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Developing a Political-Economic Case Study: Key Questions and Assignment Requirements

The Three Stages of Developing a Political-Economic Case Study

• First, you should gather as much recent and relevant academic research as you can on your topic. There will generally be existing research on your topic, and often there will be research from a political-economic perspective. You should find, examine, and know this literature.

• Second, you will want to scan the news media for articles on the case study you are examining and read as many as you can.

• Finally, having scanned the literature, you should decide what aspect of the topic in particular you wish to pursue, what your argument is going to be, and how you are going to structure your paper.

Does the topic I’ve chosen have to do with media and communication? If not, find one that does. If in doubt, ask your TA or the professor.

• Have I found the relevant political-economic scholarship on my topic? If in doubt, ask your TA, the professor, or a librarian.

• Am I approaching this topic from a political-economic perspective? In other words… Am I taking a “big-picture” approach to my topic? Am I keeping the history of what I am researching in mind? Am I taking a political/ethical position with respect to my topic? If in doubt, ask your TA or the professor.

• Am I incorporating any relevant course material or concepts into my paper?

To submit your topic for approval, you should write a one-page proposal including a tentative title, a one-paragraph description of your paper’s topic, a proposed outline, and a list of five sources relating to the topic you’ve chosen. At least two of the sources should be scholarly (i.e. published in an academic journal or a university press) and use a political economy approach, but you are free to include news stories from reputable news sources here as well.

The final assignment should be between 8-10 pages (2000-2500) words) long, in 12-point font, double-spaced (excluding bibliography), and will demonstrate significant research on the topic. You can use either APA or MLA format for citations, but you must remain consistent with it throughout. You should reference at least four academic articles/books and 6-8 news articles from reputable news media. You should also incorporate any relevant course material into your paper where possible.

Late Penalty: Students who do not hand in assignments on time will receive a late penalty of one letter grade for every day they are late, to a maximum of five days. Assignments more than one week late will not be accepted and will receive no grade unless the student has made arrangements with the instructor before the original due date, or there is a medical or similar emergency with documentation. Hard copies of all assignments must be delivered by hand, unless other arrangements have been made prior to the due date. Assignments are only accepted by email under special arrangements with the instructor or TA. NEVER leave an assignment under an office door, and always keep an electronic backup of all your assignments in case they go missing.

Extensions: If you need an extension (due to a reasonable excuse like a clashing term paper) please contact your TA or the instructor at least 5 days in advance. In other words, you must plan ahead. No extensions will be given beginning 72 hours before the due date.

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