Paper # 1: Write a paper 1500-1800 words in length that addresses issues raised in the class and uses both primary and secondary materials, as well as your course readings and lectures.

Paper # 1: Write a paper 1500-1800 words in length that addresses issues raised in the class and uses both primary and secondary materials, as well as your course readings and lectures.
You have 2 Options:
 

  1. A) Pop Culture Paper: Choose some aspect of popular culture: a genre of magazine (women’s, men’s, teen, directed at a particular ethnic group, etc.), films, music videos, song lyrics, advertisements, television shows, social media, comic books, greeting cards, advice columns, or anything that interests you. Develop your analysis in the context of the course materials. For this paper, think of yourself as an analyst of popular culture. You may include in the introduction how you, yourself, are re-thinking this aspect of pop culture in light of what you are learning in class.

 

  1. B) Policy Paper: Choose a policy that impacts the politics of sex, love, or romance and analyze 1) when, how, and why this policy emerged, 2) how it impacts society by shaping the everyday lives of people, 3) current debates about or critiques of the policy by academics and/or activists, keeping in mind issues of gender, race, class, age, ability, culture, and nation, and 4) why it is important to understand this policy in light of larger concerns about social justice, equity, human rights, inclusion, or representation, and in terms that we are discussing in the class.

Remember that a good paper introduces the argument, provides evidence to support the argument, and comes to a conclusion.  You will need to describe the object that you are analyzing and discuss the politics of its production, circulation, and consumption or reception. Place this analysis in the socioeconomic, historical, and political context from which it emerges and exists in the world. Use sufficient examples from your sources to support your argument.
 
Sources should be both secondary, academic books and articles (at least 2) and primary, such as newspaper articles, blogs, interviews, memoirs, government reports, statistics, novels, etc. (at least 2). Thus, your bibliography should have at least 4 sources for every paper.
 
Papers should be double-spaced, paginated, and must adhere to a formal academic citation style (ie. Chicago Manual Style, MLA, or APA). Use a cover page that includes your TA name, date, paper title, and contact information. Papers are evaluated according to writing mechanics, content, argumentation, and analysis, use of specific examples, style/format, and engagement with course themes.
 


Paper Topic/Analysis/Presentation
Present your original analysis of some form of popular culture media or policy (films, magazines, plays, advertisements, TV shows, graphic novels, etc.). This is NOT a term paper, where you pick a topic and then tell us everything you know about “X.”
 
Specify particular pop culture source(s) (particular film, magazine, TV show, music video etc.) or a policy that you will analyze
 
Specify your rationale for selecting this particular source
 
Examine enough data (issues of magazines, TV episodes, etc.) to provide you with ample material for in-depth analysis.  But do not examine too much data (all seasons of The Bachelor for example).
 
Your paper must focus on sex, love, and/or romance and NOT merely gender or beauty standards.
 
Analysis should be of representations of and/or messages about sex, love, and/or romance in your pop culture sources. The analysis of the messages/representations contained in your sources should be central to your paper. Any speculations about how such messages impact the intended audience should follow logically from your analysis, but this should not be your focus.
 
Analysis should be firmly grounded in FS 150 concepts as presented in lecture, discussion sections, and readings. Be explicit in linking your analysis to the themes and ideas that we have explored as a class.
 
Body paragraphs should have strong topic paragraph sentences linked to your thesis, and should contain evidence from your sources that support your argument.
 
End with a conclusion that discusses the implications of your findings, or the “so what” part of your analysis.
 
FEMST 150 – Spring 2016
Pop Culture Paper Worksheet
 
THESIS – this is the most important part of your paper, and it should:

  • Be analytic: break down the issue into its parts, consider the relationship between these different parts, and present both to your reader clearly.
  • Be specific: the thesis should only cover exactly what you will talk about/argue in your paper. Nothing more, nothing less. Avoid broad claims and sweeping generalizations. Argument should be laser focused.
  • Be flexible: Until you are completely finished with your paper, consider your thesis a “working thesis.” Mark Twain says, “The best time to start an essay is when you have finished it.” Be prepared to return to your thesis and edit it for more clarity and specificity.

The thesis should be in your introduction and should be no more than 2-3 sentences.
 

  • interspersing important dialogue/lyrics etc.

 
EVIDENCE – utilize course texts and other academic-quality sources to help you look at your object of analysis. Wikipedia is not a valid source.

  • Engage closely with texts – revisit and re-read texts. Be able to summarize an author’s argument or an important concept briefly in your own words and relate it to your argument/perspective.
  • Don’t rely on quotes – use direct quotations from the text only if they are clearly grounded in your argument. Never end a paragraph with a quote; always tie it back into your argument.
  • Say it in your own words (paraphrase) and cite, cite, cite! Be clear about who is saying what. “As Rubin argues…” “According to Vance…” “In this paper, I will argue…”

 
CITATIONS – you must have a works cited page with completed and consistent citations. When in doubt, CITE! Confused? Ask the Purdue OWL http://owl.english.purdue.edu/. Always have good citation practices to avoid plagiarism!
 
 
 
 
Final Paper Outline Worksheet
 
BROAD TOPIC/INTEREST/QUESTION:
 
OBJECT(s) OF ANALYSIS:
 
WORKING THESIS:
 
(Basic way to construct a paper/paragraph.  Your writing may very well diverge from this structure- and your paper topic and analysis may necessitate that- but make sure for each claim you make, you have evidence to support it and that you can link it back to your thesis.
 

  1. Introduction
    1. Intro statement (Avoid generalizations)
    2. Set up issue for reader concisely
    3. Thesis: Outline your main argument- what is at stake?
  2. Summary of piece of media/text/issue you will analyze
    1. who/what/when/why
    2. If talking about people/community- remember to account for race/gender/sexuality/class etc.
  3. Claim 1:

Evidence
How evidence connects to claim/helps you make this claim
How this evidence/claim supports what you argue in your thesis*

  1. Claim 2:

Evidence
How evidence connects to claim/helps you make this claim
How this evidence/claim supports what you argue in your thesis*

  1. Claim 3:

Evidence:
How evidence connects to claim/helps you make this claim
How this evidence/claim supports what you argue in your thesis*
Etc.

  1. Conclusion

Restate thesis
Review what you have argued
Point to connections with other issues
Reiterate what is stake/why your analsys is important
 
 
*This does not have to be explicit as in “This relates to my thesis because…” but should finish with a statement that supports what you argue in your thesis.
 
 

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