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Intro to Communications Theory –Spring 2021 – Dr. S. Bhuiyan
Paper is due on April 16 (original) Extended date April 23
Theory Application Paper (The Impact of Conspiracy Theory on the USA Presidential
Description: The theory application paper is a 10-15page paper that gives the student the
opportunity to apply one of the theories covered in this course to a real-life situation or media
program. We selected the Impact of Conspiracy Theory on the USA Presidential Election 2020 in
this class this semester.
Introduction (1/2 page)
Summary of theory: Summary of the case:
Background Research (1 page)
It is “Ok” to continue from the previous page. No need to break page)
Theoretical Framework (3 pages)
Background (1 page) – Background on the theory (theorist, main premises etc.) Literature Review (3-4 pages) – How the theory has been used to explain “things in thepast” (journal articles with studies that used the theory in the past).
Research Question(s) (1/2 page)
The Case (Summary of the case to be analyzed) (1 page)
Analysis (2 pages)
Claim Theory premise
References (10-15 references)
The final paper is due Monday April 16, 2021. The date is extended until April 23.
Turn in the previous section (in the same paper, not as a separate file) even if it is not revised. The idea is for us to see the entire paper
coming to life gradually.
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Earlier submissions are encouraged. The droboxes are open, so help yourself.
General Guidelines/Rubrics. The detail grading rubrics will be
attached in D2L
□ Font: Times News Roman □ Font Size: 12 □ Margins: 1” top, bottom, left, right □ Style: APA style □ Platform> Microsoft Office, preferably. You can download for free here. Use your SSU
username and password: https://www.office.com/ □ Write in the third person (no I, You, We). □ Add page numbers and running head on top left □ First-level header: centered
Introduction (first-level header)
□ Second-level header: flushed to left
Literature Review (first-level header)
The Agenda-Setting Theory (second-level header)
Review of How the Theory Has Been Used (second-level header)http://www.office.com/
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Running Head: AGENDA SETTING IN CNN’S COVERAGE OF THE TEXAS’ SHOOTING
Using Agenda Setting in the News Coverage of the Texas’ Shooting
Savannah State University
The running head
will show next to the
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L the pape r
you Introduction (1/2 page)
Remember to write it as a paper (use paragraphs, not bullet points.
The bullet points below are just used to outline the paper)
The purpose of this theory application paper is to use X theory to _ issue .
Summarize the theory (remember to cite using APA style)
Summarize the problem (remember, the problem will be discussed in detail)
1. What is the theory trying to explain? Remember, theory helps us understand how things
2. What is the problem? Why is it relevant to study this issue? Explain in detail. o Remember to support your argument with statistics, facts, and premises.
Use our friend APA style, as usual. o In this section, remember to address the problem in the general sense. For
example, if you are using the agenda-setting to discuss bias on Fox News, in this section, talk about “bias” in the United States; bias in the world; bias in the media. Always move from the general to the specific. Don’t focus on “Fox News” just yet. We will do that later in the analysis.
o Use the diagram below to understand how your ideas should flow from beginning to end.
Introductio Backgroun Literatu Research Case Stud Analysis Conclusio • Purpose • Problem in Review Question • Summary of • Your • Brief s ummary • Summary of detail • Theory • Main the case argument, your from be ggi ning
theory and background question(your (movie, music, contribution, to end and problem • How theory c uri os it y, your whatever you your final thought s
has been used study) are analyzing) explanation.
Figure 1. A Brief Overview of the Paper from Beginning to End
Theoretical Background (theorist, theory background, theoretical premises, and definitions).
In other words, this section is all about the theory.
Literature Review (how other researchers used this theory to explain different dynamics
in communication. You can organize this section categorical or chronologically).
Categorically: group similar studies together. For example, of the eight studies, four
talked about agenda setting in newspapers and four about agenda setting in online
news. So, you talk about them categorically – one section for agenda setting and
newspapers and another section for agenda setting and online news.
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Chronologically: talk about the studies keeping the time in perspective. Eight of the
studies were published in the 90s and the others in 2000. So, keep time into perspective.
1. Number of articles: 8 journal articles (studies)
2. Write it as a paper, not a paragraph for each theory.
3. Relate one study to the other. Use good transitions. Tell a story of how this study has been around explaining how things work.
RQ1: Examples of questions. Your theory should give you “clues” of what questions to ask.
1. How differently do CNN and Fox news frame Donald Trump?
2. How is racism portrayed in (X) movie?
Summarize the case to be analyzed (movie, music video, speech etc.)
I learned this “trick” with one of the best theorists I know who taught me at Howard University and I never forgot it. The secret of a strong theoretical argument is the combination of claim
(your point in the third person “there is racism in the world”, followed by a theoretical premise
(according go Blummer (1969), language is the base of human interaction… Followed by an example (use the movie, song etc. you are analyzing) and a conclusion (combination of your
claim, theory, example and a final thought).
For each analysis you make, be sure to have a claim (your point, your thesis), supported
by the theory and examples to support your point. For each point you want to make, be
sure to have all these points.
Do it again… Plan to make 3-6 major points. The page limit is 2, so budget it accordingly.
A helpful tips on how to focus on the Theory Application Paper
Theory Premise Issues/Dynamics Unit of Analysis (Examples)
Conspiracy Theory The Conspiracy
Theories had an impact
on the US Presidential
Election 2020. A series
of conspiracy theories
What impact the
might have on the US
conspiracies in the
machines or dead
are given in D2L and
discussed in the class
several times for your
2020 and ultimately on
people voted, etc. 47
states are making new
laws to restrict
minorities to vote based
on conspiracy theories
spread by Donald
and Right-Wing forces
in the USA.