 pages)
Sources Minimum of two texts. You may also include secondary sources.
Research Provided by reading the texts.
AT LEAST one major connection between the two authors’ ideas.
AT LEAST one citation from each author/text in each paragraph.
Format Google doc created by YOU and shared with me.
PLEASE use this convention for the filename of your paper:
YOURLASTNAME – COMM365 – # (of paper)
ex. SMITH – COMM365 – 2
Times New Roman, 12 pt, double-spaced, 1-inch margins.
APA Citation Style, VERY few (no more than 4) spelling and grammar errors. See Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) APA Style Guide.

Conversation Paper #1

Neil Postman suggests that we are in a Huxlean world, and perhaps that view is confirmed by The Circle.

Choose ONE of the fictional works we have read:

Brave New World OR The Circle

and put it in conversation with Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Specifications
Length 500 to 750 words (2-3 pages)
Sources Minimum of two texts. You may also include secondary sources.
Research Provided by reading the texts.
AT LEAST one major connection between the two authors’ ideas.
AT LEAST one citation from each author/text in each paragraph.
Format Google doc created by YOU and shared with me at:
jmcdaid@rwu.edu
PLEASE use this convention for the filename of your paper:
YOURLASTNAME – COMM365 – # (of paper)
ex. SMITH – COMM365 – 1
Times New Roman, 12 pt, double-spaced, 1-inch margins.
APA Citation Style, VERY few (no more than 4) spelling and grammar errors. See Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) APA Style Guide.

Sections you might focus on in “The Circle”

I know this week’s reading is a lot of pages — when I assigned it, I understood that folks had read it as a “freshman book,” so it would really just be a re-read. I now understand that not to be the case, and I’ve had questions from a couple of students — so, my advice is to do the best you can and use the following advice if you find it helpful.

Part of what Neil Postman used to teach in media ecology seminar was how to “read” a book for ideas: strategies like a careful look at the first 50 pages, which often set up major themes, a focus on the beginnings and endings of chapters, and the closing sections where the author typically ties things together. read more

Week 4: The Circle

Read… Things Due…
The Circle
[ENTIRE]
  • Reading Journal & Questions
    (paper copy brought to class)

Note: With the cancellation last week, we’ll be doubling up on our discussion, finishing Postman before talking about The Circle. Please remember to bring paper copies of both reading journals to class.

Cancelled class tonight; update on next week

Due to the ongoing snow storm, the University has cancelled all classes after 5pm today. Please stay safe and use caution if traveling. The RWU alert page always has the latest information: https://www.rwu.edu/rwualert

This means that next week, we’ll be doubling up. We’ll finish the last half of “Amusing Ourselves To Death” and start on  (and hopefully finish) “The Circle.” So, please bring paper copies of your reading logs for both books for our discussion.

And if anyone would like to volunteer to kick of the discussion of either book, you can e-mail me at jmcdaid@rwu.edu. read more