English 104W-1117, Introduction to Prose Genres
Media and the Masses:
Social and Mass Media, and Messaging as Prose Genres
Dr. Paul Matthew St. Pierre
Assignment 2: Print Essay (1000-1500 words), with One Revision
Write a print essay of between 1000 and 1500 words on a specific aspect of the topic of Social Media or Mass Media Culture. The essay could have a macrostructure, examining a process, phenomenon, development, or trajectory in media production or consumption, such as the relation between visual acuity and hand dexterity in smart device manipulation. Alternatively, the essay could have a microstructure focusing on something as specific as an image or sound and its function in a mediatized group, like the image of the apple in advertising from Abbey Road to apple.com or the role of the headset in muting ambient noise within public spheres. At your discretion, this essay also may feature links to photos, URLs and other non-textual data; these data are not calculated toward the word requirement.
Although more conventional than your blog essay, this assignment also is designed to foster creativity and innovation in essay writing. Consider the style of your expression, the digital micro vernacular that you resorted to in your blog essay. Did you adopt it because it was socially appropriate to your digital medium, because of the house demands of your media site, or because it is your street language? Is this micro vernacular suitable for a scholarly essay? Does the discourse of tweets and posts meet the content demands of a degree granting academic institution? Or is another style of expression called for here in English 104W, in the English Department, or at Simon Fraser University? The choice might be a creative one, between 1) showing micro discourse can work in formal writing and 2) demonstrating one’s facility in moving back and forth between digital and analog discourses when necessary. Your challenge in each case is to write a smart essay.
This assignment consists of two parts: an original submission and a revision of it. The original submission must be a finished work, not a draft or proposal. Grades will be assigned (worth 30%) based on the revised final submission. Make original and revised submissions to your tutor, as printed copy, double spaced, with essay title and works cited.
First submission: due November 7, 2011
Revised submission: November 28, 2011