(Semester 2, 2019)


Assignment Two: Research Essay


Word Length: 2,500 words

Weight: 40%

Due Date: 4 pm, Tuesday 8 October


For many years after the founding of the People’s Republic (1949), China’s media industry and media organizations were owned and subsidized by the party-state. Following the shift of the country’s economy from a centralized model to a market-oriented one in the early 1990s, mass media in China started to lose state subsidies and gain financial independence. The new financial mode of media agencies changed the relationship between the party-state and the media, prompting each side to adopt new tactics and strategies to serve its own purposes, i.e. how to continue to uphold its influence on the production of culture for authorities and how to acquire more spaces of autonomy for media. This mutual need had produced and negotiated “coercion” and “consensus” between the state and the media, turning the relationship between the two into a subtle and sophisticated one in the contemporary global mediascape. MEDIA 301 CONTEMPORARY CHINESE MEDIA


Using this big context as a starting point, formulate a research project on ONE of the following three topics: Tourism and Culture; Advertising; Popular Music.




The purposes of the assignment are to enhance your capacities to formulate a vibrant research topic/question and discuss the topic/question through using databases of secondary research resources. It is important that you closely read the following words as the guidelines for writing up your essay.MEDIA 301 CONTEMPORARY CHINESE MEDIA


Essay Topic/Working Title

Your essay must include an essay topic/working title. An essay topic/working title is an organizing rubric under which you construct the central argument/critical question of your inquiry. It is short, concise and catchy.




Central Argument

Clearly state the central argument of your research project; give close attention to formulating an appropriate perspective (i.e. neither too broad nor too narrow) for the research project; expand your discussion of the argument and support it with evidence; demonstrate familiarity with the field of inquiry you select to explore; demonstrate independent and original critical thinking.



Show evidence of logic and coherence between paragraphs; make transition of ideas smooth; use “signposts” to build links, and include a relevant introduction and conclusion.MEDIA 301 CONTEMPORARY CHINESE MEDIA


Terms of writing

Write a coherent and concise research essay, i.e. avoid too much description; focus on your own analysis and argument; write in a relatively formal tone and avoid colloquial and slang terms; avoid generalization and hyperbole; avoid reliance on non-scholarly internet materials.



Correctly identify and present academic sources cited in the writing; integrate the references into the writing and avoid using quotes for the sake of quoting; be consistent in citing in MLA style; include at least three references but no more than six.


Proofreading and PlagiarismMEDIA 301 CONTEMPORARY CHINESE MEDIA

Thoroughly proofread your essay (or have it thoroughly proofread) before submitting to reduce amount of grammatical and typographical errors to a minimum; always properly reference the sources from which you have taken ideas, arguments and/or quotations to avoid plagiarism.


Marking Criteria

Your essay will be assessed by referring to the following four aspects:


  • Relevance of argument
  • Coherence of argument and analysis
  • Support of argument
  • Presentation (writing style, citation and grammar)


These four aspects will be considered from a holistic perspective. Your grade will be based on the predominant character of the essay – i.e. the four aspects do not have to all meet the standard of a grade classification and evidence of strength in certain aspects may make up for weaknesses in other aspects.