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Freewrite. Make a brief list of your television shows or films that you are familiar with. How diverse are these pop culture products in terms of race, age, culture, religion, sexual orientation, etc?

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  • Make a brief list of your television shows or films that you are familiar with.

  • How diverse are these pop culture products in terms of race, age, culture, religion, sexual orientation, etc?

  • How are characters who are from minority groups treated/characterized? Does this issue ever affect your decision to watch (or continue watching) a film/show?

Academic writing in american colleges
Academic Writing in American Colleges:

  • In academic writing, your are expected to:

    • Respond to other writings on the topic

    • Ask questions

    • Say what you think

    • Have a main focus from the start

    • State your point explicitly (directly and clearly)

Three building blocks of persuasive writing
Three Building Blocks of Persuasive Writing:

  • The Issue: This is the topic, subject, or controversial issue you have chosen to write about.

  • The Claim: This is a statement of opinion or value judgment about the issue. (This should be your thesis statement.)

  • The Evidence: This is the reasonable, logical support that explains and backs up the claim you have made about the issue. (This will come from your research and your own conclusions you make having read extensively about your topic.)

Reminders from last week the purpose of our research paper
Reminders from Last Week:The Purpose of Our Research Paper

  • Make a CLAIM about some area of pop culture and defend that claim using reputable sources and your own analysis of the issue.

  • How do I discover and defend a claim?

    • ASK a research question that invites further discussion.

    • READ a variety of sources about your question.

    • DECIDE, based on your research, where you stand on your question, and put that stance into a thesis/claim.

    • DEFEND your decision (your thesis) in your paper.

Resources for the research paper library workshops
Resources for the Research Paper:Library Workshops


  • You must attend at least one. Attach proof of attendance to your final draft.

  • 10 points of extra credit will be given for attending two workshops.

Brainstorming for the research paper question
Brainstorming for the Research Paper Question

  • Make a list of ALL of the areas of pop culture you might like to write about. Come up with some rough questions about each of these topics. (You can refine them later.)

  • Be curious! What are connections you’ve always wondered about? What are things you’ve noticed that you’d like to explore in more detail?

  • What are readings from our book that intrigued you? What more do you want to know about those topics?

Formulating a research question
Formulating a Research Question

  • A successful research question will:

    • Narrow an issue related to pop culture down to a manageable question for a 6-8 page paper.  

    • Be specific.

    • Invite discussion about the answer to the question.  

  • Some poor research questions:

    • How does science fiction affect society?

      • (Too broad… affect it HOW? And who is “society” referring to?)

    • What are some good science fiction movies?

      • (“Good” is too subjective. What do you mean by “good”? And what is your purpose in ranking these movies? What does it say about a aspect of society/people?)

Research question continued
Research Question, continued

Improved Research questions:

  • Has science fiction historically been able to comment on issues of racism and prejudice in a unique way? What has science fiction contributed to the conversation about these topics?

  • What are some of the most significant real world scientific discoveries that have been inspired by science fiction films?

Rough research question
Rough Research Question

  • Turn at least one of the topics you brainstormed into a rough research question or questions.

  • Where should I go next to find out what other people are saying about this topic?

  • Any ideas where you can find reliable and academic sources?

Suggestions for beginning research
Suggestions for Beginning Research

  • Make a list of terms and phrases that might get you good search results for your question.

    • For example, for my science fiction and racism question, I might make the following list:

    • Science fiction and racism

    • Sci-fi and racism

    • Science fiction and prejudice

    • Science fiction and race

    • Science fiction civil rights

    • Science fiction social justice

    • Etc.

  • Try different combinations of words that might get you results. If you don’t find what you want immediately, change your search terms and try again.

  • Once you do find a source or two, see if there are any common phrases you might add to your list.

Evaluating sources
Evaluating Sources

  • Know if your source is trustworthy or not.

  • This is very important! If you are getting your information from a bad source, it can throw off your whole essay.

  • First thing to look for when determining if a source it legit:

    • Does the article have an author?

    • Does the article have a date of publication?

    • Does the website match the article?

      • If the article is about a political issue and the website is something like “” this is NOT a reliable source

General internet research
General Internet Research:

  • You can also get more accurate research on Google if you learn to use Google’s filters on the side bar. (“News” is a useful filter)

    • Also, you can search for scholarly articles by going to Keep in mind these may be too long/complex. But check it out anyway!

  • Do not ever cite Wikipeida as a source. It is NOT considered a reliable or academic source.

    • If you absolutely cannot find the information anywhere else, you may look at a Wikipedia entry for ONE PURPOSE ONLY: To use their citation system to find the ORIGINAL SOURCE of the information. When you see a number link in a wiki article, click and it will take you to a citation at the bottom of the page. You may use this to go to the original source.

      • If the claim or information is not cited, it cannot be fully trusted. Do not use it, or search for it elsewhere.

So what are reputable web sources
So what are Reputable Web Sources?

  • Reputable websites: reliable news sources, websites run by trustworthy organizations

    • Treat websites with caution. The internet contains a wealth of information, but unless you know the credentials of the person posting the opinions/interpretations of a work, tread carefully. Come see me if you have any questions.

  • A Better Internet Source: Material from any of our Library Databases

Library database research
Library Database Research:

  • LAMC Library Resources are available from the main library webpage.

  • Databases on the Library Website that will probably be useful are:

    • ProQuest

    • CQ Researcher (limited number of topics, but excellent in-depth coverage)

    • Opposing Viewpoints (again, limited topics, but good information)

Break time
Break Time!

