Ommunication innovation: Twitter; then and now

The paper should present a comprehensive view that summarizes succinctly the most important elements of a body of information, while providing the reader a clear view of the subject.The paper clearly identifies an answerable, meaningful research question about journalism history and answers the specific question; it explains the historical research method and criteria for selecting primary sources; interprets research findings in a historically sound manner, avoiding presentism; and identifies the relevant historical/theoretical background for the chosen topic. The primary sources chosen are appropriate to answer the research question and they are clearly and thoroughly identified. The paper is organized in logical sequences, with appropriate transitions between topics; it includes a clear introduction, the justification for the importance of the research, and a clear conclusion. The writing is clear, direct and uses correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Sources are cited fully and correctly according to the chosen style.

The research must include primary and secondary sources, listed in a bibliography and cited with clear attribution (including dates of any issues of newspapers, magazines, broadcast transcripts used). As primary sources, use 5-10 materials produced in the period contemporary to the innovation you choose (newspapers or magazines articles, etc.); secondary sources are intended here as scholarly books and articles about that development. Use 3-5 secondary sources (excluding required course readings).

To complete this assignment, you are required to find and use descriptions of a technological innovation related to communication in news media or trade journals contemporary to the innovation (for example, you could choose the telegraph in the 19th century or the delivery of news headlines to cellular phones in the 21st century). Analyze those primary sources and explain how that new technology was received and what impact it was expected to have on society at the time. Then study selected secondary sources where media scholars have discussed what those impacts have been and compare and contrast those more recent findings with the contemporary expectations. Discuss what that comparison teaches you about the impact of technology on society and any issues raised by it.

On Tuesday, October 8, you will need to turn a 1-2 page assignment listing your research question and your essential bibliography of primary and secondary sources, so that you can receive feedback enough in advance of the final due date. This assignment will count for 1/3 of the final paper grade, or 10% of the course grade.

The paper will be graded on how well it concisely and thoroughly presents the subject. Originality, coherence, and writing skills (especially spelling, grammar and punctuation) are also important in the grading. Common problems that cost grade points are sparse content, reliance on lectures and assigned readings, and lack of the following: Evidence, secondary sources, attribution, a stated research question, clear purpose or focus. Historians typically follow the Chicago Manual of Style to format their citations and bibliography; make sure you also use a consistent style.

Paper Structure:

Introductionwhy did you choose this innovation (use some secondary sources to give brief context)

Research QuestionHow was Twitter expected to impact society, and what impacts did it actually have?

Finding of Evidencewhat do primary sources say? what do secondary sources say? what do you say in comparing them?


PRIMARY SOURCES (5-10): the core of historical research, contemporaneous to pas event/subject of study (in this case twitter), Original material. How was the new technology (Twitter) received and what impact was it expected to have?
SECONDARY SOURCES (3-5): created much after the creation of twitter, based on primary sources. What effects did the new technology (Twitter) actually have?

In short, this paper needs to tell what people thought twitter would do when it first was invented, and then what it is actually doing now and compare the two. If there are any further questions please contact me by phone.