David Marks Staff asked 5 years ago

Option #2: Race and Production Research Paper 

Standards: Double spaced, 12 pt. type, Times New Roman, 1 Inch margins

Length: 3-4 pages or 900-1,200 words

For this second paper you will consult academic and non-academic  sources about the production of your chosen media object and write up the results. In order to successfully complete this assignment you must integrate research you collected according to the requirements listed below to make an argument about racial representations in the media.

  • Choose a media text, for example, a television show, a song or album, a film, a videoblog, a video game, etc.
  • Conduct research on the production of the text. Find the following material to include in your paper:
    • One (1) academic source (not including the articles you will use from the Gender, Race, and Class in the Media textbook)
    • Two (2) non-academic sources (these may include online magazine articles, trade publications, documentaries, interviews, etc. – Do not use Wikipedia or IMDb as a source. Reviews are usually poor sources, too, since they focus on the content of the media rather than their production.)
  • Write 3-4 pages or 900-1,200 words analyzing the data you collected. This paper should include the following:
    • An explanation of why you chose this media and why it is a useful object to analyze in terms of race.
    • A description of the aspects of production (this can be a description of the financing, how it was written or directed, how it was promoted, or other elements of the production – if you are unsure of what counts as production ask me in advance) of the media object.
    • A discussion of how the production of the media impacted the representation of race.
    • The content or storyline of your media should not be the main focus
    • The paper must include citations from the sources listed in #2 above

Example Papers

  • Open/Download Paper #2 Example: Peterson

Things to keep in mind:

  • Stay away from the obvious.  The argument that an African American directed a movie so that movie is a good representation of African Americans is not an interesting thesis.  Find more detail to make your argument more compelling. For instance, if the evidence supports it, you may argue that the director’s previous work on Broadway gave her a wider pool of actors and writers to draw from in order to create less convention representation of African Americans in historical fiction.
  • Get an early A lot depends upon finding good sources for your paper. You may choose a great piece of media but find almost nothing written on the subject. You do not want to find this out the night before the paper is due.
  • Cast a wide net when you are searching for academic sources. You may not find an academic article on 12 Years a Slave, for example, but you may be able to find an academic article about movies about slavery or representations of African American females in film.
  • Make sure you are using a reliable non-academic source. To check for the reliability of sources online use one of these two checklists.
  • UW: <http://guides.lib.washington.edu/evaluate (Links to an external site.)?Links to an external site.?>
  • UC Berkeley (this has the rationale for the checklist):  <http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html (Links to an external site.)?Links to an external site.?>