1. Select a topic:
• The Internet
• News media
• Music (Radio & Recording)
Your product should be something produced and sold in one of the above forms of mass media. It can be something important to you, or something you hate, or something completely random. It’s entirely up to you. It just has to be from the mass media.
2. Research your Topic. Using the class text and our discussions as a jumping off point for a thoroughly researching your topic. Since the point of this assignment is to create a thorough understanding of the product, your research should cover all three facets of media analysis from class: technology, business, and culture. You are required to have at least one source that directly covers each of those facets. You must have at least 5 total sources. You should aim to find materials that answer both broad questions (i.e. What was the engineering or development process like? Did it achieve any cultural meaning or notoriety?) as well as specific ones (i.e. What was the cost per unit when the product launched? What were the reviews?).
3. Analyze your Research. What patterns emerge from the information you’ve gathered? Are there changes over the course of the product’s existence that changes how we think of it? What new information surprised you? What information should be given priority? What seems less relevant? How can you best arrange this to give your reader a thorough understanding of the product?
By the end of this process you should have a clear thesis statement in mind.
4. Write your Paper Proposal. Put that thesis down on paper! Create a small paragraph that states your thesis as well as the main thrust of your argument. After that, create an outline that lays out the structure of your paper.
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