Mass Communication & Culture, MCOM 639

Fall 2020
Mass Communication & CultureMCOM 639 6:30-9:10 p.m. Wednesdays. Live lectures will be synchronous online for the first 7 weeks, and Blackboard discussions will be asynchronous online. Assignments will be turned in via Blackboard.

Instructor: Prof. Beth A. Haller, Ph.D.

Contact: bhaller@towson.edu
Get to know me online:
CV: https://bethhaller.wordpress.com/

Course Materials:
• Textual analysis, A Beginner’s Guide by Alan McKee (2003). (Individual chapters on Blackboard)
• All other readings will be provided on Blackboard or will be available as links.
• APA Style Guide, which you can access online through Cook Library:  http://cooklibrary.towson.edu/citing-sources

Course Description:
This online course with live lectures will teach students about mass communication and culture by studying media and communication content. We will look at a variety of textual analyses and qualitative content analyses of mass media, from news to popular culture to social media content. After an overview of textual analysis and qualitative content analysis techniques, the bulk of the course will be based on the students’ own interests. Students will select media or communication content to analyze and conduct their own textual or qualitative content analysis research project.

Online Conduct:
The discussion board should be viewed as a course forum to discuss the readings, videos, and other course-related content. Your participation in the discussions counts as attendance in this synchronous online course. The tone of all posts should be respectful and professional in nature.

Treat the other students and your faculty member the same online as you would in person.
• Engage with others in a respectful manner.
• Keep in mind that written communication lacks the non-verbal cues we use to understand each other. It may be helpful to review what you write to ensure the message reads the same way you are intending it to.

It is not appropriate to post statements of a personal or political nature, or statements criticizing classmates or faculty. Inappropriate statements/language will be deleted by the course faculty.

Netiquette:
Students in this synchronous online course are expected to observe common rules of netiquette (or Internet etiquette). Those rules include but are not limited to:

1. Proofread your message before you hit send.

2. ALL CAPITALS is the same as shouting your message, check your caps’ lock button.

3. Don’t flame—everyone is entitled to the right to speak their opinion. Respect the opinions of others.

4. Make meaningful replies. Don’t just agree—say why you agree! Or disagree, as the case may be—just do so respectfully.

5. Follow the Towson Academic Integrity policies here: http://towson.edu/studentaffairs/policies/.

6. Know that students who do not follow basic netiquette rules may be suspended from
discussion board use.

Online Course: This course depends upon synchronous online meetings and you are expected to be “virtually” present for these just as if you were meeting in a regular classroom. You must have a working computer, microphone, webcam, and internet connection.

  • In the event of technical difficulty for the student, email your professor immediately. Do your best to resolve the issue before class.
  • In the event the instructor has technical difficulty: If the instructor disappears and doesn’t return in 3 minutes, please wait an additional ten minutes before logging off. The instructor will be trying to reestablish the connection and/or may be trying to reach an alternate internet connection. If the professor does not return within those 10-15 minutes, see Blackboard for instructions which will be posted as soon as possible. You are not expected to wait longer than 20 minutes.
  • In the event of a snowstorm, hurricane, or any widespread loss of power and/or internet connections which disrupts many participants, alternate materials will be posted on Blackboard. Make sure to check as soon as you are able to connect to the internet.
  • Use of a webcam is mandatory. Each student will be permitted 2 instances where technical difficulties or other issues are cited for lack of camera use.
  • “Attentiveness.” It will be evident to the instructor if you are not at your computer and engaged with the class. Remember, you are expected to be present during live Zoom class meetings.
  • Attendance. For this class, attendance will be taken based on Blackboard discussion participation, not Zoom lectures/class meetings. Zoom lectures will be recorded and posted on Blackboard if a student has to be absent from a live lecture or wants to listen to the lecture again.

Assignments & Grading:

  • Discussion posts/participation: 15%
  • Article summary/zoom presentation/leading online discussion: 15%
  • Research proposal (with beginning draft of theme list): 10%
  • Literature review (At least 20 sources) 20%
  • Final research paper & its presentation online (18-24 pp.) 40%

Discussion participation (15%): Students must actively participate in the discussion boards with questions, comments and/or critiques of the assigned readings/videos. Your discussion posts should demonstrate that you have read the assigned materials and are contributing to the online conversations by voicing your ideas, opinions and making connections between the readings real world communication events or other research.

