Final Papers or Projects

COMM 158, Fall 2011

Documentary Film and Media History

Instructor: Dan Leopard (


PROPOSAL: Please write a short five (5) sentence proposal for your final paper. You must include the working title and the topic of your paper as well as a specific account of what research materials – books, films, television, art, websites – you will be working with.

Please email me your paper/project topic no later than: Wednesday October 26, 2011

FINAL PAPER: Papers must be eight (8) pages in length (12 pt. Times New Roman font or similar). Papers must adhere to MLA style. Failure to follow the conventions of scholarly writing and the notes style (as described in Corrigan or the MLA Handbook) will result in an automatic half grade reduction. Please review the policies on late papers and issues of academic integrity as specified on the course syllabus.

Strive for a coherent argument based on evidence from films, television programs, new media, books, articles, and course material (discussions and lectures). Research methods may include textual analysis, historical or cultural studies, visual studies and analysis, or other methods that you would like to use with my approval. You must include a bibliography as the last page of your paper (which does not count toward your overall page count). You may include a filmography (or videography or such). Papers must be double spaced with a cover sheet indicating author, title, and course name. Papers must be emailed to: as a pdf file titled: “your name”final.pdf

FINAL PROJECT: Project formats must be approved by the instructor. Projects should be of sufficient scale that it replicates the amount of work and effort that would go into producing an 8-page research paper (see me for more explanation of this point). Video and image-based projects must be posted to YouTube and a URL sent to me via email to the address above.

Projects may be documentary, animation, audio, narrative, and such, but they must be based on original research. Projects must be clearly labeled with author, title, and course name.

In addition to the project, students are required to submit a three (3) page (12 pt. Times font or similar) explanation and analysis of their project. This short write-up must be emailed to: as a pdf file titled: “your name”project.pdf

FINAL PRESENTATION: Each student will present a short summation of their research on Wednesday November 30, 2011 or December 7, 2011. Presentations will be no longer than 10 minutes in length and will be followed by a very short question and answer session with classmates. Your presentation is the oral and visual aspect of your final paper or project. The bottom line is that you must provide your audience with what they need to know to understand your project. Images and clips included in your presentation should be short and selected for maximum impact. You will be randomly given a time slot in which to present, but it will be on one of the dates listed above. You must attend both sessions to get credit for your presentation.

Due date/Time for final paper-projects:

Submitted via email no later than Wednesday December 14, 2011 @ 6PM (Pacific Coast Time).


pdf version: Comm 158 Final F11


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