📌Mid Term: Case Study (35%)📌Final: Write Ethics Guidelines (35%)📌Journal (10%)📌Class Facilitation (20%)

Grading Scales & Rubrics

I expect all papers to follow academic and professional best practices. We'll discuss these practices at length during class, but this means that you should be writing in a formal tone (think Society & Communication or The Lancet as opposed to Reddit or Buzzfeed).

Please remember to:

  • Use Active Sentences
  • Refrain from the second person (no "you" in your papers)
  • Write in complete sentences and paragraphs
  • Limit your use of meaningless adjectives and adverbs
  • Do Not add filler just to hit the word count (I don't want to read it and you don't want to write it). Filler is painfully obvious to everyone involved.

Formatting Basics

Qualities of an A Paper

Clear Thesis
  • Essay controlled by a clear, precise, well-defined thesis: is sophisticated in both statement and insight
  • Explicitly connects the prompt insightfully to context
Thesis is fully developed
  • Cogent analysis
  • Shows command of interpretive and conceptual tasks required by assignment and course materials
  • Ideas are original and insightful
  • Building on discussion, lecture, and reading assignments
  • Persuasive reasoning develops and support thesis
Evidence for argument is clear
  • Examines the topic and its context deeply and carefully in order to inform thoughtful analysis
  • Well-chosen examples from assigned readings support development of thesis
  • You're showing, not telling
Extensive and creative us of class texts
  • As a college course based on cultural, technological, and communications theory, we expect a deep understanding of the class texts. Your papers should engage with the texts, not simply use them to back up an argument. Rather, you should build on the theories we’ve read based on your own observations and evidence.
  • Each assignment will ask that you cite a specific number of sources. Of course, you can add sources as needed to make your argument. In general, there should be one source per page at a minimum for undergraduate papers.
Logical structure that's easy to follow
  • Clear introduction and conclusion paragraphs
  • Arrangement of paragraphs seems particularly apt
  • Appropriate, clear and smooth transitions
  • Excellent use of topic sentences
  • Avoids "absolutes" in statements and defaults to accurate phrases
Mechanics and Format
  • Uses sophisticated sentences effectively (not necessarily long or complex sentences)
  • Usually chooses words aptly
  • Observe conventions of written English
  • Few minor or technical errors
  • Using active verbs as opposed to adverbs
  • Use active sentences as opposed to passive sentences

Grading Rubric

Default View


Default View



A WorkB WorkC WorkD & F

Your writing is clear, but needs a little polish. You're missing one requirement.

Your writing isn't entirely clear and you're missing more than one requirement.

We should discuss your grade

A few more rounds of editing and you'll be ready to publish

Work on the structure and developing a clear thesis to improve

Let's set up some time to talk