WRA 101 Spring 2017
Disciplinary Literacies Research Essay
Final Papers Due & Revising Literacies Paper also Due: April 27, 2017
Final “Disciplinary Literacy”: 8-10 pages, excluding list of Works Cited
NO Late Papers or Exceptions!
You are pretty much responsible for finding your own topic as it relates to Millennials. Any of the themes or theoretical issues we’ve examined and discussed. It is open-topic so that you may choose a topic related to your own discipline, or a discipline in which you are interested. It should go without saying that you may revisit topics in your Cultural Artifacts or Multi-modal Projects, but you may not simply add on to them. In other words, do not, for example, hand me the five pages you wrote on Healthy Living or the psychological effects of bullying in media for your Cultural Artifacts essay, and voila! I’ve simply added three-to-five more pages of text! You are to write something entirely new here, with new research, if you choose to revisit a topic you’ve touched on in the earlier assignments. You will fail the essay and course if you simply give me whole pages and/or big chucks of text you’ve written before this assignment!
The paper must be research-oriented and analytical in nature. That is, you should (unless you switch topics and ok that with me) use the research you’ve found and annotated in your bibliography to support your thesis statement. You need not use all the sources you annotated on the bib as things change and I realize that; however, the objective of doing the bibliography first was to find research for the paper, after all.
Every Paper must analyze America and Millennials in depth! You may analyze global aspects of Millennials, but the bulk of your paper must center on America. The American portion must constitute the bulk of your paper.
Every Paper should analyze, in part, issues related to audience and discourse. For example, if you want to analyze and compare how one group sees another — how do children see movies v. adults in real-life interviews or in films and stories, that would be fine. What discourse, operates there? How do child psychologists v. parents, v. children, v. film critics see the movie? What language or terminology do they use to describe it? What are the concerns of business and marketing? In other words, any and all topics from historical ones critiquing race and its long- range impact, to psychological or social ones involve at some level, how one group sees another and how they see themselves and how they are talked about — issues of audience and discourse.
Many students come to higher education with only a vague idea of what it means to become a participating member of an academic discipline. One of your purposes in this essay is to give students who are new to the academic discipline you have chosen to explore an introduction to the expectations for writers in that discipline. Ultimately, your paper should help your audience understand the ways that writing is used to create and communicate knowledge in ways that help them become better readers and writers within the discipline under discussion. Think about this as part of your analysis. What language do medical professionals, psychologists, businessmen use to define and talk about children and issues of films or social media and their cultural impact? (from how parenting, to children and cross-cultural communication are impacted by social media, and/or the movies). Or children and violence in films — what do psychologists say? What language and terminology do critics use to convey their analysis?
Here are some suggestions: (you are not limited to these):
My one caution is this: papers about physician-assisted suicide, capitol punishment or abortion rights have not been as successful for students for these reasons:
Students are so impassioned about those topics that they wind up often “ranting” instead of making an argument buoyed by scholarly research.
The high school papers on these issues may, and often do, make these topics overly–familiar to students; this often makes students “freeze-up” in the race to say something new, and/or your tone becomes juvenile (see above about “ranting”).
There is so much on the internet about these issues that it’s often hard to discern credible and non credible source material.
Analyze a film(s), or television, that deal with the themes race/gender/disability/class/sexuality. Here, you should research and write about films/tv you have not previously written about for the class, though you may reference stuff you’ve already dealt with. What messages about the themes exist there? Why? For instance, if you are interested in “class status” as an issue, you might consider materialism and consumerism in The Wolf of Wall Street.
If you do a film option, your research ought to include film criticism, etc., not simply some reviews of the film, but what do film critics, scholars, and film historians say?
Do a historical paper tracing a particular aspect of the Gen Y or the Baby Boomers. How did those generations shape yours? Look at marketing, the progression of technology/cyberculture, the economy, popular culture, politics are all forces that have contributed over generations to shape yours.
Take a particular concept like “Wickedness” (since your generation is post 9/11), and trace it’s evolution through characters in different films from over time.
Families are different now re: ethnicity and sexuality. How has new configurations of families/how will it shape culture?
The Millennial generation has seen a rise in things like peanut allergies and Aspergers/Autism, yet the “Healthy Living “ Movement has also been a big part of current culture. What are the contractions there? Is there a relationship between the two? Don’t just give a history’ explore why rises in these types of aliments have occurred.
