Strategies for Writing
- Focus: Focus not only on a single television show but also on a single aspect of the show (gender relationships, violence, family, etc…)
- Purpose: Once you've narrowed your focus, narrow your audience as well. Who needs to hear your analysis? Who might be interested in the hidden messages you've identified? Then offer that audience a reason for your analysis. Such analyses often ask their audiences to consider what effect - positive or negative - such messages might have on their own thinking, but the purpose of your analysis will ultimately determine how you discuss the show's potential effect on its viewers. Are you trying to convince them the show might be influencing their thinking negatively? That the show is actually more worthwhile than they think? That the show is actually a positive influence on culture? In sum, how do you want your audience to "read" your analysis and what do you want them to do with it?
- Audience: The only requirement placed on your audience is that they are educated, and will subsequently have certain expectations in terms of depth of analysis, evidence, etc. Provide enough detail so that the audience can follow your examples. Also, this audience (unlike the audiences in the first two essays) isn't necessarily actively seeking your analysis, so you will have to provide them a reason to pay attention to your essay. Finally, you may not "preach to the choir" in this assignment. That is, don't choose an audience that already knows/agrees with what you have to say. You have to add to your audience's knowledge and understanding of the show.
- Development: This paper asks you to make claims about three, related, aspects of analysis: a cultural myth or anxiety; the show itself; and its effect on viewers. While the majority of your proof will come from the show itself, the other two claims (about culture and its effect on viewers) need to be supported as well.
- Cohesion: One of the most difficult parts of this paper will be demonstrating that your examples from the show actually prove your claim about its relationship to culture. Make sure your transitions make clear connections between your thesis and the proof offered.