For your Final Paper in this course, you will complete a research project that involves collecting and analyzing samples of political or gendered language use. You will consider how discourse influences and is influenced by contemporary institutions or ideologies, and how it shapes ideologies of power, control, injustice, inequality, social change, and emancipation. In addition, you will create a discourse of your own that responds to the topic discussed in your chosen samples. (Please note, there are two parts to this assignment.)
To begin, choose a public speech, news story, or opinion article on a trending topic of interest to you. It is recommended that you spend some time reviewing the discourse sample you have chosen. Consider the theories of discourse analysis studied so far in this course and how they might be applied to the discourse to better understand the author’s intention, the work’s meaning, and possible interpretations by readers.
For Part 1 of your Final Paper,
- Analyze your chosen discourse using four concepts or theories of discourse analysis outlined in your course textbook and other required resources (i.e. use of lexical grammar, Grice’s maxims, intertextuality, etc.).
- Assess how language is used persuasively, offensively, effectively, or ineffectively to convey a particular social message or agenda.
- Locate two other discourse samples about the same topic.
- These can be excerpts in the same genre, or you may draw from other genres (such as blogs, social media posts, Tweets, video clips, multi-media excerpts, etc.).
- Compare the arguments and language used in the additional excerpts to your chosen text, drawing upon concepts and theories of discourse analysis outlined in the course.
- Assess how the three discourse samples shape and are shaped by ideologies of power, control, injustice, inequality, social change, and emancipation.
Remember to incorporate three credible sources (in addition to the course textbook and the three discourse samples) into your discussion. It is recommended that you find sources through the Ashford University Library; you may also use the articles listed under the Recommended Resources in each week of the course.
For Part 2 of your Final Paper,:
- Create a blog post (of approximately 250 words), a Facebook post (approximately 250 words), a series of Tweets (250 words total), or an Infographic that responds to the topic discussed in your chosen text.
- You may choose to agree with the views expressed in your chosen text, disagree with them, or merely address the issue in a new way. If you choose to create a blog post, the Writing Center resource Writing a Blog Post (Links to an external site.) can assist you. If you choose to create an Infographic, visit Canva (Links to an external site.) for access to a free online site that will assist you in creating the graphic. Watch Intro Tutorial for Making a Canva Infographic (Links to an external site.) for additional help.
- Assess the effectiveness of your discourse, referring to at least two concepts or theories discussed in the course.
- Evaluate how your discourse responds to the existing discourse(s) of contemporary institutions and ideologies.
The Final Paper
- Must be eight to 10 double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).
- Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
- Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
- For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the Ashford Writing Center resources.
- Must use at least three credible sources in addition to the course text (and in addition to the required discourse samples).
- The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)
- Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.
Note: You are encouraged to integrate any feedback from your instructor and upload the assignment to your ePorfolio. For specifications on how this is done see the Portfolium Quick-Start Guide.