Representational Trends and Reality Television

Representational Trends and Reality Television

Over the past couple of decades, it seems like there’s a reality television show about just about anything, from reality competitions and game shows to explorations of particular cultures or industries (weddings, travel, tattoos, makeovers, parenting, mental illness, tattoos…clearly the list is almost endless!), from …. to “unscripted” depictions of semi-celebrities. Together, these shows form a fascinatingly rich and often distorted picture of American life. In this paper, you will explore how the signs of reality television both depict and shape their subjects. Your paper will combine detailed observation of primary texts with analysis/secondary sources into an interesting and well-structured analysis.

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Assignment #6: Research Paper

Assignment #6 is a 6-8 page (double-spaced) research paper. The goal of this paper is not simply to state the information gained in your research, but to analyze your topic, using both primary and secondary sources to support your own interpretation and analysis of the subject. You should demonstrate the ability to make connections among your secondary sources and also to extend the analysis they offer, to say something new about your topic through the course of your paper.

Criteria for Evaluation:

You demonstrate a new understanding of your primary texts and can ask complicated questions about them (as well as the representational trend they demonstrate) as a result of your engagement with your own research and the methods of analysis from the course.
An introduction that establishes context for your main thesis/claim, which will identify the representational trend you observe within your chosen primary texts.
A clear thesis statement that gains complexity through the analysis in your paper.
Focused paragraphs with specific concrete examples from primary sources to support your analytical claims.
Evidence that you have read and interpreted secondary sources fairly/accurately and can point to specific claims within the secondary sources themselves and complicate, extend, and qualify the claims made by critics and move beyond simple agreement/disagreement.
Clear and correct quoting, citation, diction, punctuation, and grammar.
Evidence of revision from first to final draft. Participation in writing and revision process, including peer review.
Requirements and Grading:

Length/Formatting: 6-8 pages, double-double spaced. The paper should include an MLA-style heading, a title, and page numbers. 11 or 12 point font size, 1-inch margins.

TV SHOWS TO USE ARE AS FOLLOWS: 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant

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