WEB566 Social Media Analysis
Essay Writing Guidelines and Tips
Instructions from 2021 UILG:
For this essay you will need to select one of the following terms as your focus: “participation”, “engagement”, or “awareness”. You will need to define and explain this term by making reference to a real-world case study, and discuss how it forms part of a broader social media communications strategy.
Introduce the term that you have chosen and explain why you have chosen it and how you will contextualize it within a chosen case study. You will need to provide a ‘thesis’ statement in this section that will form the basis of your discussion throughout the essay.
This section should be about 300 words of the total word count.
There are a number of ways to structure this section.
You could begin by introducing and detailing your case study. A case study is bounded by time so you need to collect your information within a given timeframe. For this exercise, it will depend on the case study itself. For example, it could be a weeklong Twitter campaign or a yearlong Facebook campaign. This depends on your choice of term.
You would then analyse the case study in relation to the key theoretical concepts associated with your chosen term. This is where the majority of your references will be used to support your discussion and analysis.
For example, if you choose ‘participation’, you need to decide if you are talking about social or political participation. If you chose to review the 2008 ‘Yes We Can’ campaign undertaken by Barack Obama, what lens would you choose to analyse the use of social media in that election campaign? What element of the campaign would your review (e.g.: Millenials/Gen Y and YouTube or African Americans and Facebook?)
Suggestion: You could review social media and the public sphere, political participation and YouTube in this context.
The important thing to note here is that you need to refine your discussion. With this word count, you will find that you can cover no more than 3 to 4 key points in depth.
This section should be around 1200-1500 words of the final word count (500 for the case study and the rest for the analysis and discussion).
In this section, you are reiterating your thesis statement and providing the key findings from your discussion. This should be between 300 words of the final word count.
TIPS FOR ESSAY WRITING
1. Your argument begins with your introduction.
a. Introductions clarify the question to be answered and the focus of the author
b. Introductions often provide an overview of the context, or of the theories on the topic, or of previous studies
c. They set out a proposition sentence (or thesis) – usually at the end of the introduction after background information i.e. what you propose to discuss, examine or argue and the position you are taking. This gives you and your reader a direction. This is sometimes written as a question.
d. Often definitions are given in the introduction
e. It’s useful to include key words from the assignment question
2. The body of the paper
a. Each paragraph should discuss one idea
b. Each paragraph should relate to your big question – or your proposition statement
c. Each paragraph should be linked logically to the next paragraph
3. Your argument/discussion
a. This is where you discuss the ideas of published researchers – ALWAYS RELATING THESE
TO YOUR ARGUMENT/the thesis you are proposing
b. You might explain a topic and point to references on the topic (this is your evidence)
c. You might then offer a contrasting view – with evidence
d. You might offer examples of each
e. You might then synthesise the evidence or weigh it up and put forward your stance based on this evaluation
4. Your conclusion
a. Summarise findings of the essay, i.e. main points and results
b. Make sure you have specifically addressed the assignment question i.e. conclusion should relate to the proposition sentence
c. No new information should be introduced
d. But – you may wish to consider the consequences and/or recommendations for the future