  • Please return in 15 minutes

What do we mean when we talk about diversity in the media
What do we mean when we talk about “diversity” in the media?

  • It might mean a discussion of how closely media products as a group reflect the diversity of the society that is producing them.

  • It might mean a discussion of how a specific media product deals with the question of diversity. Are minority groups represented? If so, are they represented fairly, or as stereotypes?

Terms that are relevant to the discussion
Terms that are Relevant to the Discussion media?

  • Diversity: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements :variety; especially: the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization (Meriam Webster Online Dictionary)

    • When the word is used to talk about different types of people, there is also a connotation of acceptance of and respect for those differences.

Terms that are relevant to the discussion1
Terms that are Relevant to the Discussion media?

  • Tokenism: the practice of doing something (such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly (Meriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary)

  • Marginalize: to relegate someone or something (or a group) to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group (Meriam Webster Online Dictionary)

Tv diversity whose job is it anyway
“TV Diversity: Whose Job is it Anyway?” media?

  • What larger conversation is this article responding to? What specific show/event is the article responding to?

  • In the first section of the essay, the author, Aydrea Walden, uses a strategy described in They Say, I Say. She lists common objections to further inclusion of minority characters (that’s the “they say” part), and then, she offers a counter-argument about why each of those objections doesn’t make sense. (That’s her “I say” part.)

  • What did you think of the “they say” objections she cites? What did you think of her counter-arguments? Was she convincing?

The effects of a lack of diversity
The Effects of a Lack of Diversity media?

  • In “TV Diversity: Whose Job is it Anyway,” Aydrea Walden claims the following:

  • “The shortest possible answer to ‘does diversity on TV matter?’ is ‘yes.’ Repeatedly showing people images absolutely has an affect on the way they live their lives. It’s the basis for the advertising industry. By regularly marginalizing people of color on screen, it makes it easier for people to marginalize those same populations in real life.”

  • What does she mean by this? What do you think of this criticism?

Tv s diversity dilemma
“TV’s Diversity Dilemma” media?

  • This essay is another voice in the “conversation” about race and diversity in Hollywood. This essay responds to a commonly held idea that simply including a character of color (or, by extension, a character from any minority group) in a show or film is enough to “fix” the problem of lack of representation.

  • Mark Harris’s point of view is that it’s not enough simply to include minorities. Why not?

Tv s diversity dilemma1
“TV’s Diversity Dilemma” media?

  • Mark Harris makes some big claims here. Let’s deal with some of them.

    • “The first obligation of any ambitions scripted series is to entertain with truth.”

    • “The point behind race-blind casting is often ‘They’re just like us,’ but the ‘us’ –and the perspective that goes with it—remains as default Caucasian as ever.”

    • “Often, when a comedy or drama includes non-white characters, their function is to illustrate the principle that race doesn’t matter. But no sane person […] can argue that we’re living in a postracial society.”

A few more words to know
A few more words to know: media?

  • Portray: verb (Noun form is “portrayal”)

    • 1 to make a picture of :depict

    • 2 a: to describe in words

    • b: to play the role of

    • NOTE: This word often has the connotation of a fictional, not necessarily true representation.

  • Depict: verb (Noun form is “depiction”)

    • 1: to represent by or as if by a picture

    • NOTE: depict/depiction and portray/portrayal are often used interchangeably because they are synonyms.

  • Problematic:

    • a: posing a problem: difficult to solve or decide

    • b: not definite or settled :uncertain <their future remains problematic>

    • c: open to question or debate :questionable

Let s use all of these words in a sentence
Let’s use all of these words in a sentence: media?

  • Too often, Latinos are depicted as criminals, gardeners, or maids, and little else. This portrayal is problematic because there are many Latinos who do not fit these stereotypes. Producers and writers should make an effort to write characters and storylines that will put forward a more complex portrayal of the people in this community.

How do i write about this issue
How do I write about this issue? media?

  • First of all, you’ve got to decide what you think about the big questions.

    • What do you think about how diverse the media being produced right now is?

    • Do you think that it’s enough to simply include actors/characters from minority groups in shows/, films, etc? If not, what else should be done?

    • Are there certain groups that you notice being portrayed in a particularly positive or negative way?

How do i write about this issue1
How do I write about this issue? media?

  • Start paying attention. I know not all of us watch a lot of TV, but if you do, start noticing how diverse the characters you see are, or how diverse the musicians you listen to are, etc.

  • Start doing some reading. It’s very difficult to know what you think about this issue until you know what the big debates are.

Where do i do this reading
Where do I do this reading? media?

  • In this case, Google might be your friend. A lot of the most current writing about this issue hasn’t made it into the school databases yet.

  • Searches that have been productive for me:

    • Diversity and the media

    • TV and diversity (or television and diversity)

    • If you wish to research a certain group, play around with combinations of the group name, and the words “diversity,” “media,” and “television” (or whatever medium you are researching.

    • If you wish to research a certain piece of pop culture, type in the name of the film/show/genre and “diversity” and see what you come up with.

  • These same searches work with the school databases TRY BOTH Don’t rely ONLY on Google.

What should i be doing this week for the research paper
What should I be doing this week for the research paper? media?

  • Research your topic. Begin to notice common debates or themes in your sources. What are the big issues that show up over and over again as you research?

  • Keep track of where you find sources and quotes.

  • Find and Read at least four possible sources. If they are relevant, annotate/highlight/take notes. Keep track of which ideas came from which source.

  • Write your first Rough Draft for your Peer Review next week - AIM FOR 3-4 PAGES AT LEAST.

Review reminder turnitin com
Review/Reminder: media?

  • Peer Review is next week!