Visual Arts 145a
Time and Process / Digital Media
The final 3-4 page paper in this course requires you to take a position on an issue that theorists and media historians have debated in the readings of this course. To develop your position, you must cite evidence from at least two authors assigned in the readings of this course and at least four artworks shown in lecture. If you quote or paraphrase material, please cite page numbers if available.
To organize your paper it may be helpful to answer one of the nine questions listed below:
(Manovich says no, but Kaplan and others -- such as Espen Aarseth, quoted in the Raley readings -- say yes.)
(Manovich and Flusser say very new, but Klein and Bolter & Grusin point to historical precedents.)
(Mateas, Menkman, and Bolter & Grusin say it's complicated.)
(Flusser says mostly yes, but others say it is complicated.)
(Manovich says narrative and database are "enemies," but other scholars disagree.)
(Raley says it's complicated.)
(Pearce says often yes, but it's complicated.)
(Mateas and Kittler say yes.)
(Flusser, Bolter & Grusin, and Klein are interested in this question)
(This is the big question of this course!)
An "A" paper demonstrates that the student can present him or herself as an expert on a theoretic topic in digital media studies and write sophisticated and engaging arguments that are supported by particularly apt evidence from the readings and artworks shown in lecture. We have a clear sense of the writer's perspective, and the writer anticipates possible counterarguments as well. The approach to the topic of study is insightful, and/or creative, persuasive, unique, and worth developing; the level of thinking/analysis is strong; the ideas are clearly communicated with focus and specificity; the topic is considered/addressed from several facets or perspectives; the writer understands academic conventions of citation and analytical engagement.
A "B" paper demonstrates that the student can present him or herself as a credible source on a theoretical topic in digital media studies and write coherent and engagng arguments that are supported by a appropriate evidence from the readings and artworks shown in lecture. We have a general sense of the writer's perspective, and the writer responds to possible counterarguments as well. The approach is acceptable, reasonable, thoughtful; the level of thinking/analysis is appropriate; the ideas offered are generally specific and focused, some are insightful, usually communicated clearly; the writer shows an awareness of other facets or perspectives; the writer seems to understand academic conventions of citation and analytical engagement.
A "C" paper demonstrates that the student can present him or herself as an accurate source on a theoretical topic in digital media studies and write basic analytical arguments that are supported by satisfactory evidence, but the writing may at times only focus on minimum competence with less substantive analysis or less specific description to support claims than a "B" paper would provide. Often "C" papers only partially develop arguments, fail to go beyond shallow analysis, leave ideas and generalizations undeveloped or unsupported, and make limited use of textual or visual evidence.
A "D" paper shows serious problems with writing competency as a student of the history and theory of digital media. The style may be inappropriate, the evidence may be obviously insufficient, and the student's voice as a writer may raise questions in the reader's mind about credibility. The prose does not clearly illustrate the writer's understanding of methods of organizing written discourse or responding to theoretical questions; organization is random, simplistic or inappropriate, and rarely (if ever) contributes to the overall goals; little or no development of ideas is evident, with limited insight, focus or logic; the writing has little or no internal coherence; the reader has difficulty following the writer's chain of reasoning or progression of ideas. The writer may digress from one topic to another without developing ideas or terms or make insufficient or awkward use of textual or visual evidence. The style of a "D" paper is often simplistic with a tendency to narrate facts without analysis or merely summarize. The approach is inadequate or confusing; little or no evidence of critical thinking and analysis is present; although some of the ideas may be worthwhile, the level of insight and clarity of presentation are lacking; the writer does not take into account other facets or perspectives, or does so in an inappropriate or simplistic manner; the thinking lacks focus and clarity, illustrates misconceptions; little or no evidence of awareness of the prospective audience.
An "F" paper may ignore the prompt or other requirements of the class to produce writing that is substantive, coherent, engaging, and oriented around original analysis. The writer may write too little text or produce stream-of-consciousness responses lacking a common theme. The student may have other severe difficulties communicating through academic writing. There may be little or no development; the writer may list disjointed facts or misinformation; in style, there may be incoherent paragraphs that suggest poor planning or no serious revision. Plagiarism is also grounds for an "F" grade.