I am studying digital media and need to write an essay on social networking I have no idea what argument to make or where to find the information?
I am in 4th year studying for my higher degree and I've already failed once so this is my last chance to get it right! It's a 5000 word essay so I need a lot of info. Please Help!!!
Based on your study of "digital media," I assume that social networking here encompasses online social networking, and websites such as Facebook, Linked In, or Google+. First of all, you've started with a great broad topic because it is one that is not only relevant right now, but widely debated, discussed, and publicized about. You have so many different directions you could take this, I can see where you'd be overwhelmed to begin. Your very first step is to begin brainstorming ideas.
It always helps me to break things down mathematically first, so I have a goal in mind for how much information would be a reasonable amount to start with. A 5,000 word essay is going to be close to ten pages. This means if you break your argument (your thesis, essentially) into three major sub-categories, you are going to need enough information to fill three or four pages for each category. (You can have more than three sub-categories, which means each one requires slightly less attention.) With that in mind, my next step is to brainstorm a list of questions that could be turned into an argument. This means, the question leads you to two (or more) answers, and the answers require research for proof. I will often start with a pretty broad question which has components that can be altered. For example:
- Ultimately, is social networking having a more positive effect on careers in digital media, or a more negative effect?
You could use the same question and simply change the bold words different categories, depending on what you are interested in, studying, or finding the most information in your research on. For example:
- Ultimately, is social networking having a more positive effect on advertising/news reporting/professional relationship building/productivity/etc, or a more negative effect?
Do you see where you could even use several of the above ideas as different sub-categories to one overall thesis revolving around the idea of whether social networking is ultimately a positive or negative thing for the business world?
In a project of such a size, much of the brainstorming process takes place at the same time as the research process, because you will find that as you read information, your ideas will begin to evolve. So step two is to begin researching. Your college likely provides free access to an online search database of scholarly journal articles and other recent respected publications (a database like OVID or JSTOR). Start broad with keywords like: "Social Networking in business," "Social networking and productivity," or "Social networking and digital media."
Begin reading some of the articles that come up and jot down ideas that seem interesting and can help you formulate an argument and a thesis. Also, don't be afraid to meet with your professor along the way, to make sure you are keeping things on track. Most professors are beyond willing to help students who come to them with some thoughtful ideas and specific questions.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. It's so hard to know where to begin with essays like this so your answer is a big help to me.... thanks again :)