Student-led article discussion & summary (15%): First, you must sign up to summarize (about 500 words) and create discussion questions (5) for one research article that uses content or textual analysis as its methodology. (If you find a relevant video, feel free to post that with your discussion questions.) I will provide the articles on Blackboard, which everyone must read. During the online discussion, you must respond to each of your classmates’ comments/questions in the discussion forum for each article. The reason for this assignment is to see how the methodology you will be using for your final paper was applied in an academic article. Therefore, your summary should be primarily focused on explaining how the methodology was used and what the themes, findings and conclusions were. During live zoom class meetings, students will give a brief summary of their article, but the discussion will take place in writing on Blackboard. Note: You will turn in the 500-word summary and discussion questions and video links to me as one document. I will post the discussion questions and any video links for you. 

Select one article from this list and email me at bhaller@towson.edu. Selection is first come, first served, and I will post in Announcements as I receive your selections.

Articles for discussion board presentation Student name
Compton, J. (2006). Serious as a heart attack: Health-related content of late-night comedy television. Health Communication, Vol. 19: 2.
Gibson, K.L. (2009). Undermining Katie Couric: The Discipline Function of the Press. Women & Language. Vol. 32, No. 1.
Merskin, E. (2007). Three Faces of Eva: Perpetuation of the Hot-Latina Stereotype in Desperate Housewives. Howard Journal of Communication. Vol. 18.
Fink, J. S. & Kensicki, L.J. (2002). An imperceptible difference: Visual and textual constructions of femininity in Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated for WomenMass Communication & Society. Vol. 5:3.
Billings, A. C. et al. (2015). The art of coming out: Traditional and social media frames surrounding the NBA’s Jason Collins. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.  Vol. 92(1) 142–160.
Burch, L. M., Frederick, E. L. & Pegoraro, A.  (2015). Kissing in the Carnage: An Examination of Framing on Twitter During the Vancouver Riots. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 59(3), pp. 399–415.
Sanderson, J. (2010). Framing Tiger’s Troubles: Comparing Traditional and Social Media. International Journal of Sport Communication, 3:438-453.
Smith, L.R. & Sanderson, J. (2015). I’m Going to Instagram It! An Analysis of Athlete Self-Presentation on Instagram. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 59(2), pp. 342–358.
Pennington, R. (2018). Making Space in Social Media: #MuslimWomensDay in Twitter. Journal of Communication Inquiry, Vol. 42(3) 199–217.
Del Rosso, T. (2017). There’s a cream for that: A textual analysis of beauty and body-related advertisements aimed at middle-aged women. Journal of Women & Aging, VOL. 29, NO. 2, 185–197.
Smith, K.C. & Wakefield, M. (2005). Textual Analysis of Tobacco Editorials: How Are Key Media Gatekeepers Framing the Issues? American Journal of Health Promotion, Vol. 19. No. 5.
Cruikshank, S. A. (2018). Cheaper than a Goat. U.S. newspaper and television coverage of the southern Sudan conflict. Newspaper Research Journal, Vol. 39(2) 220–231.
Pennington, R. & Birthisel, J. (2016). When new media make news: Framing technology and sexual assault in the Steubenville rape case. New Media and Society, 18(11):2435-2451.
Coleman, R. & Major, L. H. (2014). Ethical Health Communication: A Content Analysis of Predominant Frames and Primes in Public Service Announcements. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 29:91–107.
Chang, I. Y; Crossman, J.; Taylor, J.; & Walker, D. (2011).  One World, One Dream: A Qualitative Comparison of the Newspaper Coverage of the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. International Journal of Sport Communication, Vol. 4 Issue 1.
Gerstl-Pepin, C. (2015) Popular Media Portrayals of Inequity and School Reform in The Wire and Waiting for “Superman,” Peabody Journal of Education, 90:5, 691-710. new media & society, Vol. 18(11) 2435–2451.

Walsh, K. R., Furisch, E., & Jefferson, B. S. (2008). Beauty and the Patriarchal Beast: Gender role portrayals in sitcoms featuring mismatched couples. Journal of Popular Film and Television, pp. 123-132.

Research Proposal (10%): The 5-7 page proposal should explain the nature of your topic, identify your research question(s), and discuss how your research contributes to existing literature. You will also detail the content/texts you will analyze and outline the relevance of that material for your project. Additionally, you should attach the beginning draft of your theme list, as well as examples of the text(s) and/or media content you plan to analyze.

