Final Paper Guidelines for COMU 375: Media Ethics
Due in Week 7 This course requires all learners to write a 6-8 page paper in which you create a code of ethics for a real or imagined company. It’s intended to be a project that you will work on consistently throughout the semester, so it’s imperative that you read this information closely and let your instructor know if you have questions about what is contained herein.
——————————————————————— How do I approach this paper? Since the focus of this course is on Media Ethics, specifically addressing how the ethical theories are applied in various professions in the world of the media and communications, the foundation for this project will be as follows:
1. Imagine that you are a professional media ethics consultant. You work on a freelance
basis, although many companies keep you on retainer for your services.
2. You are creating a “pitch” to a prospective company that you have long admired, in which you seek to convince them of why they should hire you. It could be a computer firm, a restaurant chain, clothing store, professional sports team, university — almost any organization that you choose could potentially be a subject for this project.
3. To help you promote your skill set and to woo the company you have chosen, you are encouraged to use a variety of multimedia tools. Doing so will not only showcase your personality, but also help you demonstrate why you are the best person to create a code of ethics for them. You may wish to view this presentation to learn more about the different types of tools available to you: http://prezi.com/ss3xrfcz4tgj/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
4. In the first week of the course, you should begin this process. Before you begin writing, you should write down the due dates for the proposal (week 3) and the final paper (week 7) in your personal calendar. These due dates will not change. In order to write a quality paper, it’s imperative that students work on the paper throughout the term.
Please note: all of these deadlines must be met in order to fulfill the requirements for the course and ultimately, receive a grade for the final paper. In other words, you cannot skip the proposal and then submit the final paper with the expectation of receiving a final grade.
What must be in the proposal? First, keep in mind that this is a formal proposal. You are requesting approval from your instructor to move forward with your idea. Also, learners cannot type this out in 30 minutes and expect to have your topic approved or to get a decent grade. It requires a significant amount of thought and consideration in order to write a quality proposal. Please know that the instructor will return your proposal with either an approval of your topic, or suggestions for modification. Please be aware that no topic is guaranteed to be approved. What you are submitting is a proposal, a request, if you like. Your instructor will make the decision of whether your proposal fits within the parameters of the course. Also, if two students propose the same topic, the instructor will evaluate both proposals and make alternate suggestions as needed. Oftentimes, when students have similar ideas, the approach to the topic can be adjusted so that neither student’s research is overlapping the other, which would require the students to jockey for access to resources. The format for the topic proposal should be presented thusly: ———————- Name Date COMU 375: Media Ethics Code of Ethics Topic Proposal Working title of paper: In a few concise words, you should be able to give the reader an idea of the focus of your pitch. You should at least have a descriptive noun and an action verb in the working title. Remember, you are trying to sell a service that many see as “nonessential” so you must work hard to grab the audience’s attention from the very start. Your proposal, at minimum, should be double spaced and address the following points (although you would “not” number them).
1. Start with an introductory sentence in which you try to “hook” the reader. Remember,
this is a hard sales pitch. You want to convince this “Company X” that they should hire you. Further, you need to get this contract in order to pay your bills and feed yourself. There are many other freelancers out there who are also trying to sell this same service to “Company X,” so treat this as a professional, high stakes, presentation.
2. Why should this particular group hire you? What can this company get from you that they can’t get from any other freelancer? Focus on your particular experience/background/education, or other relevant training and skills that you can provide that no one else has.
3. What would you provide in a code of ethics written specifically for this company? You don’t have to give away the complete code of ethics you would write for them, but you should give them an idea or an outline of what to expect if they retain your services.
a. If this is an existing company, you should be able to demonstrate that you have either studied their current Code of Ethics (if they have one). If they don’t have one, you need to convince them that they need to create one posthaste.
4. Explain what your own philosophy is concerning media ethics. What is your position?
Who are some scholars/authors who have done work related to this subject who have influenced you? What are some sources that you have found interesting or that you would like to study more? You should include a working draft of your bibliography. Consult your instructor or view the website http://www.aresearchguide.com/ if you have questions about how to format a particular source correctly. You need to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the field of ethics, particularly as it relates to the media.
5. Why are you the best fit for this company? Why should they hire you and not your competitor waiting out in the hallway? Is it because you have an in-depth knowledge of how this company/industry works? Is it because you have worked in this field for many years and you know it inside and out? Don’t be modest; “toot your own horn.”
6. Make it as clear as you can (without being condescending) that you are the obvious choice to provide this service. You want the company to come away thinking, “You know, it’s a no-brainer that we would use her/his services. It’s a perfect fit.”
7. Download your submission to the relevant dropbox in week 3 of the course. Please do not email your submission directly to the instructor. Also, please be sure your file is in a .doc, .docx or.rtf format.
8. The instructor will return the proposals within about a week. If you have not heard from your instructor by the beginning of week 5, you should check and make sure that the paper was received. It is the responsibility of the student, not the faculty member, to follow up if the grade is missing.
Your proposal must be at least 2-3 pages long. Make sure to follow your instructor’s specific guidelines for submitting your paper. Then, after submitting your proposal during the third
week of class, your instructor will return your submission with his or her comments. You must include your instructor’s comments (as appropriate) as you begin to work on the final project. Now, your topic has been approved. You can begin working on your final draft that will be due during week 7.
——————————————————————— What must be in the final presentation? As you begin to write your final presentation, you should do the following:
1. Look very closely at the comments that were written by your instructor in your proposal. These are items that *must* be changed in order for the student to receive credit for the first draft and final draft of the paper. The comments are *not* optional suggestions. Your instructor spends many, many hours reading and commenting on everyone’s proposals, encouraging students, and making suggestions on how to improve your projects. Please read these comments closely and let your instructor know if you have questions.
2. If you are unsure of how to view the comments on your proposal that were left by your instructor, please contact her/him for details. Based on these comments, you can begin working towards your finished presentation due in week 7.
3. Feel free to use muti-media tools, and include graphics, photos, statistics, charts,
newspaper clippings, and audio tracks as you like. Since you are working hard to get this contract, you need to use every tool that will help you promote yourself and your work. You may brainstorm with your instructor about some possible options. This Prezi explains the different types of multi-media available to you, as well as the features of each: http://prezi.com/ss3xrfcz4tgj/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0s hare
4. Remember to cite your outside sources and explain why this particular item was
added. (Such as “As illustrated in this video clip from . .. ??”) Also, you must cite the source of the visual/audio supplement you include.
5. Make sure you have a solid working bibliography. Your instructor will provide you
with his/her guidelines about what types of websites and sources are acceptable, so make sure and read these rules very closely.
6. Also, make sure to follow the proper guidelines for citing sources for your paper. Ask your instructor if you are unsure.
Please know that at any time, your instructor is happy to meet with you and advise you on the research process. There is a very handy method that the University subscribes to that will let us work on the same document simultaneously called Adobe Connect, so please contact your instructor if you feel stuck. Especially in an 8-week course, every day counts, so don’t delay if you feel overwhelmed or confused.