Attached is an example of a well-written media analysis that I have annotated. Look over it, so you will know how to put your essay all together. Be sure to read my notes in the sidebar, so you will know what I expect in your paper. Remember that this essay is just an example. Yours does not have to look exactly like this one. However, the basic structure should be similar. If you have any questions, please email me.
Media Analysis Essay
For this project, you will produce a media critique that analyzes how a specific magazine or television advertisement uses cultural myths, values, or beliefs to appeal to the target audience of the ad. You may choose to write about an advertisement that appears in any type of magazine. You should take into account the type of magazine in which the advertisement appears, and how that helps to define the target audience. As an alternative, you could choose to examine a television or radio advertisement, but if you do, you will need to have some way to save or copy the ad so you can view it as many times as you need to, or you might be able to find a copy of the ad on YouTube or the company’s website. As an alternative, you might pick an ad that is repeated frequently and take very good notes when you watch it. Your commercial needs to be LESS THAN TEN YEARS OLD. Otherwise, you will not be able to fully understand the cultural references made within it.
Your critique will be based on your analysis of how the advertisement uses cultural myths (or twists), values, or beliefs to subliminally tell the audience what it means to be normal, a man, a woman, an American, or any other value that the commercial presents. Consider carefully whether the advertisement you analyze makes assumptions about its target audience and then uses those assumptions to appeal to certain values. Your job is to make the connections between the text, its target audience, and its appeals through cultural myths (or twists), values, or beliefs. After you analyze the commercial, you will discuss the implications of your findings. In other words, answer the following question about the myths, values, or beliefs that you discovered in the ad. What are the consequences of reinforcing these types of myths, values, or beliefs in society? The consequences maybe positive or negative (most likely they will be negative though). The implications section is where your sources will most likely fit best. However, you may integrate your sources anywhere in your essay. Use the Richland Library databases to find credible sources. This essay is your interpretation, so be assertive and use a declarative voice to make your argument. For more help writing, see the handout “Ten Tips for a Successful Media Analysis” on eCampus.
A media critique is traditionally organized in the following way:
- Summarize the ad–a strict summary no analysis (1 paragraph).
- Introduction (1 paragraph)
- Introduce something about media
- Provide context for your analysis: the target audience and when and where it was displayed, if that is important to your interpretation.
- Introduce myths and the consequences.
- End with your thesis.
- Analyze—provide evidence to support your argument from the ad. In other words, describe what actions or words in the ad prove your thesis or claim (2-3 paragraphs).
- Say something about the implications of your findings. The implications section is where you will probably include your scholarly sources (2-3 paragraphs).
- Conclude. Refer back to the ad and why your thesis matters (1 paragraph).
Remember that you MUST refer to the commercial in EVERY paragraph! Don’t focus so much on the “issue” that you forget to explain how the ad supports your claim.
Length: 4-5 pages, not including the Works Cited page. Style: Essay needs to conform to MLA standards, including double spacing in Times New Roman font, and must include a Works Cited page with correct in-text (parenthetical) citations for all quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries. Sources: Two outside sources are required in addition to your commercial, for a total of three sources. Sources must be peer reviewed academic articles from reputable databases.
IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS, YOU CANNOT EARN HIGHER THAN A 60%.
Due Dates/Points Possible
Worth: 100 points; 15% of your grade
Peer Review/First Draft: Post to the Group Discussion Board, see syllabus for date
Second Draft: Safe Assign on eCampus by 11:59 PM, see syllabus for date
Final Draft: Safe Assign on eCampus by 11:59 PM, see syllabus for date
Purpose and Learning Objectives
The purpose of this assignment is analyze, expose, and reflect upon the media’s influence on women and men in society. Analysis and research will prepare you for our final argumentative research paper. Writing, research, and eloquent written expression are vital for a successful future. You will express all of these in this assignment.
Your media analysis should demonstrate the following learning objectives:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the audience to whom you are speaking
- Demonstrate the ability to enter a scholarly conversation
- Illustrate the purpose of your claim
- Create a qualified and narrow thesis statement
- Demonstrate the ability to use the library databases
- Research and evaluate relevant academic sources
- Synthesize various information from relevant and credible sources
- Construct and organize academic paragraphs
- Summarize, paraphrase, and quote correctly
- Analyze culture and society through media
- Analyze media’s cultural and political contexts
- Examine and discover subliminal messages in media
- Apply the standards of MLA to avoid plagiarism
- Create documents in MLA style
- Apply formal, academic English in writing
Process of Completion
- Choose a commercial on YouTube or in a print magazine and watch it or look it over several times. Then read over this assignment carefully before beginning!
- Determine the target audience of the ad. When and where it was first aired? Primetime? Daytime? What magazine is it printed in? Determining the target audience will help you analyze the appeals and how they influence the target audience.
- In your Writer’s Notebook, summarize the ad. Then begin responding to and analyzing the ad. Write down your responses/answers to the following questions: What myths, values, or beliefs do you see represented in the ad? How does the ad represent men or women? How does the ad reinforce stereotypes about men, women, society, etc.? What are the consequences of reinforcing these types of myths, values, or beliefs in society? Are the consequences negative or positive? How does that affect the target audience?
- Come up with a thesis that represents how the myths, values, or beliefs reinforce a stereotype in society. Be careful to not simply tell me what product the commercial is selling. That is obvious. Look deeper beneath the surface and root out the truth. See the PPT “Media Critique” on eCampus for more help.
- Put together an outline to help organize your ideas. See the outline above for more help. Revisit the questions and organization chart above to help guide and organize your thoughts.
- Choose the sections of the sources and quotes you want to include in your essay and decide which paragraphs they fit the best with. They will work best in the implications section of your essay. See the PPT “The Art of Quoting” on eCampus for more help with integrating your quotes.
- Write your rough draft using the Tell, Show, Share Method of paragraph development. See the handout “The Tell, Show, Share Method” on eCampus for more help. Don’t worry about grammar now; just put your thoughts down on paper.
- Put your essay away for twenty-four hours before revising it for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Visit the English Corner for more help with revision or expanding your ideas.
- Participate in all peer reviews and turn in all drafts. Review carefully your peers’ comments and then mine. Edit and revise your essays based on the feedback you receive.
- Review your Safe Assign report for plagiarism BEFORE turning in your final draft!
- Reread your essay one last time and make any final edits or changes before turning in your final!
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarism includes failing to cite a direct quote with quotation marks and an in-text citation, borrowing someone else’s work without a correct citation, bad paraphrasing (Safe Assign will not identify a good or fair paraphrase), purchasing a paper, having someone else write your essay, or turning in the same paper to two different classes. Any paper with plagiarism, even accidental (I forgot to cite that!), will receive a zero as a final grade. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite correctly. See both MLA citation PPTs on eCampus or visit Purdue OWL for more help
Please submit your draft by 11:59 PM and wait for your response. The response time will depend on the amount of plagiarism in your paper as well as the amount of users submitting at the same time. Check your report for plagiarism. You need to check and remove all plagiarism (or correctly cite it) BEFORE submitting your final draft. Plagiarism includes failing to cite a direct quote with quotation marks and an in-text citation, borrowing someone else’s work without a correct citation, bad paraphrasing (Safe Assign will not identify a good or fair paraphrase), or turning in the same paper to two different classes.
You may ONLY submit your paper in the following formats: .doc or .docx
Safe Assign will not accept any other format.
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