Literature Review (20%): You will prepare the beginning of the 6-9 page lit review section of your paper in advance of your final paper. The lit review should have a minimum of 20 sources. These should be primarily peer-reviewed scholarly articles, as well as related articles from industry publications. Your literature review should be concise but also comprehensive. Do not simply summarize each article but take an analytical approach to discuss how the literature relates to your research project. Explain any consensus or controversy about the articles. The lit review and the final paper should be cited in APA style, as well as have a full reference list in APA style. You will drop this literature review into your final paper, after you have revised it based on my feedback.

Textual analysis research paper (40%): You will write a research paper that uses textual or qualitative content analysis as its methodology. In preparation for this paper, you will submit your literature review and a research proposal, which will receive separate grades but will be folded into your final paper. The media or communication topic you examine should be considered against the backdrop of related scholarship, and your research should contribute to a larger understanding of the topic. Your research and analysis should be sufficiently unique as to (potentially) make a contribution to the existing literature. This 18-25 page, double-spaced paper (in Times Roman 12 point type) should contain:

  1. An introductory section (not longer than 2-3 pp.) that presents your thesis (main argumentative point) research questions and explains how these will be explored through your textual or qualitative content analysis.
  2. A literature review section (5-9 pp.), which frames the thesis/questions addressed by your paper within a larger scholarly discussion. This section should provide the reader with a a review of the related past academic research on the topic and how it relates to your research project.
  3. Method section (2-4 pp.). Discuss how you are applying the McKee Beginners’ Guide to Textual Analysis book or a qualitative research methodology in your paper. Explain how this methodology fits your project. Discuss how you developed your theme list.
  4. Findings (10-15 pp.): In this section, you should report what your analysis discovered. How do your findings support your thesis or research questions? Give examples from the content or texts you analyzed as evidence of how what you found fits with themes you discovered. (Be sure to cite media content examples in your references.)
  5. Conclusion (about 1-2 pp): Do not simply summarize your analysis. Instead, you should draw out the significance and implications of the analysis demonstrated within the body of the paper and relate your findings to the contribution you’re making to the literature.
  6. References: Your paper should cite 20 or more sources you included in the final paper, including any content or text examples used in the finding and conclusion sections.
  7. Theme list attached.

Assignment and course grading scale

Final grades will be calculated on the basis of points scored in each evaluation activity. The following scale will be used:

A = 93% and above

A-  = 90% – 92.9%

B+ = 87% – 89.9%

B = 83% – 86.9%

B- = 80% – 82.9%

C+ = 77% – 79.9%

C = 70% – 76.9%

D = 60% – 69.9%

F = below 60%

General Grading Criteria:

C = Your work is essentially accurate, follows most instructions, applies APA style correctly and provides relevant examples, but (1) lacks a clearly stated thesis or research questions/hypothesis, (2) lacks a comprehensive literature review, (3) is not unique and adds little to the existing literature, OR (4) does not follow the methodological structure discussed in class.

B = Your work is accurate, follows directions, is well-organized, applies APA style and has a clear thesis, research questions/hypothesis and analysis. However, your paper does not elaborate enough on why your analysis and findings are particularly interesting or important from a communication perspective.

A = In addition to the virtues of a B assignment, your work uses multiple examples from your content or textual analysis. Your projects’ analyses and your paper’s conclusions are especially compelling, insightful, and creative.

D = Your work contains many APA style, grammatical, mechanical or spelling errors; it reflects minimal effort, but there is some evidence that you have done the assigned readings.

F = Your work contains numerous APA style, grammatical, mechanical and spelling errors; it reflects minimal effort; OR there is no evidence that you have read or understood the assigned readings.

NOTE: Compliance with the guidelines of the APA style manual (most recent edition) will be included in the grading of your assignments. This includes but is not limited to cover sheet, margins, formatting, in-text and reference list citations. If you are unfamiliar with these guidelines, please familiarize yourselves with them as soon as possible.

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Course Schedule & Readings

August 26: Live Zoom course syllabus review & overview of unobtrusive, qualitative content-based media research 

August 30 is the last day to withdraw from the semester.

Discussions:

  • Introduce yourself in the Introduction Forum

An example article I will discuss: Ogobodo, J.N. et al. (2020). Communicating health crisis: a content analysis of global media framing of COVID-19. Health Promotion Perspectives. 10(3), 257-269.

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Module 1: Why mass media content matters; framing theory

Live zoom lecture Sept. 2

Readings:

McKee, A. (2003). Chapter 1, What is textual analysis & Chapter 2, Does it really matter how people make sense of the world?

