CMNS 110

Term Paper Outline – 15% Answer the questions below. Use complete sentences.

  1. For your research essay, you will be asked to write about a topic that reflects our course themes: “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” (Culkin) and/or “the danger of a single story” (Adichie).


What is your topic? Topics should be focused. For example, “Is media contributing to diversity in society” is not a good topic. You need to break it down it down further – what kind of media, and what kind of diversity? “Media’s role in defining gender identity” is also too broad. Be creative and narrow your paper topic down to a manageable scope. (30-50 words)


Some examples of topics that we have/will cover in class include: How has GoFundMe changed the way in which we seek and provide care to people with medical needs? How does America Ninja Warrior both challenge and reinforce gender stereotypes around athleticism?


  1. Why did you choose this topic? In other words, why does this interest you and why should we, as a society, care about this topic? Please elaborate your answers. (100-150 words)


  1. What are some of the key research questions you would like to investigate/answer in this research paper? List 3 key questions. Questions should be specific. Developing strong research questions will help you formulate your main arguments. (No suggested word limit since research questions are typically one sentence long).


  1. What is your thesis statement? Example of a reasonable thesis statement: “Despite decades-long fight for equal representation of women in politics and many progresses made, still today female politicians are portrayed in a stereotypical fashion in media and are less likely to run for political office than men.” For the purpose of CMNS 110, a thesis statement should be something that you can investigate (support or refute) by relying on evidence found in existing research on the topic. (No suggested word limit since a thesis statement is typically one sentence long).


  1. What are some of the keywords associated with your topic?


(Identify and define 4-5 keywords associated with your topic. This will help you with your library/online research.

  1. In addition to the sources that you found for your annotated bibliography, now that you have a better idea of your topic, what other kinds of facts, information, data, sources, etc. do you need to successfully complete this research? In other words, what information are you missing in your annotated bibliography that will help you answer your research questions or formulate your arguments? (100-150 words)


  1. Which CMNS 110 key concepts/theories does your term paper incorporate? Choose at least three key concepts/theories. For this you might have to look ahead in your upcoming readings to identify concepts relevant to your How is your topic related to these key concepts? (This section should at least be 200-250 words long)


(Determine the most important ideas you would have to understand from CMNS 110 in order to research your topic.)


  1. What are your assumptions about your topic and your thesis statement? In other words, are there aspects of this topic that you are taking for granted and perhaps not thinking critically about? Are your assumptions about the topic preventing you from thinking critically? (~150 words)


Note: It’s okay if you are a few words under or over the indicated word limit for each section.

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