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Making a Sufficiently Narrow Claim: People have written entire books -- indeed, entire series of books -- on some of the claims students have proposed for this assignment. For instance, some students wish to argue that the media affects people in a variety of ways. We point out to them that there is a 400-level course in the journalism course devoted solely to that issue. To address this claim adequately would no doubt require a lifetime of work and something slightly in excess of a four to six page essay.

The above claim could be narrowed by focusing on a particular aspect of media (such as television beer commercials or New York Times editorials), a particular effect (such as a change in attitude or behavior), and a particular audience (such as adolescent males).

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