Shoemaker, P. & Reese. S. (1996). Analyzing media content, in Mediating the Message.

Wright, C. R. (1986). Cultural content of American mass communication. Mass Communication, A sociological perspective. NY: Random House.

Discussions:

  • Austin, L.L. (2010). Framing diversity: A qualitative content analysis of public relations industry publications. Public Relations Review.
  • Borah, P. (2009) Comparing Visual Framing in Newspapers: Hurricane Katrina versus Tsunami. Newspaper Research Journal.

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Module 2: Textual/content analysis as methodology

Live Zoom lecture Sept 9. (Select your article to discuss/summarize by this date.)

Readings:

McKee, A. (2003). Chapter 3. What’s interpretation got to do with it? & McKee, A. (2003). Chapter 4. How do I know what’s a likely interpretation?

Discussions:

  • Videos about writing a literature review
  • Abramson, K., Keefe, B., & Chou, W-Y. S. (2015). Communicating About Cancer Through Facebook: A Qualitative Analysis of a Breast Cancer Awareness Page.  Journal of Health Communication.  Vol. 20 Issue 2, pp. 237-243.

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Module 3: Textual Analysis & Its Uses

Live Zoom lecture Sept. 16 & students will briefly discuss their article summaries. All discussions of the articles will take place on Blackboard. 

Assignment: Student summary/Blackboard discussion

Readings:

McKee, A. (2003). Chapter 5 & 6. Can’t we make it a bit more scientific? & Is that it?

Haller, B. & Becker, A. (2014) “Stepping backwards with disability humor? The case of NY Gov. David Paterson’s representation on ‘Saturday Night Live,’” Disability Studies Quarterly.  http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3459/3527

Discussions: 

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Compton, J. (2006). Serious as a heart attack: Health-related content of late-night comedy television. Health Communication, Vol. 19: 2.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Merskin, E. (2007). Three Faces of Eva: Perpetuation of the Hot-Latina Stereotype in Desperate Housewives. Howard Journal of Communication. Vol. 18.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Gibson, K.L. (2009). Undermining Katie Couric: The Discipline Function of the Press. Women & Language. Vol. 32, No. 1.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Del Rosso, T. (2017). There’s a cream for that: A textual analysis of beauty and body-related advertisements aimed at middle-aged women. Journal of Women & Aging, VOL. 29, NO. 2, 185–197.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Walsh, K. R., Furisch, E., & Jefferson, B. S. (2008). Beauty and the Patriarchal Beast: Gender role portrayals in sitcoms featuring mismatched couples. Journal of Popular Film and Television, pp. 123-132.

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Module 4: Textual analysis and news topics

Live Zoom class Sept. 23 – students will briefly discuss their article summaries. All discussions of the articles will take place on Blackboard. 

Assignments: 1.) Student summary/Blackboard discussion

2.) Email me 100-150 words on what you are considering for your research project and schedule a Zoom meeting with me about the final project before Oct. 14. Sign-up sheet will be posted on Blackboard.

Discussions:

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Fink, J. S. & Kensicki, L.J. (2002). An imperceptible difference: Visual and textual constructions of femininity in Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated for WomenMass Communication & Society. Vol. 5:3.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Billings, A. C. et al. (2015). The art of coming out: Traditional and social media frames surrounding the NBA’s Jason Collins. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.  Vol. 92(1) 142–160.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary:Cruikshank, S. A. (2018). Cheaper than a Goat. U.S. newspaper and television coverage of the southern Sudan conflict. Newspaper Research Journal, Vol. 39(2) 220–231.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Pennington, R. & Birthisel, J. (2016). When new media make news : Framing technology and sexual assault in the Steubenville rape case. New Media and Society, 18(11): 2435-2451.

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 Module 5: Textual/content analysis – social media, PR, advertising

Live Zoom class Sept. 30 – students will briefly discuss their article summaries. All discussions of the articles will take place on Blackboard. 

Assignments: 1.) Student summary/Blackboard discussion

2.) Email Joyce Garczynski with your project idea, jgarczynski@towson.edu

Blackboard discussions:

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Burch, L. M., Frederick, E. L. & Pegoraro, A. (2015). Kissing in the Carnage: An Examination of Framing on Twitter during the Vancouver Riots. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 59(3), pp. 399–415.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Sanderson, J. (2010). Framing Tiger’s Troubles: Comparing Traditional and Social Media. International Journal of Sport Communication, 3:438-453.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Pennington, R. (2018). Making Space in Social Media: #MuslimWomensDay in Twitter. Journal of Communication Inquiry, Vol. 42(3) 199–217.

