Social Cognitive Theory

Research Paper:

The final project will be a 5-6 double-spaced (that’s between 2500 and 3000 words)(excluding title page and references, etc.) literature review focusing on a particular theory discussed in class. Literature reviews are important in that they provide researchers with a thorough and varied perspective on the topic(s) they wish to investigate. Students will be asked to choose a major theory in mass communication research (i.e., critical race theory, Marxist theory, cultivation, uses and gratifications, identity construction, etc.) and gather and critically analyze research that has used this theory. Paper should include a brief introduction, extensive literature review synthesizing information, and a brief section discussing potential areas of future research. Focus on comparing and contrasting major arguments and schools of thought. SUMMARIZATION OF ARTICLES IS NOT ANALYSIS.


A mandatory first draft will be due several weeks prior to the final draft. Students are required to have at least half the paper complete and preferably a full first draft.


Papers will be checked with TurnItIn. Plagiarism and/or excessive direct quotation is NOT ACCEPTABLE and will result in a 0 and potential expulsion from the Graduate program.



· 5-6 pages (excluding references) (2500-3000 words)

· 10 references (minimum)

· Introduction (~1 page)

· Discussion/Future Research (~1 page)

· Times/12pt/Double Space


Your objective in this paper is to analyze a THEORY, not develop a question to investigate. You needed to pick a THEORY we have discussed in class and then examine how it is used in contemporary research. Find articles that use that theory, compare and contrast how those articles use the theory and talk about it, then analyze any similarities, differences and trends. That’s why I think Social Cognitive Theory would work better.

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