Return to Syllabus   Dr. Andrew Wood
Office: HGH 210; phone: (408) 924-5378

Contact Dr. Andrew Wood: or visit his website at

(Note: all papers are typed, double-spaced, TNR, 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins)

Research Journal

Every evening we meet, you are expected to participate in a lively discussion about the assigned readings, relating them to other pertinent texts and evaluating them thoughtfully. In preparation, you will write a one- to two-page summary of main ideas from the entire range of assigned readings for that night (not one summary per reading). Your summary will include at least two brief quotations from course readings. This assignment also includes one insightful question that you might pose for that evening’s meeting. Your summary shall clearly indicate the date of the readings at the top of the page. You will bind these summaries (most recent first) in a folder that I will collect on five random occasions throughout the semester. You must be in class to submit your folder; there are no “make-ups” for this assignment.

Show and Tell

Early in the semester, you will select a date to share an interesting and unique media text (film, television show, song, reading, etc.) with the class. Your ten-minute presentation will include a brief excerpt and a thoughtful analysis that illustrates one or two key concepts from the assigned readings. You will submit a two- to three-page overview [PDF preferred, Word is OK] of your presentation in paper form and by email [] before class begins on your presentation date. I will post your paper on the website, and I may use elements of your paper to craft questions for course examinations. Your well-crafted paper reflects half of the assignment grade; your professional presentation reflects the other half.

Download the PDF gradesheet and attach it to your essay.

Research Project

You will write a five- to eight- page academic essay that analyzes a specific media text. Note: You may use your show and tell text for this assignment. This essay will be organized in the following manner: (1) Description and justification of text, (2) scholarly literature review of at least five communication journals, (3) theory/method description, (4) analysis comprising at least half the page length, and (5) proposal for future research. You will also present a brief oral presentation (worth 15 points) that summarizes your paper and demonstrates professional communication skills.

Download the PDF gradesheet and attach it to your essay.

Midterm and Final Examinations

Each exam invites you to synthesize the knowledge you've gained in this course. The exams are composed of multiple choice, true/false, and matching questions. The final exam is not cumulative.

A note about PowerPoint: If you wish to use electronic presentation software such as PowerPoint, you must email it to me at least 24 hours prior to the class meeting time. Otherwise, you must bring it on CD or removable media. It is your obligation to ensure that your presentation is compatible with classroom equipment.