tracing media infrastructure personal computers

Please base on the instructions, abstract (attached file) and the comment by professor to write the paper.

Use Chicago Style!


This research paper will focus on personal computers as an angle on media technology infrastructure framework. Personal computers have revolutionized how people interact and communicate within the contemporary world. The invention of personal computers has seen the introduction of other innovative technologies such as the introduction of the internet that has impacted almost every aspect of life


For the whole paper, please think about these questions:

12 pt. font, 1” margins, page numbers, Chicago citation style on the affordances of a media infrastructure, technology, or material component of either within a media ecology framework (the study of media as environments rather than contents per se). We will be learning to research and write in a genealogical style. That is, from concerns, patterns, discourses, social issues, etc. identified in the present moment, you will work backward in time, asking how they came to be so.

  • What contemporary everyday life practice, technology, or social issue do you personally care to explore in depth? personal computers.
  • What affordances of the contemporary media environment have made this concern or issue thinkable to you?
  • What is an infrastructure, how and why did this concept develop over time, and what infrastructures relate to your research concern in particular?
  • What theoretical approaches have previous scholars used to study infrastructure and technology?
  • How can you tell a story grounded in theory about your particular infrastructure, technology, or material?

Your introductory paragraph should be excellent, with a clear focus on your particular subject and theme, and research question followed by a thesis statement as a “hook.”

The body sections (literature review, historical section, and discussion) should not be too short.

Literature review: You may want to keep an annotated bibliography as you read articles and books on your subject. This helps you understand arguments and map out the things that have been said as they relate to your subject. Each entry in an annotated bibliography includes a summary of the book or article, an analysis of how it is and isn’t useful to your subject or argument, and a section about shortcomings you see in it. An annotated bibliography really helps with writing the literature review section. So, Include a bibliography. You should have at least 6 scholarly sources in it, and they should be cited, summarized, and/or quoted from in your paper. Scholarly sources may come from either assigned course readings or your own research.

Historical section: Keep in mind the encoding-decoding model for interpreting your subject. How did early designers intend for their technologies or infrastructures to be used? When were their ideas challenged, and what was the outcome of these moments? Given that we tend to expect infrastructures to function in the background of our everyday activity, out of sight and mind, what adaptations resulted from either negotiated or oppositional (think about the protesters on the highway) uses of the infrastructure you’re studying?

Discussion section: This is where you say your peace. What does the evidence you’ve presented mean? Can you explain tensions, contradictions, or surprising findings? Why is this significant?

The conclusion is usually 1-2 paragraphs, touches back on your key argument, and offers limitations of your claims as well as next steps for research in this area.

Abstract: please base on the abstract to write rough draft. (available in the file)

Comment of abstract: here is the professor’s comment of the abstract. Please base on it and change some details and ideas.

“This is a good start to a paper. There is much to say about the personal computer and its affordances for new kinds of sociality. What you’ve written is not an abstract, but I can tell that you’ve done a good bit of reading already. I’m not sure you yet have an argument. What is it about the personal computer that you want to study? Is there a moment in the development of personal computers that you would like to research? Perhaps an aspect of their design at a point of uncertainty? Or the introduction of the personal computer in a particular place (like the “one laptop per child” initiative)? Keep in mind that the personal computer is different from the mobile phone or smartphone. And is computing an unmitigated good, or will electronic waste undermine its benefits in the end? What about the negative impacts on our ability to attend to nature and the people around us, higher rates of depression, the possibility of a society premised on surveillance and preying on our vulnerabilities as marketing opportunities? More refining yet to do here.

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