This 4-page assignment will demonstrate the student’s reading and/or other research in an area of German media content, business, artist, audience, pop culture, etc., such as a biography of an influential filmmaker, history of a company, a genre analysis, or another approved topic. Appropriate papers could cover someone or something from the suggested list German media paper or an idea I haven’t thought of.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Do not lift entire sentences, or even phrases, from other authors, without using quotation marks in the body of your paper and a proper citation in a footnote or an endnote. Do not use facts from other authors without a citation. Common knowledge does not require a citation. If all of the books say (for example) that German reunification was a year-long process that culminated on October 3, 1990, you needn’t footnote this fact (but you should write it in your own words—avoiding any creative use of adjectives, adverbs, or other vocabulary that belong to the author). However, information that you couldn’t know on your own requires acknowledgment; this might include research results, information about a person’s state of mind, and quotes.
Example: German movie-making in the silent and early sound eras has been praised for its “virtuosity and ingenuity,” such as breaking away from traditional camera supports; this “unchained camera” technique, as well as the subjective point-of-view, are sometimes credited to the director F.W. Murnau and sometimes to his cameraman Karl Freund.1
Another style of citation does not use footnotes, but puts the author’s name and the date of publication in parentheses:
Freund was one of two cameramen who completed principal photography on Fritz Lang’s monumental, over-budget masterpiece Metropolis (1927), which was more than a year in the making and the most expensive European production up to that point, having employed 36,000 extras and more than one million meters of film (Kaes, 2009).
Don’t let textual excerpts take over your paper! Just because you are quoting sources to avoid plagiarism doesn’t mean that large portions should dominate your paper as a means of increasing your page count! Direct quotation may not exceed 30% of your paper’s content.
If you have learned a particular citation style in another course, you may use it in your paper. This includes APA style, MLA style, and Chicago style. A final bibliography must appear at the end of the term paper, regardless of citation style used throughout the paper. Depending on the style you use, this bibliography might be referred to as “Works Cited” (MLA), “References” (APA), or “Bibliography.”
No wiki may appear as a source in your paper (e.g., Wikipedia, imdb.com), although you’ll probably get your initial ideas from such. Avoid what I call “laundry lists” of facts or ideas. You should provide some sort of discussion of what is academically, socially, technically, historically, or economically significant about the things you list. I shouldn’t reach the end of your paper and think, “So what?” Try to develop a particular “angle” on your topic, based on (for example) what are its implications for filmmakers or audiences or critics, etc.
Avoid details of the subject’s personal life. We don’t really need to know about the parents, spouse, and children of this person (unless they’re part of an acting “dynasty” or something); their romances, foibles, and other “gossipy” information is also not likely to be relevant (unless it was career-altering).
Papers will be prepared with one-inch margins all around, 12-point Times New Roman (or similar font that averages 13-14 characters per inch), double line spacing—with no extra spacing between paragraphs. The bibliography is not part of the 4 minimum pages required, and you don’t need a complicated heading for your paper as a way to make your paper appear longer. Your paper is probably going to be 1,200 – 1,500 words.
Please see the sample paper for more examples of citing sources.German media paper The average number of sources for this assignment is 3. For some of you, our German television textbook could be a source.
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