Films now are considered more “PC” than some older fare. Similar to the Re-Mix essay, compare/contrast an older film with a re-make of same (Die Hard, When the Bough Breaks, Ghostbusters, etc.) What are the “new” messages being put forth, and why might this be so? Here, you might consider a text-to-film comparison as well.
Some critics argue that your generation “Americanizes” everything on a global scale. McDonald’s/KFC in China, for instance. If everything is a chain, how does that influence consumerism, or individuality?
Rise of the Robots bring many issues to the forefront of our economy. Research and argue about an issue or idea. What, for instance, is the impact of automation on society, on jobs? Is his analysis and predictions correct? Why? Why Not? How?
How is your generation impacting the business world in terms of workplace behavior? What are the effects? You’ve been tagged the “instant gratification” generation because of technology and Google? Is this true? What’s the business world impact of this?
How does helicopter parenting impact your behavior? Business, sociology, psychology have all explored this.
What are augments being made about social media and its impact on personal identity and privacy? What do real v. virtual identity mean now? What does privacy mean?
What is the impact and ramifications of the self-esteem movement? What needs to change there if anything? Are you more self-involved and less empathetic?
Millennials have grown up with more explore to violence via media and social media and more realistic video gaming. Are you more or less inured to violent acts? Does a more realistic Grand Theft Auto make kids more violent? What are the effects of this?
What is the impact of reality television (a new genre for you guys) on your generation? Do you believe in instant celebrity?
Explore and make an argument about the tenuous relationship between beauty and monstrosity or ugliness in films, or culture. When does one bleed into the other? What’s the impact of plastic surgery, of body shaming?
Be Analytical/Interpretive in nature, meaning you must support a particular view/interpretation of the text(s) you are analyzing.
Have a thesis: A thesis for me means stating not just what you intend to “prove,” but how you intend to prove your argument. This doesn’t mean every specific example/detail you are going to use in your analysis; rather your thesis should include key words/concepts which provide a kind of “road map” for how to follow your analysis. The paper should be 8-10 pages in length, excluding list of Works Cited. (10 or 12 pt. font w/1″ minimum margins with appropriate fonts — see syllabus). Have a Works Cited Page and Use Parenthetical Documentation for in-text citations not Foot or Endnotes, for in-text citations. Periods go after the citation with short quotations (Hemingway 52). and before the citation with long quotes.
Papers turned in with no Works Cited Page (meaning you did the research, but you just plain forgot to include one) will be lowered a full letter grade!
You may use whatever sources you need to make your argument work. However, you should have:
at least 6 sources *SECONDARY* “research-based” sources, not your primary movies, in your paper. No, they need not all be sources from your bibliography. You should have at least three print sources (this includes downloaded articles from MSU’s electronic databases). In other words, do not Google “Plastic Surgery Explosion” and write down the first six web-sites.
If you turn in a paper with less than six research-based critical sources, your paper grade will be lowered a full letter grade.
If you turn in a paper with no research at all, you will receive a failing paper grade and, as per syllabus policy, a failing course grade.
YOU MAY NOT USE WIKIPEDIA OR DICTIONARY.COM (Or other such derivations of dictionaries) AS SOURCES. I DON’T EVEN WANT TO SEE IT ON YOUR WORKS CITED PAGE!
Follow MLA format. (These are not all up-to-date; use your blue book; these are secondary). MSU has some on-line reference guides to supplement your handbook. Using MLA Format can be found here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/11/ See the Essay One assignment for Formatting/Grammar tips. A Reminder about Plagiarism:
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the representation of another’s works or ideas as one’s own: it includes the unacknowledged word for word use and/or paraphrasing of another person’s work, and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person’s ideas. Papers with a Works Cited Page of sources, but without proper or missing in-text parenthetical documentation according to MLA Research Papers guidelines are also considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. All cases of suspected plagiarism, in accordance with university rules, will be reported to the dean of the student’s college and may result in dismissal from the university.
A Word on Interviews: Some classes require an in-person interview w/ someone in the field as part of the research for the paper. Given the breath of disciplines covered, some of you will find this more useful than others (and the Nursing school has worked w/ WRAC to develop a contact form in particular). I am making it optional, given your paper topic. If you do think interviewing a medical professional about male health issues in particular will be useful, please contact me early, so you can set things up and we can discuss potential interview questions.
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