CMS 2010: Media Diary

This is the first of our writing assignments.

Keep a week-long diary of your interactions with media. Then write a 8-10 sentence paragraph summarizing your use of media, as detailed in your diary. To complete the assignment, follow these steps.

Charting your media consumption

  1. Download a copy of the media diary chart. (You will need Microsoft Excel to open and complete this file.)
  2. For seven consecutive days, use the chart to keep track of the time of day that you used all the listed media, and any additional media that you wish to add to the chart. Use an “X” to mark usage during a particular hour. For example, if one afternoon you listened to the radio at home from 2:00-4:30 and also texted with a friend from 3:35-3:40, you would include an “X” in the appropriate blocks.
      1p 2p 3p 4p
    Broadcast Radio: Home   X X X
    Phone: Text     X  

Writing your paragraph

Based on a thoughtful analysis of your completed diary, write an 8-10 sentence paragraph summarizing your use of media. Your paragraph should demonstrate the exceptional clarity, concreteness, concision, and correctness that distinguishes high-quality academic and professional writing. It should be well organized and coherent, opening with a topic sentence and including supporting details in the sentences that follow. Format the paragraph using MLA style, including double-spacing.

Focus your paragraph on a single idea, so it demonstrates the coherence that marks effective writing. Your project might answer any one of the following questions, or you may address your own topic:

    • Was this week typical or atypical?
    • How much time, overall, are you connected to media over the course of a typical day?
    • What is the most important medium in your life? Is it also the one you use the most?
    • Do you spend more time interacting with people you know (interpersonal communication) or with mass media?
    • How much of your use is related to work, school, entertainment, etc.? Are particular media used only in one area of your life?
    • Are there noticeable patterns throughout a typical day? For example, do you interact with family and friends more at night than during the day?

By the deadline listed for the “Media Diary” assignment drop box in D2L, submit two files to this drop box.

    • The completed diary as an Excel file
    • Your double-spaced paragraph as a Word file.

To conform to federal privacy mandates, your name should not be included in either document.