Metaphors or ‘real-life’ narratives

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Writing Assignment 4 

Using the discussion questions and any other notes that you have taken during the past few weeks of class, please prepare a short (2-3 page, double-spaced, size 12 Times New Roman font, regular margins) written assignment. The written assignment is an opportunity to pull together the discussion questions, and integrate them into what you’ve learned over the past couple weeks. Each submission will be worth 8% (for a total of 40%) of your final grade.



Over the past few weeks, we’ve examined how narratives found in and how various forms of popular culture can perform specific functions. They can, for example, allow us to express our identity, associate with others, distinguish ourselves from others, and teach us about acceptable societal behaviours. We saw how this occurs in both fiction and non-fiction, as well as in genres that blur the two.


With this in mind, your assignment is to…


1.      Explain whether metaphors or ‘real-life’ (or real-life based) narratives are more effective and why?


2.      Discuss the relationship between the stories found in popular culture and real-life events. (One way to tackle this could be to discuss whether popular culture influences real-life or whether real-life influences pop culture – the so-called “chicken-or-egg” discussion. Another could be to consider a specific topic that we’ve looked at together in the past few weeks)


Together, we’ve also looked at ‘high’ level topics that have been examined from different angles, such that the authors have taken a creative or new approach to an ‘old’ topic.  


With this in mind, …


3.      Choose one reading or topic from the past two weeks and describe how the author brought something ‘new’, something ‘original’ to the scholarly conversation on the topic at hand.(TIPS for FULL MARKS: Cite course material and point to the passage(s) that show that the authors are in ‘new’ territory)


Here is the in class powerpoint and the readings…






Yes, grades matter. Before we get into what you’ll be graded on, please note that these assignments aren’t essays. You have creative freedom when it comes to writing them (for example, it could be


…. in journal format

(i.e. I’m taking a class in Popular Culture which is sooooo interesting! I was surprised that we’re not watching movies all day. As someone that knew nothing about the field of popular culture, I was surprised to learn that…)


…. in conversation format

(i.e. John: Hey Sam! I hear you’re taking a class in popular culture. That’s cool! What’s it about?

Sam: Well John, popular culture is actually a very complex concept….)


… in “essay” format

(i.e. Before diving into the field of popular culture studies, it’s important to know what we mean by popular culture. Storey (2013) says….)


… in “video” format

(i.e. This could be on YouTube or as a Video file, but you could talk your way through this assignment. *Note that references will still be required)


Now that you know that you have lots of options when it comes to writing format, what do you need to do to earn full marks…


  1. Write (or speak) clearly: Your assignment should be easy to read and follow. It should contain no or minimal spelling and grammatical errors (because those take away from clarity).


  1. Write (or speak) concisely: You only have 2-3 pages (double-spaced). There is no need to be verbose or overly complicated. Using the first person is fine.


  1. Show that you know your stuff: Cite your sources. And do so consistently. This is the equivalent of showing your work. There’s no need to include a bibliography (and if you do, it doesn’t count towards your page limit).


  1. Show that you know your stuff (Part 2): Answer the questions that you’ve been asked by doing more than copying what has been said in class or in the readings. Put it in your own words, use examples. Really think about how you explain these questions to someone else.


  1. Follow the assignment guidelines: You have a lot of creative freedom in terms of the writing style, so please don’t get funny with the margins, font size, font type, etc.


  1. Submit your assignment on time: It’s due November 4thby 1pm and is to be submitted electronically on Brightspace. Late assignments will lose points.



Last Updated on November 21, 2019