1. Your topic and a tentative title for your paper. Eg. The topic of my paper is the role of social media in the Arab Spring Revolts.

The components of this assignment include a title, research question, hypothesis, a purpose statement, literature review, and a Reference list. It must contain at least 8 sources, at least 6 of which must be peer-reviewed journal articles or scholarly books.  Here’s what the layout should look like:

1. Your topic and a tentative title for your paper. Eg. The topic of my paper is the role of social media in the Arab Spring Revolts. The tentative title is “Harnessing the Power of Social Media: A Case Study of the Arab Spring Revolts.”

2. Your primary research question. State this in the form of a single clearly worded open-ended question that is not able to be answered with a “yes” or “no” response. Eg. “The primary research question that this paper will seek to answer is: how might the power of social media be harnessed to create and control revolts similar to those of the Arab Spring?”

3. A purpose statement that briefly describes what you intend to do and how you intend to approach your topic and research. (How will you answer your question? What info will you need to answer it? Think about “variables” and try to identify your dependent and independent variables as a way to help you conceptualize the process for answering your question.)

4. A tentative hypothesis. This should be your initial best guess at what you think the answer to your question will be. Eg. “The relationship between social media and the Arab Spring revolts can be shown as having a significant impact on those events, and the power of social media can be harnessed to create and control revolts in foreign countries by several easily achievable means that include the infiltration of social media sites and the recruitment of native agitators to foster movement towards revolt and influence public opinion.”

5. Literature Review. Use a narrative format to name and describe some of the initial sources you’ve found and how they will be useful to you. Also describe some of the sources you intend to search for and how they will assist in answering your research question. It might seem a little early in the research process to have much of an idea about sources, but you must know very quickly whether or not sources exist that will allow you to conduct adequate research on your topic. Look for scholarly sources using the search tools in the online library. Don’t simply rely on Google searches. Look for journal articles and books. Media sources should constitute only a small portion of your research.

6. Bibliography. Footnote or Endnote style is the format used for citations in this course.  Thus, you must use Bibliography format as well.  Be sure to know the differences between the styles and don’t confuse a reference list format with bibliography format.


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