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Introduction to Mass Communication: History of Mass Media: Home

For COMM 1307, Section 2001, Professor Hillary Wilkerson


For this assignment, students will do a summary and analysis of an important event in media history. The paper should include history and background on the subject as well as a discussion of why that event is an important part of media history. Use material from class and the textbook to make sense of your event. Students should choose a topic from class that they’d like to know more about.

Suggested Topics:

There are many available topics from which to choose, including (but not limited to):

  • introduction of the Gutenberg Bible
  • Muckraking
  • Zenger trial
  • Wikileaks
  • a challenge to the first amendment
  • the War of the Worlds broadcast
  • Howard Stern and radio shock jocks
  • Napster
  • Hays code
  • online RPGs (Role Playing Games)
  • internet censorship in China


  • Paper length should be 2 - 3 pages.
  • Use at least three outside sources in addition to your textbook or other material from class.
  • Use MLA or APA style to cite your sources, both in text (parenthetical) and with a works cited/references page.

Grading criteria:

Grades will be based on the:

  • use of legitimate sources
  • quality of the description/summary
  • depth of intelligent discussion using concepts from class
  • basic readability (including grammar and spelling).

Random websites (including Wikipedia) do not qualify as legitimate sources. You’ll need to use library resources to find at least some of your sources.

This guide is intended to introduce you to the best research tools that will help you select or narrow a topic, locate reputable sources to support your research, and provide help for correctly citing and formatting your paper.

Be sure to ask your instructor (or a librarian) if you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a source.

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