COM 245 Media Analysis Term Project

COM 245 Media Analysis Term Project

In consultation with me, you will select media text/event/icon that you wish to learn more about. The paper should reflect the ideas from our class lectures and chapters/articles to discuss race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and/or gender issues implicated in your media text. This project should meet 10 pgs. requirement; it should be typed, double-spaced, following MLA style guidelines. The required format for the project is provided below.

Research Requirements for the Project:

In order to meet all the research requirements for the project you must include a minimum of 7 scholarly journals or books, all of which must be used in the development of the paper and cited appropriately. You will prepare a works cited page for your final paper draft.

Analyze media artifact (using the steps described below), present your project to the class, and produce a report that includes the information described below.

Step 1: Select a specific media text/event/icon situation. These media texts can come from personal/collective experiences, news articles, media documentaries, films, video games, websites, blogs, music, radio, etc. Describe the situation/text and the larger cultural context in which the media text is embedded.

What is your research question? Why should anyone care that this research gets done?

Step 2: Create a list of 7 articles or books (a mix is best) that speak to the topic you want to investigate. You do not have to read every word of each one at this point; just look each one over, get a sense of what each author is saying, and write a short synopsis.

NOTE: Reflect on your Video Response assignment, and consider incorporating theories/theorists from the documentaries we watched in class (i.e. notes/concepts from your assignment).

Step 3: Locate at least 7 scholarly articles that present research results or theoretical ideas that are relevant to the media text that you are investigating. Discuss the contribution of these articles and summarize the major findings. What have other communication studies scholars had to say about your research question and questions related to it? Use seven works from your annotated bibliography that are most relevant to your work.

You can draw from our textbook (theoretical concepts that drive our class/discussions).

Step 4: Analyze the situation based on media studies theories and research. Discuss the political, cultural, ideological dynamics you believe are most important for understanding the text. Explain contributions of your project to our understanding of media based in theory, research, and your experiences.

For example: You will examine your research problem based on your understanding of the literature reviewed. What main points from the articles and books you read could you apply to your media artifact (film, website, music video, advertisement, …)? How does the literature reinforce or challenge your thinking about the media artifact (think about your response to the artifact before/after reading literature).

Written Report. The written report (10-15 pages plus works cited page) should consist of an introduction, in which the general context is explained and a rationale is provided for the importance of the topic/media text, and the following sections:

3-4 page description of the situation and the context in which the media text is embedded;

3-4 page literature review (books and articles that discuss/explain/analyze your media text);

4-5 page analysis of the media text. Situate your text in relationship to the research that you have done. (Discuss your findings in light of your research, readings, and analysis).

Include a works cited page (of both popular press and scholarly articles) prepared in MLA format

Step 5: Present results to class. Design a 15 minute presentation to the class in which you describe the situation and the context in which it is embedded, summarize your findings from the research literature, and discuss your analysis. Use handouts, power point, and other media aids as appropriate.



Clarity of paragraph (10 pts)

Grab reader’s attention?

Clearly and succinctly articulate topic?

Thesis Statement (15 pts)

Is the thesis statement based on a question?

Does it take a stand in relation to that question?

Clearly written?

Literature Review (15 pts):

Does the literature review contain at least two competing perspectives?

Does the author stake out her argument in relation to these perspectives?

Theoretical Perspectives

Does the author draw on readings on media representation, gender, race, sexuality, religion, etc., as an interpretive frame for their paper?

Do the selected theories / theorists help the reader make sense of the topic (media text) in new or interesting ways?

Body of Text (40 pts):

Reasoning within paragraphs

Does each paragraph have a distinct point?

Do the sentences logically cohere to explain, explicate, or argue this point?

Use of texts and evidence to support your claims

Are claims supported by outside authoritative sources?

Does the author take into account competing or contradictory evidence?

Critical Interpretation:

Are quotes, facts, ideas from other sources critically interpreted?

Does the author take into account competing or contradictory evidence?

Better papers will make novel interpretations of the texts (not just what we went over in class) or put authors and ideas together in novel ways.

Conclusion (10 pts):

Is the thesis statement definitively addressed in the conclusion?

Does the conclusion summarize the paper in a new way?

Writing (10 pts):

Systematic argument comprised of sentences that logically and coherently follow one another and paragraphs that make clear transitions.

A careful articulation of concepts and claims.

Careful use of texts as evidence.

Finally, a better essay displays care in its self-presentation (spelling, style, etc.) and also elegance in its writing. Every sentence should make sense and be clear to the reader. There should not be any grammatical or spelling errors. Points will be taken off for each grammatical error, unclear or awkward sentence.