ATS2439 Social Media Research Essay

By May 19, 2018Academic Papers

Assessment 4: Case Study Essay – DUE 25 May at 11.55pm

Word limit: 2000 words (+/- max 10%)
Value: 40%
References don’t count towards the word limit.


The idea is to present in an essay form small-scale case study research you have carried out to examine your research topic and answer your research questions.

Remember a case study is a detailed analysis of one real-life media practice, organisation, product, person, event, situation or text (e.g. a commercial, film, etc.). Different sources of information and research methods (i.e. how you collect and analyse your data) can be used to carry out your case study (*except for human research using interviews and surveys). The relevant ideas, theoretical approaches and concept/s you have evaluated as part of your literature review and/or further research will be applied to your case study to frame it, locate it in relation to existing media scholarship, and to explain its different dimensions, elements.

While you will necessarily be connecting to some ideas and concepts from the lit review, this Assessment 4 essay is predominantly about your case study research and analysis, and how your case study helps you understand your research topic/questions.

For further instruction / steps – see Week 8 & 9 Lectures and slides on Moodle.

Presentation requirements:
Online submission through Moodle –
in PDF format; no separate cover letter needed. You need to present your assessment in these styles:

Times New Roman 12 pt, or Arial 11 pt
Margin of at least 1.5 or double space within the paragraph
Numbered pages
Left aligned text
Headings and subheadings in bold (if applicable)
Reference style: Harvard style
Proofreading essential as spelling, punctuations and referencing all count towards the final grade

Academic Integrity Policy: Remember to adhere to the Monash academic integrity policy (see unit guide), which means honesty and proper acknowledgment of the work of others. See: Failure to do so may result in penalties including loss of marks or failed assessment.

Turnitin: You will receive similarity reports once you upload your file. It may take up to one hour to generate. For subsequent similarity reports you have to wait 24 hours. All submissions must be made by due date. No re-submissions after due date.

Follow the case study essay structure with relevant headings and subheadings:

  • ●  Your essay title (including the mention of your case study) and name

  • ●  Introduction:

    • –  introduce your topic and its significance;

    • –  provide background to the topic drawing on the literature you had conducted in

      Assessment 3 – DO NOT copy and paste content from your literature review, just summarise the key points, ideas, concepts, gaps identified to locate your case study in relation to existing media scholarship (and closely related literature from cultural and social research).

    • –  You can use some new lit material if applicable;

    • –  There is no prescribed number of literature sources – but important to make

      sure the essay is substantiated and comprehensive;

    • –  introduce your case study, its context, most significant characteristics, elements

      and describe its relationships to media (e.g. media industry, genre, uses of

      media, audience strategies, audience engagement, media policy, etc.);

    • –  outline key purpose of the essay

– outline your methodology (e.g. why have you chosen this case study; include any

info that may help understand the relevance and significance of the case study to your research (or perhaps its uniqueness?). It’s essential to describe what sources of information have you used; how you collected your evidence/data, and analysed it

Findings and discussion:
– This is very important part of this essay – where you analyse key issues, aspects

of your case study based on the evidence you have collected; you identify key findings and explain their meanings; why these findings are interesting and important; you draw conclusions from your evidence;
* Note: to conduct your analysis apply key ideas, concepts and approaches identified as important to your research from the academic literature. This section can be subdivided into parts; see examples from required reading; You can sub-divide this section as relevant to you.

– Reiterate your main argument; what does your case study demonstrate and

mean; how does it help understand your broader research topic or answer your questions; does it challenge or support previous assumptions? You can acknowledge contradictions, mention limitations, or what future research can be done but no new material!

References (listed in alphabetical order and following the Harvard style – don’t count towards the 2000 word count)

Non-English language sources

You can use English language sources provided that you (i) do engage with English-language literature/scholarly debates to situate/frame your study (i.e. what we’ve been covering in lectures/unit readings); (ii) translate any sections, quotations you use into English; (iii) provide an English translation of the source in the reference list (its title, publication outlet) + provide a brief description of the source (a newspaper article, website, a gov doc, etc. as part of the listed reference).

Criteria for marking: The case study essay should:

  • Provide well-explained and justified choice of case study, describing its context, elements, appropriateness for your research

  • Demonstrate critical analysis and application of relevant concepts and theoretical approaches

  • Clearly articulate sources of information and research methods used to collect and analyse your data

  • Be well-structured

  • Apply proper scholarly writing style, with accurate citation and referencing

    Example of papers based on case study research:

    Ardley, S. (2010). Defining a public model for participatory media practice: A case study of the ABC website Pool. Telecommunications Journal of Australia, 60(3), 1–9.

    Bosch, T. (2017). Twitter activism and youth in South Africa: the case of #RhodesMustFall. Information Communication and Society, 20(2), 221–232.

    Fullam, J. (2017). Becoming a youth activist in the internet age: a case study on social media activism and identity development. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 30(4), 406–422.


    Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Writing a Case Study, USC resources: