Writing Assignments Summary

Students will be required to write 3 essays and give 1 presentation over the course of the semester. These will all be focused on analyzing a television show, but the length of the analyzed text (a episode, several episodes, a season, the series as a whole) and the type of analysis will change with each assignment.

You are encouraged to use the same show for all 4 assignments, but you are not required to do so.

You are strongly encouraged choose a show or shows that is/are not already assigned for our class; however, if you have a compelling reason to use a show already covered in class, this is negotiable. You are encouraged to chat with me about your choice(s) as the assignment deadlines approach.


Essay 1: Content Analysis

Each student should compose an essay that analyzes the content of a television show.

Mechanical Requirements:

  • the length of the television text analyzed should be 1-3 episodes
  • the essay must be 900+ words
  • the essay must clearly identify and follow the content analysis method used- humanities approach or social science approach (quantitative or ethnographic)

Substance Requirements:

  • students should focus on showing mastery of some of terms learned in our class (you are encouraged to use at least 3 terms)
  • essay must include:
    • a thesis statement wherein the author makes a claim about how sex, gender, women, or LGBT+ individuals is treated in the show
    • at least 3 specific pieces of evidence that support the claim
    • a conclusion about why the claim and evidence matter- how they impact meaning making

This essay is worth 200 points, and it is due to the appropriate D2L Dropbox by 11:59pm on Tuesday March 20, 2018.


Essay 2: Audience Response

Each student should compose an essay that analyzes the audience response to a television show.

Mechanical Requirements:

  • an entire television series may be considered
  • the essay must be 900+ words
  • the essay must include research (with at least 3 citations) about a fan community or other type of audience response to a television show

Substance Requirements:

  • students should focus on showing mastery of some of terms learned in our class (you are encouraged to use at least 3 terms)
  • students should choose a fan community that has some relevance to sex, gender, women, or LGBT+ issues
  • essay must include:
    • a description of a fan (other concrete audience response) population-- consideration should be given to geographic location, age, sex/gender, etc of the primary members of the community
    • a description of the activities of the community-- production of art, interaction with show producers, etc.
    • a conclusion about why this matters and for whom
  • the essay might also include consideration for ways that the fan community uses/reads the text in oppositional or surprising ways

This essay is worth 200 points, and it is due to the appropriate D2L Dropbox by 11:59pm on Tuesday April 3, 2018.


Essay 3: Social Impact

Each student should compose an essay that analyzes the meanings related to social justice gained/produced by a television show and/or its audience.

Mechanical Requirements:

  • Students are encouraged to focus on a single season of a show, but an entire television series may be considered
  • the essay must be 1500+ words
  • the essay must include research (with at least 5 citations)

Substance Requirements:

  • students should focus on showing mastery of some of terms learned in our class (you are encouraged to use at least 5 terms)
  • students should choose a show that has some relevance to sex, gender, women, or LGBT+ issues
  • the essay can be approached as content analysis, production analysis, or audience analysis, or it can be a blend of all of these methods
  • the essay should focus on meaning making, identity formation, or political/social changes
  • the essay must include a thesis statement, evidence, and a conclusion

This essay is worth 300 points, and it is due to the appropriate D2L Dropbox by 11:59pm on Tuesday May 8, 2018.


Presentation

So that students may learn from each other’s ideas, at the end of the semester, each student will present information about their essays. More information about this will be given in-class, but the general idea is that students can learn from one another's research and analysis.

Students should plan to speak for approximately 5-6 minutes, and (due to time constraints) students will be stopped at 10 minutes.

This presentation is worth 100 points, and it is due during our Finals Week meeting time.

  • For face-to-face sessions/sections: 

    • All students should be prepared to present at the beginning of the scheduled presentation times. The instructor will determine the order of presentations from there.
    • Students should speak from prepared notes, and Power Point presentations are optional.
  • For online sessions/sections:

    • Students will post videos of their presentations to the relevant discussion forum.
    • Each student’s video may be a recording of the student (speaking from notes) or a screen recording of the student speaking through a power point presentation (the student should not simply read the power point however).
    • The recorded presentations will function like discussion leadership (so everyone is a discussion leader), and everyone should also respond to other people's presentations with the usual 2 participation posts.
 
 

Extra Credit Opportunities

Opportunity #1: By 11:59pm on the day of Session 1, you can post a video introducing yourself to your classmates in the "It's lovely to meet you..." discussion forum. This video is worth up to 10 bonus points.

Opportunity #2: You may attend a university sponsored academic event (or an appropriate off campus event with instructor's permission) and write a 300 word response to it. This response should include: 1) a very brief summary of the event, 2) a reflection on what you learned (bonus knowledge!), and 3) some thoughts on how the event connects to a reading or theme from our course. This essay should be submitted to the appropriate D2L Dropbox by the Friday before finals week, and it is worth up to 30 bonus points.

 

Updated 1/21/2018