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Module 6: Coming up with themes for textual/content analysis

Live Zoom class Oct. 7 – students will briefly discuss their article summaries. All discussions of the articles will take place on Blackboard. 

Assignment: Attend a meeting with librarian Joyce Garczynski this week. Online signup sheet with time choices: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B044AA9AD2A1-mcom1

2.) Assignment: Student summary/Blackboard discussion

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Coleman, R. & Major, L. H. (2014).Ethical Health Communication: A Content Analysis of Predominant Frames and Primes in Public Service Announcements. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 29:91–107.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary:  Smith, L.R. & Sanderson, J. (2015). I’m Going to Instagram It! An Analysis of Athlete Self-Presentation on Instagram. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 59(2), pp. 342–358.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary:  Gerstl-Pepin, C. (2015) Popular Media Portrayals of Inequity and School Reform in The Wire and Waiting for “Superman,” Peabody Journal of Education, 90:5, 691-710.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Smith, K.C. & Wakefield, M. (2005). Textual Analysis of Tobacco Editorials: How Are Key Media Gatekeepers Framing the Issues? American Journal of Health Promotion, Vol. 19. No. 5.

Student-led Blackboard discussion/summary: Chang, I. Y; Crossman, J.; Taylor, J.; & Walker, D. (2011).  One World, One Dream: A Qualitative Comparison of the Newspaper Coverage of the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. International Journal of Sport Communication, Vol. 4 Issue 1.

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Week of Oct. 14

Assignment: Research Proposal Due

Sign up for individual Zoom meeting with me about your project idea before this date.

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Week of Oct. 21

Work on literature review/final research paper

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Week of Oct. 28

Additional Zoom meetings at student’s request.

Work on literature review/final research paper

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Week of Nov. 4

Assignment: Literature Review Due

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Week of Nov. 11:

Additional Zoom meetings at student’s request.

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Week of Nov. 18

Additional Zoom meetings at student’s request. All your text/content should be analyzed by now.

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Week of Nov. 23: Thanksgiving week 

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Dec. 2

You should have a draft of your final paper by now.

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Dec. 9

 Assignment: Final textual or qualitative content analysis paper due

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Copyright statement

My lectures and course materials, including, but not limited to recorded content, Powerpoint presentations, outlines, and similar materials, are protected by copyright. I am the exclusive owner of copyright for those materials. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use; however, you may not, nor may you allow others to, reproduce or distribute lecture notes and course materials publicly whether or not a fee is charged without my express written consent. Similarly, you own the copyright of your original papers and exam essays. I cannot post or use your papers without your written permission.

Academic Integrity Policy

Students are responsible members of the academic community.  You are therefore obligated not to violate the basic standards of integrity.  You are also expected to take an active role in encouraging other members of the community to respect those standards.  Should you have reason to believe that a violation of academic integrity has occurred, you are encouraged to make the suspicion known to a member of the faculty or University administration.

Cheating means using, attempting to use, and/or disseminating unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids, videos or other devices in any academic exercise. This includes unauthorized communication of information during an exercise or exam.  Some examples include but are not limited to:  Copying from another student’s paper or receiving unauthorized assistance during any graded deliverable; using books, notes or other devices (e.g., calculators, phones, watches, laptops, or other internet enabled devices) when these are not authorized; procuring without authorization tests or examinations before the scheduled exercise (including discussion of the substance of examinations and tests when it is expected these will not be discussed); copying reports, laboratory work, computer programs or files and the like from other students; collaborating on laboratory or computer programs or files and the like with other students; collaborating on laboratory or computer work without authorization and without indication of the nature and extent of the collaboration; sending a substitute to take an examination, using solutions manuals, providing exam and assignment questions to student websites or using such a website to complete an assignment and/or exam (including free or pay websites that maintain textbook and/or instructor solutions).  To clarify, copying or collaborating with other students or using external resources, including other people, on any type of assignments that are expressly designed to be completed individually is cheating.

Recorded sessions and any associated materials are designated ONLY for registered students in the class. Any sharing or dissemination of recordings beyond the student body registered in the course and section constitutes a violation of privacy and may also be categorized as cheating or defamation of character (depending on the circumstance), a possible copyright infringement.

