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MACS 101: Mid-Term Paper

This guide is intended to help students enrolled in MACS 101 find resources and complete their midterm paper.

Using This Guide

This guide is intended to help you complete your MACS 101 mid-term paper. Each tab located on the left-hand side of the guide will provide you with information and resources on the main elements of your paper. If you have any questions related to finding resources please contact the Communications Library by email,, or use "Ask a Librarian" chat on the Communications Library website. For more information on specific requirements for this assignment, please contact your instructor.

Mid-Term Paper Guidelines


For your mid-term writing assignment, you are asked to select three concepts from the text book from the following list:

  • space-time compression
  • structure & agency
  • political economy of the media
  • symbolic annihilation of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and/or LGBTQ+ individuals
  • representation of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and/or LGBTQ+ individuals

You are then asked to apply each of these concepts to a piece of media of your choice in order to create a cohesive paper of at least five (5) pages. The paper should analyze that piece of media through each of these frames. While you are not restricted in your choice of media, nor in the particular medium in which that piece of media is created, you are encouraged to select something in which you are interested, and within which you can find ways to apply each of your chosen concepts. The piece of media that you choose may not be something that you have covered for a previous assignment.

Within this assignment, you are expected to adhere to all existing writing guidelines; you must have an introduction, a conclusion, and a body paragraph that are well-organized and that form a coherent argument. Additionally, you are expected to do some research into the media that you are examining, and are to provide proper citations, in APA format, for all sources, including the textbook, that you use in crafting your essay. You should have as least four outside sources, not including the textbook or the piece of media you are examining. The paper is due on April 4th.

You are also expected to turn in a rough draft of the paper. This draft will receive instructor feedback, which you must incorporate into your final mid-term paper; this draft is due on March 21st; you will receive feedback by March 28th. Failure to turn in this draft will result in a significant reduction to your final grade.

Grading Criteria

You will be graded based on the presence of the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of understanding of and engagement with the three concepts you have chosen
  • Successful application of those concepts to the media that you are examining
  • A thesis that relates all three concepts that you have selected to each other within the context of the piece of media that you're examining
  • Writing that is expository and demonstrates deep engagement with course concepts
  • An introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion that together form a cohesive whole
  • Transitions between all sections and concepts
  • Presence and citation of all sources
  • Presence of revisions as suggested in comments of your draft
  • Adherence to all writing guidelines as they apply throughout the course