A) Paper Topic
This is a paper in linguistic anthropology. That said, it is first and foremost an anthropological paper. Since anthropology does research through actual participant observation, your paper should reflect this. Your paper should always focus on the linguistic analysis of an actual case study, rather than relying on theory alone. Ideally speaking, your paper should try to explain a linguistic phenomenon that you have personally observed (or that you have observed in newspapers, books, TV, Internet), onto which you can apply some of the linguistic theories that we discussed in class. Luckily enough, there are more linguistic phenomena out there than there are stars in the sky. Do any of you speak a dialect? Do you ever code-switch when talking with your friends and relatives? What is the relationship between language and politics in contemporary Canada? What was observable linguistically during the last American elections? What kind of examples can show the relationship between language and race, gender, power, or social class in contemporary society? These are just a few examples of the kind of questions that can help you find a successful topic for your final essay. The syllabus itself suggests a few tracks:
(1) Study of any aspect of the relation between language structure and society
(2) Study of any aspect of slang and its relation to society
(3) Study of any aspect of metaphor and its relation to cognition or culture
(4) Study of any aspect of conversation or discourse analysis
(5) A cross-cultural comparison of any of the above
(6) Study of any aspect of the relation of language to culture
(7) Study of any aspect of dialect variation
(8) Analysis of any aspect of Internet language or text-messaging
(9) Any other topic
As you can see, all the suggested tracks ask you to study an "aspect" of some broader linguistic topic. In this context, the word "aspect" stands here for "case study", that is, a concrete example of the broader topic you are going to analyze in your writing.
When you write a paper, you have to consider that how you explain things is as important as what you want to explain. Consequently, you have to pay a lot of attention to the argumentative structure through which you express your ideas, which have to fit in coherently and be in sequence with each other. As a matter of fact, most successful academic papers share a similar (and quite "old school") argumentative technique, which is called "dialectic", and has been employed by scholars since ancient times. It is still the most common technique people use in all sort of academic writings. I suggest you use this technique too.
A dialectic argument is generally divided into three parts:
1) thesis; 2) antithesis; 3) synthesis.
1) The thesis is the section that opens your paper. Here, you should quickly show the case study you aim at analyzing, together with the main theoretical arguments you are going to use to explain it. In other words, this section features 2 elements: a) what case study you are going to talk about; b) what is your claim on it (or in other words, what theory are you attaching to it). This is the reason why a good "thesis" section usually includes one or more questions on the case study followed by a statement such: "the aim of this paper is to answer these questions". The thesis therefore should be specific rather than too broad.
2) The anti-thesis is the section of your paper in which you will express how external academic sources contribute to the linguistic anthropological interpretation of the case study you will be analyzing. In other words, what have other people done on this topic? Here you will develop the core of your theoretical analysis, which most commonly will address some of the theories we have been discussing in class over the semester. However, what really counts here is not merely listing a bunch of theories, but explaining how they fit (be it well or badly) with the main argument you expressed in your "thesis" section. In other words, here you need to apply the theories in question to your case study, rather than quoting them only.
3) The synthesis is the last section of your paper. Here you should establish your own argument as a reply to the theoretical arguments by the scholars you quoted in the previous section. In other words… you should answer the following questions: 1) how do you reply to the theories you quoted in the previous section? 2) how do you explain the case study you chose through the dialogue established by previous scholars you quoted? Finally, the synthesis is your conclusion, which should answer the questions you posed in your thesis.
C) Paper length
The paper must be minimum of 8 to a maximum of 12 double-spaced pages (font size 12 Times New Roman). What really counts is the clarity of your writing, rather than its length. As the Greek poet Callimachus used to say: "In long books you can only find long shit". Consequently, I would suggest you to keep your paper reasonably short and clear, rather than long and complex. You can write papers in a group (no more than 3 people per group); in that case if the overall length of your paper is longer, this will be justifiable. If you decide to write a paper with other people, please add a note in which you specify who took care of writing each specific section or set of pages. The final grade will be an average of your collective performances.
One of the aims of your final paper is to show your knowledge about linguistic theory discussed in class. You can quote any kind of source in your paper, especially to describe your case study. But at least 2-3 of them must be academic sources in the field of linguistic anthropology, which have been discussed in class. In this sense, you can quote both Prof. Danesi's book and some of the other sources that he quotes in his book (which are listed in the main text's bibliography).
In-text quotations in anthropology follow a specific spelling, which is called "Chicago style". You can find references on how to quote online; here is a guideline:
(Family name of the author: year of publication, page number). Ex: (Giusto, 2017: 10).
Your essays must always be followed by a pertinent bibliography which state all the sources that informed your work.
These solutions may offer step-by-step problem-solving explanations or good writing examples that include modern styles of formatting and construction of bibliographies out of text citations and references. Students may use these solutions for personal skill-building and practice. Unethical use is strictly forbidden.The Internet has opened many doors for youth to freely share their ideas, thoughts, feelings, and emotions with many people across the world through accessible communication channels. However, the language used by the young people in their everyday communication over the Internet has long been criticized and subjected to scrutiny for many reasons. Some authors claim that the constantly growing phenomenon of using abbreviations, truncated language, and questionable grammar forms leads to the destruction of standardized grammar and prevents children from learning to write properly. Computer-Mediated Communication has been recognized as a direct medium for supporting the practice of youth having decreased self-regulation, using profane vocabulary, and avoiding standardized language norms, structures, and salutations (Tagliamonte 2016, 6). There are also concerns that the use of text language leads to decreased formal literacy skills (Grace, et al. 2014, 856). This paper will discuss a language phenomenon called textism which is widely present in everyday Internet or text messaging communication. It will try to answer why young people use textisms in their writing and which forms of textisms are mostly present in messages published on two of the most popular social media websites Facebook and Twitter. In addition, this paper will examine if the type of communication platform affects the choice of textisms used.
Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) is a process of human language interaction via electronic devices and telecommunication systems. The term was first introduced in 1984 with an aim to describe social implications of the growing network-based communication phenomenon. Nowadays, the Internet is considered a preferred everyday communication tool in developed societies and CMC language is its integral part. This language has its unique features which is why it is sometimes referred to as Netspeak. However, the characteristics of Nespeak communication go beyond the Internet....
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