Complicity in Academic Dishonesty means helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty.  Some examples include but are not limited to: Allowing another to copy from one’s paper during an examination or test; distributing test questions or substantive information about the material to be tested without authorization before the scheduled exercise; collaborating on academic work that is expressly designed to be completed individually; taking an examination or test for another student; signing a false name on an academic exercise; or sharing assignment or exam information before, during, or after the deliverable in written, electronic, video, or verbal form. (Note: Collaboration and sharing information are characteristics of academic communities. These become violations when they involve dishonesty.  Students should seek clarification when in doubt).

Abuse of Academic Materials means destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other resource materials. Some examples include:  Stealing or destroying library or reference materials needed for common academic exercises; hiding resource materials so others may not use them; destroying computer programs or files needed in academic work; stealing or intentionally destroying another student’s notes or laboratory experiments; receiving assistance in locating or using sources of information in an assignment where such assistance has been forbidden by the instructor.

All student work including assignments, presentations, and tests must adhere to the university’s Student Academic Integrity Policy http://towson.edu/studentaffairs/policies/.

Liability Statement

In all assignments, students must comply with all laws and the legal rights of others (e.g. copyright, obscenity, privacy and defamation) and with all Towson University policies (e.g. academic dishonesty). Towson University is not liable or responsible for the content of any student assignments, regardless of where they are posted.

Students with Disabilities Policy

This course is in compliance with Towson University policies for students with disabilities as described at https://www.towson.edu/accessibility-disability-services/.

If you are a student with a disability and believe you may need accommodations for this course, please notify me with an emailed memo from Accessibility and Disability Support Services (ADS).  Since accommodations are not retroactive, it is strongly recommended that you provide me with notification as early as possible in the term.  To register with ADS, or if you have questions about disability accommodations, contact Disability Support Services at 410-704-2638.

Students who suspect that they have a disability but do not have documentation are encouraged to contact ADS for advice on how to obtain appropriate evaluation. A memo from ADS authorizing your accommodation is needed before any accommodation can be made: https://www.towson.edu/provost/academicresources/documents/syllabus_guidelines_best_practices_4-18-16upload.pdf

Veterans Support and Services

For all student veterans (regardless of discharge status or last time of service), Towson University is committed to providing services and support through the Military & Veterans Center (MVC). The MVC can assist with educational benefits claims, military-related matters (call-ups for deployment, residency issues), veteran issues (VA healthcare and mental healthcare support), and other unique needs that might arise. The MVC can be found in the Psychology Building, Room 107. More information can be found at towson.edu/veterans, by calling (410) 704-2992, or by emailing tuvetcenter@towson.edu.

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TOWSON UNIVERSITY
College of Fine Arts and Communication
Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
Towson, MD 21252
410-704-3431

M E M O R A N D U M
TO: All Students in the Department Of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
FROM: Department Faculty
SUBJECT: PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING

Plagiarism

The Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies adheres to the following policy regarding plagiarism:

  1. Any words or images taken directly from another source (including the Internet) must be footnoted or cited and in quotation marks. Similarly, in oral presentations, attributions must be clear.
    2. Any ideas derived from a source not in the public domain or of general knowledge must be clearly attributed.
    3. Any paraphrased material must be footnoted or cited. In oral presentations, attributions must be clear.
    4. All papers and presentations must be the student’s own work. Submission of papers or presentations authored by others, even with their consent, constitutes plagiarism.

Any student found plagiarizing in any of the above ways will receive an automatic “F” for the assignment and may receive an “F” for the course. Documented evidence of the plagiarism will be kept in the department office, and will be reported to the Office of Judicial Affairs.

Any student discovered soliciting others to write a paper, speech, test, or other assignment for that student will receive an automatic “F” for the course.

There are ambiguities in concepts of plagiarism. Faculty will be available for consultation regarding any confusion a student may have.

Most students are careful to avoid blatant plagiarism, the unacknowledged copying of exact words of the source. However, students must also be aware that the concept of plagiarism extends not only to wording but to patterns or sequences of ideas. If you paraphrase without acknowledgement, using the same sequence or structure as the original author, then you are plagiarizing.

Students have the right to appeal a charge of plagiarism. An appeal starts with the chairperson of the department.Cheating

The Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies has adopted the following policy regarding cheating: ANY STUDENT CAUGHT CHEATING ON ANY QUIZ OR EXAM WILL RECEIVE A MINIMUM OF AN “F” ON THE QUIZ OR TEST AND A MAXIMUM OF AN “F” FOR THE COURSE.

Revised 1-11-05
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