COM22: Assessable Writing Tasks

Stupid stupid screwed up Griffith unit. the assessable tasks are not the ones I answered in my earlier post, so now that I’ve found them, I’m going to ram them all here in this one, so they’re easily accessible.

Weekly Questions/Discussion Topics:

Week 1:

On pages 12-14 of the textbook by Lister et al (2009) they outline in section 1.1.5 a range
of distinguishing issues surrounding „new media‟. Read through their list, which aspects
of these points do you think underpin current concers surrounding new media use in
society? Can you give one or two examples of where these issues could be applied to in
current public debates?

Week 2:

In Reading 2 Livingstone describes the „digital  divide‟ in terms of the impacts and
obstacles it raises within the genre of internet studies. Livingstone states that “concerns
over the gap between the digital (or internet) haves and have-nots have stimulated much
debate and research on barriers to the supposed freedoms enabled by the internet” (2005,
p.13). To what extent do you think the debate surrounding the „digital divide‟ is still
relevant, or are established limits (such as accessessability in accordance to wealth,
geographical locations, cultural acceptance, etc.) becoming fixed?

Week 3: Developing your essay question

Begin to create an essay question you will work on for the rest of the study period. This
essay question will become the topic for your final essay. Your essay should focus on one
of the following topics or you can suggest your own topic (approval must be sought from
your tutor for your own topic).
· The Internet as a social technology
· Digital surveillance
· The „digital divide‟
· Censorship and the Internet
· Or develop your own topic (discuss this with your tutor first).
To help you to formulate your own research question, read through the two information
sheets „Directive Words‟ and „Unpacking the  Assignment‟ (located under the
„Assessment‟ tab) and then try to answer the questions below (these answers form your
week 3 post):
‘Directive words’ (pdf from Library Self-help resources): Have a read through of this
list – there may be one or two words which you think really apply to the approach you
are going to take for your critical investigation into one of the set topics.  For instance:
analyse, investigate, discuss.
Find a word which you think best suits the method you are going to take  – tell us
why, give a definition (in addition to the definition provided on this help sheet), and
show how this will help you in formulating your essay question and approach.
‘Unpacking the Assignment’ (pdf from Library Self-help resources): This document
gives a good overview of the key requirements of a solid essay question. Although
designed to assist students in helping to decipher what is required of them to write when
given a set essay question, you can use this approach to help formulate your own essay
question for this assessment. COM22 Unit Outline
10
Once you’ve written your essay question, can you ‘unpack’ it and clearly extract the
key words (the topic words, the directive words, and the limiting words)? You
should ensure the essay question you develop requires you to take an  analytical
approach to your topic. A good way to do this is to formulate ‘how’ and ‘why’ type
questions.
Note: Obviously your actual essay question may vary or differ from this initial one in
week 3. As you develop your research and ideas further (and for assessment 2 within the
essay plan), your question will most likely continue to also evolve, develop and change.

Week 4:

In Reading 4 Barr discusses the various forms of technological convergence which were
(and still are) revolutionising mobile communications and media corporations at the turn
of the new century. Although many of the examples Barr lists seem trivial and are now
part of our everyday normalities when we interact with technology – over a decade later
this discussion of convergence and the seemingly limitless posibilities is still as strong as
ever.
What forms of technological convergence are currently „hot topics‟ in the media and
central debates within governmental policies? Using your own opinion (supported by
evidence), identify the „most critical‟ debate of convergence that is currently ongoing.

Week 5:

Firstly, what was the key idea/message that you gained from these readings?
Bell suggests that in order to deal with “clusters of connotations” in our material stories,
we often are “invisibilizing those people on the „wrong side‟ of the digital divide” (2007,
p.6). To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Week 6:

Burgess & Banks illustrate how some types of online social networks and user-created
content websites help to “…demonstrate the newly visible blurring of the boundaries
between everyday communication, creativity and audience practices” (2010 p. 229).
How creative do you think you are when engaging with online user-created content
websites? Give some examples of websites or communities you visit/contribute to
regularly, making reference to Reading 7 by Burgess & Banks.

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