Argument about cultural messages

Use field research and image analysis to make an argument about cultural messages

People of different genders, races and classes are socialized in their specific roles in a variety of ways. These definitions begin to take shape in our world at infancy and continue often un analyzed. For this project, analyze a set of documents of your choice. (Use the term documents very loosely—and think about a variety of kinds of texts in a variety of media.) Your research must examine the representation of race, class or gender in some form of media (make sure to choose a different topic than you did in the first unit).

Examples include how images of race, gender or class
• are depicted in the Fargo Forum
• are depicted in current sports magazines
• in sit-coms influence our ideas about certain people
• are represented in advertising
• are depicted in Viagra, etc. commercials
• in music videos influence us
• in video games softens our reaction to real problems in society
• in store ambiance creates certain shopping environments

Purpose: This paper will serve several purposes, it:
• introduces a research method often used in composition and linguistics.
• familiarizes you with the components of the academic research paper.
• gives you practice analyzing the way media shapes your belief systems.

Planning and Drafting

1) Find a set of media “documents” that:
• allow you to examine some aspect of the images of race, gender or class in our culture and about which you can make a claim about bias
• you are actually interested in you have access to
2) Undertake research of published work about related topics so that you can position your argument in terms of current scholarly conversation. Find 2 sources.

3) Once you have located appropriate research, develop questions that will help you refine the area you wish to explore.

4) Begin collecting data from the 3 media documents you have chosen in relation to the questions you’ve developed.

5) Write up your research following the genre of the academic paper:

• Introduction and research question, situate your research within the context of previously published work—You need 2 outside sources: use 2 sources, published by scholars who study your topic to frame what you will write about.

• Methods—how you collected your data. Be detailed about what you looked at and how you looked at it. If you were writing about violence against women in video games, you would explain how you defined violence, what video games you chose and why, and specifically what you did to study violence in them (like playing them for one hour each, or something).

• Results—reporting your raw data. You will outline what you found; you will want to use tables and/or transcriptions so that your reader can examine the data as well. In the example of writing about video games, you would describe what you saw or experienced in terms of violence while you played the games.

• Discussion—analyze what your data means, usually in close relation to the research outside sources you found. You will need to spin out what you’ve found to respond to your research question and extend scholarly understanding of the area you are researching. This requires a high level of synthesis—pulling together all the ideas you have introduced so far and making sense of them for your reader.Use all 5 of your sources here. For example, if you are writing about violence against women in video games, you would need 5 sources like:
Video game #1
Video game #2
Video game #3
Academic source about violence against women in video games
Academic source about violence against women in video games

Grading Criteria A B C D
• focuses on a set of at least 3 media “documents”
• situates the argument within the context of previously published research (at least 2 sources, separate from the document set)
• includes a descriptive title
• employs specific, relevant examples from data to elaborate on assertions
• offers new insight on the topic
• presents clear synthesis of published scholarship, and data
• shows understanding of assignment; is appropriate to writing purpose
• the overall logic of the paper is clear
• the organization is appropriate to this genre
• looks like a research article: employs headers and bulleted lists where appropriate
• author signposts regularly—reader is not confused by organizational choices
• avoids passive voice
• voice and diction are appropriate to the genre, audience, and purpose of the essay
• word choice is accurate, appropriate, and demonstrates discipline-appropriate jargon
Shows adequate attention to:
• spell checking
• careful editing
• MLA citations are correct and consistent

Economic, political and cultural forces which shape the practical work of media production

Last Updated on July 15, 2020 by Essay Pro