Critical Media Analysis Paper


Critical Media Analysis Paper—To practice the writing and research techniques covered in class, as well as to prepare for future electives such as Mass Communication Theory and Research, you will write a critical research paper that engages with academic and cultural criticism. The paper will adopt the They Say/I Say approach and structure its argument in relation to what others have said. The paper can be about any of the specific units covered in class:

Mediated Communication and Social Movement


Mediated Communication and Power: Economic, Political, and Social

The Medium and the Message

Media Industries and Media Ecology

The Study of Media Effects

Audience and Identities

Technology and Convergence

You will start with an opening thesis statement. In order to support the argument, you will research the topic and cite at least one assigned class text and at least 2 outside texts. The final paper should be 1200 words (5 pages long, double-spaced in 12-point font) and in APA format (References does not count in page length). 

Paper Prospectus—As the paper topic is rather open, you will submit a paper prospectus stating the common claim, or a media phenomenon or concept you will respond to with a preliminary thesis. You will receive instructor feedback on the proposal during the workshop session. As the proposal comes before we have read many of the class texts, it is solely intended to get you researching and writing on the subject. As your writing progresses, return to the thesis and revise it to make it more complex, precise, and compelling. To receive credit, the proposal must be 100 words and must cite and quote from the text or texts to which it is responding. The paper prospectus accounts for 10% of the assignment grade.

Learning Objectives:

Construct an argument in response to academic criticism or a common claim on a class subject.

Use key concepts we learned in class.

Produce a researched, multi-draft argumentative paper.

Grading Criteria for the Final Paper:

15% Thesis Statement: Articulate a logical, focused, and original argument in response to academic criticism or a common claim on a class subject.

40% Support: Support the argument through close and critical analysis of relevant texts and reference to at least 1 class text and 2 outside sources.

15% Structure: Detailed, explicit relationships between all topics; transitions between ideas, sentences, and paragraphs that create a smoothly flowing paper; and a conclusion that addresses the subject in light of the argument.

15% Clarity and Style: Clear, concise writing that has few errors (word choice, spelling, capitalization, grammar, and style, such as unnecessary passive voice, unnecessary of first or second person point of view, incorrect title formatting, etc.) and uses the conventions of academic discourse (serious tone, elevated vocabulary, etc.).

15% APA Citation and Format: Correct and thorough referencing of all sources (both quoted and paraphrased) in APA format in parenthetical citations and on the Works Cited page.


If you have any difficulties with the assignment, talk to the instructor before or after class.

NCCU Writing Studio Media Analysis Presentation

You will do a 5 min presentation about your critical media analysis project. Briefly introduce: your thesis, background, supporting evidences and conclusion. The presentation will be graded based on the following standard:

Is it easy to understand?

Whether it captures the essence of your paper?

Visual presentation

Public speaking skills

Time management