ENGL 1102 / Hetzel <Composition 1: Popular Entertainment Media Analysis <<br

ENGL 1102 / Hetzel
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Composition 1: Popular Entertainment Media Analysis
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Assignment Guidelines
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Adapted from FSU’s First-Year Composition Teachers’ Guide
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Final Draft: 1,000-1,200 words
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DESCRIPTION & PURPOSE: This composition asks you to examine a facet of American
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culture as it is portrayed on a serialized source of popular entertainment media. The following
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will further define assignment, we’re going to define what I mean by serialized popular
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entertainment media.
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?Serialized – Storyline develops over multiple episodes
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?Popular – As in traditional, widely enjoyed by your average individual
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?Entertainment – Used for a diversion over education; not factual (no news, no
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documentaries)
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?Media – Shared through good old television, theaters, streaming services, subscription
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channels/social media platforms
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As you work with your material, you should keep asking (and answering!) two fundamental
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questions: why and what does this mean? Please choose one series to study in-depth, or with
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permission, two to compare/contrast. There are an almost endless number of ways this
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assignment can be approached, but the real goal here is analysis. Whether you look at
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trepresentation of gender, race, class, or some combination of these–or something all your own–
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you task is to produce an argument that asserts what the series says about some facet of our
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culture.
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SELECT A TOPIC: To protect your credibility, I strongly suggest you select a series that
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represents a part of our culture you identify with.
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One of the challenges will be to avoid simply summarizing the material you’ve viewed, so be
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sure to strike a balance between recapping what happened in the show and what what happened
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means in a larger sense.
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Let’s say you follow several episodes—whether a reality show, a drama, or a comedy—and you
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notice that the show seems to portray women as whiny and emotional, your goal would be to (1)
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show evidence of this by citing specific examples from the show and (2) to ask the questions
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why and what does it mean in a broader sense. For example:
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?What is the message about women being sent through the show?
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?How are men portrayed in the show?
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?Are there women in the show who defy stereotypes?
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?If so, how?
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?How are they received by other women on the show?
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?How are they received by men on the show?
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POINT OF VIEW: Primarily third, with room for first person if using a narrative for establishing
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context and your experience with the series.
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WHO’S THE AUDIENCE?: Please direct your analysis toward your peers and professor.
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SOURCES: One (1) peer-reviewed journal article to engage with throughout the paper, or in the
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extended conclusion.
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ORGANIZING THE ESSAY: Consider outlining your paper to determine the best presentation
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of your analysis. The organization may depend on how many series you choose to write about, or
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a handful of stereotypes debunked by the show, or how the representation of identity has
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changed over a series’ lifespan.
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CONCLUDING: Plan for a 2-paragraph conclusion in which you address the “So what?” What
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does the series say about some facet of our culture? How might this series influence our culture,
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and/or how does this series reflect/shape the reality of those it represents?
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TITLE: Think of an appropriate title for your paper, one that both identifies the series you are
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analyzing, and ultimately, the argument you’re going to make about the its influence on our
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cultural perception of reality.
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WORD CHOICE: Use words consistent with what you hope to accomplish with this paper, the
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audience to whom you are writing, and the wider audience of the college campus.
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VERB TENSE AND VOICE: Present tense, active voice. Any use of narrative elements should
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transition clearly and flawlessly between present and past tense.
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FORMATTING: Please submit in MLA format, using Times or Arial 12 pt. font. Your Word or
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PDF—no Pages or links—file must be submitted to D2L; no email-submissions will be accepted.

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