The Final Essay Project
Why Write a Final Research “Paper” as a Web Article?
The final essay will enable seminar members to use the advantages of the blog architecture and Web “rich media” content for references, links, and embedded media (images, graphics, video, music). Use any media resource that supports your argument and the Web environment as a space to think with.
Your final essay is not a “blog post” or a “Wikipedia article.”
Like all research papers, your essay must be motivated by a research question with your own argument and interpretive framework. It’s best to begin by thinking “what is it I want to figure out?” The Web/blog format allows us to use multiple media sources and a “bibliography” of references to supporting materials in any medium (text, image, video, film, sound/music).
General instructions: Using the approaches, theories, and methods in the seminar, develop a topic for an extended essay with examples or cases to interpret or to apply your ideas. Your essay should be about the equivalent of about 15 pages of traditional writing, and with a fully developed set of references and links to relevant sources. Be as creative as possible with the Web environment of your essay.
The Structure of Your Argument
For the structure of your argument in a professional research essay (in any format), refer to my Writing to be Read: A Rhetoric For Writing in the Post-Digital Era. Follow the guidelines there for a successful structure to the presentation of your argument and research. This is the main required structure:
- Introduction (establishing your topic and approach, your sources and methodology)
- Main body of the essay (explanation and interpretation, development of the main argument)
- Conclusion (wrap up your main point and significance of your work)
- Bibliography or Works Cited/Consulted (all the relevant materials you have considered or want to reference to support your essay)
- List of Web sources and links (you can combine with the whole bibliography if preferred)
Formats for References and Citations
Include a “Works Cited and Consulted” or “References” bibliography at the end of the wiki essay. Choose a documentation format from either the humanities or social sciences and be consistent within the format. You can use any appropriate style of note (Author/Date inline in your text) and/or endnote references. Refer to the following online guides for a quick summary of citation styles:
- Diana Hacker’s Bedford-St. Martins Guide (good guide to MLA or APA citation styles)
- Georgetown University Library Citation Guides
Setting Up and Editing Your Final Essay
Begin a new “Post” and choose the “Final Projects” category. This will allow all the Final Projects to be sorted for a single view. Read other students’ essays from earlier semesters for good models (links below): the essays that stand out will be those with a good structure to the argument and good use of research material and sources. You may also find references and ideas that you can use in your own research. Link to other students’ essays if relevant.
Using and Maintaining Your Essay After You Finish the Course
Your essay and the fixed URL for your page will remain available for reference, for linking (blogs, social media), and for job or academic applications in the future. You will be able to update and revise your essay for as long as you have access to the Georgetown Digital Commons with your GU NetID and password.
Examples of Final Essays from Prior Seminars
Essays from CCTP748-Media Theory and Digital Culture (Spring 2013)
Essays from 2011-2012 (Wikispaces archive). Scroll to bottom of page for links to final essays.
[Student writing projects were developed on a Wiki platform before I migrated to WordPress.]