For the final paper, you will write a 5-7 page (excluding references) paper answering the question prompts. These questions will ask broad questions related to ICTs and politics.
To ensure that students have exposure to the materials on most of the topics, the questions will be posted in the last two weeks of the quarter. For each question:
Your answers should be related to the question prompt and not off-topic.
For each question, you will reference the course materials with appropriate citations. You should refer to at least three course materials for each question. Referencing the slides and readings of the same week only counts as one. The slides for 9 weeks are uploaded below. Please try to integrate materials from three different weeks.
You will integrate the course materials into coherent arguments. When integrating the materials, you should explain the content of the materials and not just a passing reference. For example, if you refer to the logic of connective action, you should explain relevant core concepts of connective action, then explain how these concepts relate to your arguments.
The citations should be direct and clear. There should be in-text citations and a reference list in the end of the paper. You may use any citation format, buthere’s a link to some guidelines on APA format.
Examples of in-text citation:
Hate speech often targets prominent individuals to gain visibility (Siegel, 2020).
Connective leaders often do not want to be recognized as formal leaders (Hsiao, 2023).
Examples of items in the reference list
Siegel, A. A. (2020). Chapter 4: Online Hate Speech. In N. Persily & J. A. Tucker (Eds.), Social Media and democracy: The state of the field, prospects for Reform. Cambridge University Press.
Hsiao, Y. (2023). COM 407 w2-2: ICTs and political protests II [PowerPoint presentation]. Retrieved from
In the final paragraph, you should make a summary paragraph that summarizes the main points.
The rubric for the final paper uploaded below. Please read the rubric carefully because the papers will be graded according to the rubric.
You can vary the length of your answers for each question. However, make sure your total length is between 5-7 pages. We will deduct 5 points for papers that are not within the range.
Late submissions will have penalties unless granted exceptions in advance. For each late day, there will be a 10% penalty on the total grade.
The next page shows the three question prompts for the final paper. Make sure you answer all three questions.
Question prompts for final paper
1. A fundamental aspect of politics is influence – different people often have unequal abilities to affect others. How do ICTs relate to power and influence in politics?
Hint: think about who are more likely to have disproportional influence in the production of information. Which audiences are more likely to be influenced? What types of content are more likely to be influential? You might even compare influence in a world where ICTs are prevalent to a world where there are no ICTs. Topics including but not limited to ICTs and news, citizen journalism, political influencers, or bots might be useful.
2. If you are an activist organizing a protest in an authoritarian country, what might be the pros and cons of using ICTs to organize the protest?
Hint: it might be useful to think about how ICTs build networks for the pros, and the negative consequences of using ICTs for the cons. Topics such as (but not limited to) connective action, political influencers, censorship, hate speech, or misinformation may be useful to consider.
3. Do you think ICTs make citizens more engaged in politics? What are the reasons ICTs might make citizens more engaged, and what are the reasons why ICTs might drive citizens away from political engagement?
Hint: this is a broad question and you might want to narrow it down on a few aspects, but make sure you cover both reasons why citizens may become engaged and reasons why citizens may become disengaged. Topics such as economic change and populism, citizen journalism, digital governance, connective action, censorship and many other topics may be relevant.
This will help you to find the citation from PPTs:
W1-2 The Network Society Chap
W2-1 Logic of connective action
W2-2 Social Media and new protest movements
W3-1 online hate speech
W3-2 Social media echo Chambers and political polarization
W4-1 misinformation disinformation and online propaganda
W4-2 misinformation and its correction
W5-1 bots and computational propaganda automation for communication and control
W5-2 political influencers
W7-1 Journalism and Social Media Audiences
W7-2 Shifting Values New Norms Social Media
W8-1 Citizen Journalism
W8-2 Censorship and resilience
W9-1 Automation in the Workplace Political
W9-2 Digital Governance New Technologies
W10-1 Big data and data science