Media Critique Project

Choose a piece of popular media that you believe portrays some mental illness. This can be an item from radio, television, film, literature, art or theatre, however you must be able to provide a copy of, or weblink to, a clip of this portrayal (for example a YouTube movie clip, AmazonVideo listing, reference to the item in Netflix or Hulu, etc). You must then write a 4-5* page critique of this portrayal, to be submitted via D2L Drop Box on or by the due date noted above. On that day you will also share your media source with the class via discussion post, and be prepared to informally share some thoughts about in a class discussion. Papers must be submitted in .doc or .pdf format. No other file formats will be accepted.

(* Please note that the guidelines for the paper are for 4-5 pages of text, not including your cover page and references. Also, be aware that you are welcome to exceed this page number (though please be reasonable), but must write at least this much in order to be considered a complete assignment.)

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In your critique of the media portrayal, be sure to answer the following questions. These questions make up the grading rubric for the projects. Excellent work, including critical reasoning and original thought will be rewarded with high grades (in the A/B range). Mediocre work, which merely answers the questions with no attempts at elaboration, will be awarded average grades (in the C range). Work which fails to meet the requirements of the project will be not be awarded some or all of the points for that section, and may result in less than passing grades.

Your paper needs to include/address the following questions:

Provide a VERY BRIEF summary of the character in question. This may include symptoms observed that you will refer to later.

Did the media piece provide a diagnosis for this character? What diagnosis? Do you agree or disagree?-10%. If they did not provide a diagnosis, did they imply that one was present? How did they imply this? If not present, why not?

Before you begin to determine diagnosis, create a COMPLETE list of ALL the symptoms you observed in the character. You can provide this in either a paragraph or a list format. The best will include examples of the character’s behavior, which you can later connect to DSM criteria.

Do a differential diagnosis – 20%. List all the diagnoses that may account for or be associated with the symptoms that you listed. What did you rule out before coming up with your diagnosis. Start with the diagnoses that you can rule out, and work towards what you think your diagnosis or diagnoses for this person should be. *this and your diagnosis should be the bulk of your paper

What diagnosis do you believe is being portrayed?–15%. Conclude your differential by stating what you believe is the most appropriate diagnosis or diagnoses for this character. You must substantiate this diagnosis. This means give evidence for the diagnosis you are assigning. What diagnostic criteria are portrayed that suggest this is the correct diagnosis? What SYMPTOMS are portrayed that justify your attributing this SYNDROME to the portrayal? Make reference to the DSM criteria for your diagnosis, and be sure to cite your source. *this and your differential should be the bulk of your paper

You have access to the online version of the DSM-5 through the KSU library – make good use of this resource. You can find it at this link.

Did the media accurately portray the diagnosis you believe is present, based on your understanding from in-class discussions, textbook and additional readings? Why or why not?–20%. Again, substantiate your assertion – provide evidence. Make reference to additional research in answering this question (at least 3 non-textbook, non-webpage, academic sources, published since 2000). The goal of this project is that you not only review a media piece, but also learn about a diagnosis in more depth. If you are arguing that a song poorly portrays ADHD, cite your evidence from some scholarly work on the subject.

You may NOT use your textbook as a source for this project, nor may you use any web-only sources. If you find articles online, they must be from actual publications, not webpages. If you need to discuss diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis, look at a copy of the DSM and make that your reference.

How do the cultural and environmental contexts of the character’s life impact their mental illness?-10%. In what cultural, environmental, family, social, etc context does this portrayal/this individual exist? This should include any biopsychosocial contexts revealed in the media portrayal. What might be contributing to the development of mental illness in this character? Is the context in which they exist influencing the way in which the illness presents? Think about the models of mental illness we have discussed – what might be contributing to the diagnosis present?

Do you believe this portrayal is biased? What might the motivation for this be?–10%. What bias do you believe you can see in this portrayal? How might the director’s perspective be shaping what the public sees? The actors? The film company’s? What might be driving that bias -misperception, cultural stereotypes, money?

Include your references, Use APA format for in-text citations and reference page–10%. This must include at least 3 non-textbook, non-web academic sources on the diagnosis you have chosen.

Include a link to or copy of the media piece you have chosen –5%

Projects must be turned in using the D2L Drop Box assigned to that project. Papers must be submitted in .doc or .pdf format. No other file formats will be accepted.

Please note that the whole paper does not have to be in APA formatting, however the References page DOES, and all IN-TEXT CITATIONS must be in APA-style parenthetical citations. For help with writing an APA format paper, see the Psychology Lab, SS 4026. I also STRONGLY encourage you to consult the campus Writing Center.

Students are expected to draw on outside reference materials to inform their paper.

You may use relevant research articles and academic books. The majority of your articles must have been published since 2000, in a recognized, peer reviewed journal or book. You may access these through Galileo or another database that accesses published works via the internet, but these cannot be resources that exist only as webpages.

While this is not an English Class, and papers will not be strictly graded on grammar, etc., poorly written papers make it difficult to distinguish what point the writer is trying to make. When in doubt, work for clarity, and work to convey your critical thinking about your subject. Avoid simply repeating the statements made in the research you reviewed – work to integrate these into an understanding that answers your research question and integrates knowledge you have accumulated this semester.

*** Please note that all written work should be completed in correct and professional English. Effective written communication is one of the most important skills you will gain in college, and professional writing differs significantly from spoken idiom. Be sure to use complete, concise sentences. Please only use words whose meaning you understand – do not throw in big words because you think they sound smart. Frequent grammatical, spelling and typographical errors make papers hard to read – if your professor can’t make sense of your sentence, then we have no way of knowing whether you understand the material or not. Overly complicated writing that fails to convey any actual meaning is one of the most common causes of poor grades on papers. Be sure to proof-read your papers before turning them in, and be clear in organizing and conveying your central ideas.

** A note on WIKIPEDIA (and other informational websites that can be edited by anyone) – Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable reference for a paper at the college level. I recognize that Wikipedia (and similar sites) is a great source for some introductory information on almost any subject, but it is a constantly evolving medium, which means it is impossible to check references for accuracy, and also can be edited by anyone with a computer, which makes it prone to some stunning inaccuracies at times. If you must use Wikipedia to begin research, the most useful part is the references at the bottom that provide links to websites that are reviewed and controlled.

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