Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

Digital Divide Paper Prompt


Research Question: Using course readings, statistical data on Internet usage, and your own analysis of a new media source (i.e. a website, app, blog, forum, twitter account etc), write a report that describes an aspect of the digital divide. In your evaluation, consider the ways race shapes the nature of access/participation with information and communication technologies (ICTs) and what your observations reveal about the broader significance of ICT access or inaccess for minoritized communities.

New Media Selection: The first step is selecting a new media source for further investigation. In choosing a source, you’ll want to look for one that allows you to make conclusions about how the digital divide manifests. Be strategic about your source’s application to course readings. I encourage you to use Scalar. If you prefer to submit a paper in hard-copy, include your images as a separate appendix, rather than within the text.

Statistical Data: The second step is identifying a data set that illuminates an aspect of the digital divide related to your new media source. I’ve included links below to get you started. You are also welcome to evaluate an alternative data set, if it’s selected with the professor.

Suggested Data Sources

Components: The paper will consist of 5 pages, including an introduction, methodology, description, analysis, and conclusion. Throughout your paper, include images/media and references from our readings/lectures that support your analysis. Fair use standards apply.   
Format: You may either submit the paper as a Scalar project linked to your portfolio or a traditional research paper. Work must be double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1” margins, and page numbers inserted (exception if you are using Scalar). Essays that are not properly formatted or do not properly cite sources will be penalized.


When writing your paper, assume that your reader is an advanced college student who is hearing about this topic for the first time and has not read our shared text.
Introduction (5 points)

Introduction: Did you introduce the purpose of your paper, the new media source you will examine, your data set, and your general findings?
Methodology: Did you provide a general overview of relevant themes discussed in our class readings and lecture? Did you address how you identified your new media source and why you selected your particular data set?
Description of New Media Source and Statistical Data (5 points)

Did you describe your new media source and provide the relevant context for your analysis? Questions you might address in your description include: What are the major features of your media source & data set? What are their purposes? How are they organized? Who is the intended audience or user? You might consider creating subdivisions within the text to delineate the description of your new media source from the description of your data set.
Evaluation (5 points)

Did you provide a compelling answer to the assignment question? Did you draw upon convincing and accurate evidence to support your interpretation, such as course texts, images, and other media? Did you engage with course authors in consistent and thoughtful ways?
Conclusion/ General Guidelines (5 points) 

Did you revisit your findings in light of course themes? Did you reflect on the larger significance of the patterns you’ve identified?
Did you properly credit your sources and include a properly formatted bibliography? Have you followed general formatting requirements and copy-editing?


I am happy to offer feedback on assignments during office hours or by appointment. For additional assistance, I encourage you to visit the Undergraduate Writing Center, http://wp.ucla.edu/index.php/home in A61 Humanities, Rieber Hall 115, and Powell Library 228. Contact 310-206-1320 or wcenter@g.ucla.edu.
For more information on citation and fair use standards, see


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