method .- project highlights notable trends H u m a n i t i e s

method .- project highlights notable trends H u m a n i t i e s

Final Project Assignment Sheet

Your final project has two stages. For the first, you will submit a short proposal for the project you would

like to complete (due in week 9). Then, after receiving feedback on your proposal, you will submit your full

final project (due finals week). You will also receive a grading rubric for your final project in week 10.

Overall project description:

For your final project, you will be completing a mini ethnography of online culture. Very simply put, an

ethnography is a study of culture based on observations; ethnography often involves immersing yourself

in the culture you are studying. To do your ethnography, you will choose one small, specific corner of

online culture to observe for roughly one week. During your observations, you should take notes,

record information, and watch out for patterns, paying attention to things like: how users express

themselves or interact, what kinds of content users share, and what tensions arise within online

communities. Think of yourself as an anthropologist studying internet culture and/or phenomena.

After completing your observations, you will write a 2,000- to 3,000-word “report” (that is, an essay)

describing what you saw in the corner of internet culture that you studied. Your report should explain what

subculture you observed, how you completed your observations, and what notable trends you saw there.

You should also offer an analysis of the trends you observed, describing what makes them meaningful

and how they relate to our course topics. In your analysis, you should discuss at least 2 readings from

our course. You can either use these readings to help explain the meaning behind your observations or

you can use them to demonstrate how your observations actually complicate what we have discussed.

**Tip**: To give yourself enough time to complete your observations, you should begin observing your

internet subculture by the end of week 9, as soon as possible after receiving your proposal feedback.

STAGE 1: Final Project Proposal(already finished)

Format/length: 200 to 300 words, written in paragraphs or outline

For the first stage of this assignment, you will write a short proposal that describes the final project you

would like to complete. This should be 200 to 300 words long, which is equivalent to one or two

paragraphs. You can use some of this length to include bulleted lists or an outline if it fits your proposal,

but you should open and close your proposal with a series of full sentences.

Your proposal should explain:

– Which online subculture or “place” (e.g. specific corner of social media, specific element of a

platform, specific app, etc.) you are hoping to analyze.

– How you plan to go about observing this corner of internet culture. For example, will you visit it

daily and watch users? Will you record comments? Will you interact with community members?

– What makes you think that this will be a particular interesting and/or revealing corner of internet

culture to observe? What do you predict you will find through your observations?

– What 2 – 3 course readings do you anticipate will be relevant to your analysis of your

observations? That is, which course readings seem most related to this topic?

The more specific you can be about the culture or phenomenon you are observing, the better!

STAGE 2. Final Project

Due: Tuesday, December 7 by 11:59 pm

How to submit: via Canvas as .doc or .docx (or PDF for projects with visual elements)

Format/length: essay, 2,000 – 3,000 words

Please submit the full report as described in the “overall project description” above. Here are some

additional guidelines for your report:

– Your report should be written in full paragraphs using complete sentences.

– You will not primarily be graded for your language skills, but grammatical correctness is still

important. I need to be able to understand your ideas to give you credit.

– You are welcome to include screenshots or other images that help illustrate your descriptions. If

you use screenshots, please submit your project as a PDF.

– You can use any citation style for your references to our course readings (Chicago, MLA, etc.) as

long as you are consistent.

Final Project Assignment Sheet

This rubric describes the expectations for a successful final project. Please refer to the final project

assignment sheet for detailed instructions on what your project entails and how to complete it.

General expectations:

– Project fits with the overall prompt. It focuses on one specific area of online culture.

– Project is the correct length (2,000 – 3,000 words).

– Project is structured in a way that is clear. Ideas are grouped in paragraphs and are arranged in a

logical order.

– Writing is clear and has been proofread. Student has not overly relied on translation tools.

– All written elements are original and written by the student. Writing by others is properly cited.*

Expectations related to observations:

– Project reflects a sufficient amount of time and effort conducting first-hand observations.

– Project is appropriate in scope, avoiding topics that involve observing multiple areas or groups.

– Project describes how the student conducted observations and why they chose this method.

– Project highlights notable trends or interesting phenomena within the observed culture.

– Project uses specific, detailed examples as evidence to illustrate points about observed culture.

Expectations related to analysis:

– Project includes an analysis of the student’s observations.

– Analysis discusses the observed trends, discussing what makes them meaningful.

– Analysis ties the project to the topics of our course.

– Analysis discusses at least two of our assigned course readings, explaining how they either

illustrate the student’s findings or how the student’s findings challenge the readings.


A grade = An “A” essay will meet all or nearly all of these criteria.

B grade = A “B” essay will meet most of these criteria; a few important criteria may not be met.

C grade = A “C” essay will meet many of these criteria, but a number of important criteria will not be met.

D grade = A “D” essay will meet at least half of these criteria, but will be notably weak in remaining areas.

F grade = An “F” essay will meet less than half of these criteria, or address most criteria insufficiently.

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