The Final Project

The Final Project

Due: The day of the final for the class (10:10 section: Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m. • 12:20 section, Dec. 11, 1 p.m.)


Your final project can take one of two forms. You can either do a research project or a piece of journalistic work on a group (social movement, community group) similar to those we have discussed in class. Either project should focus on a specific idea within the movement that is grounded in concepts similar to those we have talked about in class. For example, an unacceptable project would be an “Overview of the Arab Spring” or “What is civic hacking?” This kind of work has been done numerous times and your contribution wouldn’t add much to the conversation. An interesting piece of work might be an in-depth analysis of the media use in the “Silent Stand” in Egypt.

Instead of something like that, choose a specific aspect of a movement and, using primary sources, make an argument based on what you find. By primary sources, I mean original movement media, not books about movements. So primary sources could be tweets, Facebook posts, videos, blog or Tumblr posts, interviews with movement members etc. If you would like to do a journalistic piece, primary sources will largely be interviews.


The length of your project will depend which type you choose to do. A journalistic piece will likely require travel and interviews (plus journalistic writing is simply more concise) so the word count will be about 1,500 words (about 7 pages, double-spaced). A research project will be roughly twice that – about 3,000 words. It is very important that you simply don’t go for the shorter option. Trust me – writing a 1,500-word piece of journalism is not easy. If you want to do audio or video,  see me.


This project has a number of components that are due at various times – in an attempt to keep you on task.

Project proposal (Nov. 12)

Write a 350-word proposal that provides some details of what you hope to produce. If you don’t have a definite idea, submit two or three loosely formed ideas.

Annotated bibliography/Detailed list of sources (Due: Nov. 24 in class)

Those who choose the research option are required to produce an annotated bibliography, which is a list of sources that you will use to frame the project. So if you’re writing something on the organization of the Silent Stand during the Egyptian Revolution, you should find works (books, articles) that discuss the fluidity of online and offline movements. You should find at least five sources for the annotated bibliography.

The journalism option will require a detailed list of the sources you plan to use.

Here is an example of an entry in an annotated bibliography:


 • Detailed outline (Dec. 3)

No matter which kind of project you choose, you need to share an outline that shows us what you are thinking about and how much work you have done so far. Kind of like the annotated bibliography, each part of the outline should include annotations that show what you have found out. So the idea here is produce an outline that is almost “rough draft like” in its detail. Here are some examples of detailed outline.

Put this on your Google doc.

• Final product

The paper/article is due in its final form on the day and time of our final (see above).

* Each of these components is a necessary and required piece of the final project. Failure to do any of these by the due date will result in a failure for the project.


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