|Double Focus Mini Essay: Media Analysis
EI: April 2013
Day 1 CW: Finish Drama test; Introduce Double-Focus paragraph
HW: Vocab Units 17 & 18; find a link for a clip for a TV commercial,
the link for a music video
Day 2 CW: Review Vocab, Got Milk ads analysis – target audience
HW: Media analysis Worksheet
Day 3 CW: Review video advertisements; intro music analysis
HW: Video Analysis Worksheet; study for vocab quiz
Day 4 CW: Vocab 17 & 18 quiz; Video Analysis work
HW: Finish brainstorming work – Brainstorm II worksheet
Day 5 CW: Introduce structure of essay, models, topics
HW: Select topic; focus brainstorm on chosen topic
Day 6 CW: Topic sentences as organizational tools
HW: Complete topic sentence brainstorming
Day 7 CW: Review topic sentences; selecting details and examples;
HW: Revise topic sentence; complete outline
Day 8 CW: Student models; turning outline into draft
HW: Draft the first paragraph and bring typed copy to class
Day 9 CW: Drafting questions; transitions, unity and coherence; clinchers
HW: Draft the second paragraph and bring complete essay to class
Day 10 CW: Complete, typed draft due for peer review; review style
HW: Revisions for content
Day 11 CW: Improving style and self edit worksheet
HW: Revise paragraph for grammar and style
Day 12 CW: Final Draft of Double Focus Mini Essay Due
MINI ESSAY ASSIGNMENT (about 250 words)
Write a well organized, fully developed DOUBLE FOCUS expository essay on one aspect of modern teenage life and culture. Your topic sentence will identify two focuses, and you will develop each focus as a separate paragraph. Make sure that you bombard the general subject with questions to find your LIMITED subject.
Your paragraph will be evaluated on the following:
1. adherence to assignment
2. unity: all of the examples concrete and relevant to focus
3. coherence: repetition of key words, transitions
4. organization: focuses and examples put into chronological, spatial, or climactic order
5. topic sentence and clincher: limited subject, judgment, sharp focuses
6. mechanics (grammar and spelling)
7. development: clear verbal pictures, details and examples
8. style: precise diction; concrete nouns, specific adjectives, lively adverbs, sentence variety
Your ten point grammar grade will be based on the following grammatical issues in your writing:
complete sentences (subject and predicate; no fragments or run-ons)
consistent verb tense
avoiding passive verbs
avoiding dangling participles
avoiding split infinitives
avoiding garbage words (list below)
avoiding there, this, I, and you
Mini Essay Organization
TOPIC SENTENCE FOR PARAGRAPH = LIMITED SUBJ. + JUDGMENT + FOCUS A + FOCUS B
SUB-FOCUS SENTENCE FOR FOCUS A = TRANSITION. + JUDGMENT + FOCUS A
EXAMPLE 1 – GENERALIZATION, EVIDENCE, ANALYSIS
EXAMPLE 2 – GENERALIZATION, EVIDENCE, ANALYSIS
CLINCHER FOR FOCUS A = LIMITED SUBJ. + JUDGMENT + FOCUS A
SUB-FOCUS SENTENCE FOR FOCUS B = TRANSITION + LIMITED SUBJ. + JUDGMENT + FOCUS B
EXAMPLE 1 – GENERALIZATION, EVIDENCE, ANALYSIS
EXAMPLE 2 – GENERALIZATION, EVIDENCE, ANALYSIS
CLINCHER FOR ENTIRE ESSAY = LIMITED SUBJ. + JUDGMENT + FOCUS A + FOCUS B
**** ANALYSIS links the evidence to your generalization through the repetition of key words from the topic sentence
The following are vague words which you should avoid when you write your topic sentence.
affair factor kind of regular
anyone fantastic lovely silly
awesome feeling marvelous situation
aspect fierce matter smooth
awful fine nature something
bad freak neat sort of
beautiful funny nice stuff
business gadget organization swell
circumstance glamorous outfit terrible
challenging good peculiar terrific
condition gorgeous people thing
cool great person ugly
cute horrible pretty unusual
enjoyable incredible proposition weird
everyone inspiring quality wonderful
this (without a clear antecedent)
TO BE, TO HAVE, TO SHOW, TO GET, TO GO, TO TALK, TO WALK, TO TELL, TO TRY, TO BE ABLE, TO FEEL, TO BECOME, TO LOOK, TO SEEM
LINKING VERBS (without an action verb immediately following)
AM, BE, ARE, IS, WAS, WERE, BEEN, HAVE, HAS, HAD
GETTING IT TOGETHER – TRANSITIONS
TRANSITION WORDS THAT ADD ONE TRANSITION WORDS TO COMPARE
THOUGHT TO ANOTHER IDEAS - TO SHOW LIKENESS
in addition likewise last likewise in addition to
move over too also alike similarly
and then furthermore first resembling
besides further second in the same way
again next third both
TRANSITION WORDS TO CONTRAST IDEAS OR ADMIT A POINT (differences)
still on the other hand
however in contrast
on the contrary conversely
after all yet
even though granted
though in spite of
TRANSITION WORDS TO SHOW THAT ONE WORDS THAT TELL EXAMPLE
IDEA RESULTS FROM ANOTHER WILL FOLLOW
as a result accordingly for example
thus therefore for instance
because consequently as proof
since then specifically
hence as an illustration
TRANSITION WORDS THAT SUMMARIZE TRANSITION WORDS THAT EMPHASIZE
therefore consequently surely indeed
thus finally certainly truly
all in all in other words to be sure in fact
as a result accordingly undoubtedly without a doubt
in short in brief
TV COMMERCIAL Analysis Brainstorming Worksheet
These questions will help you to develop your skills of analysis and will help provide the background for your double focus mini essay. Complete the questions carefully. These questions will be collected with your paper.
Step One: Select a print ad. Attach the ad or a picture of it to this packet.
You may select a magazine, newspaper, billboard, or internet advertisement.
Step Two: Give a general description of the ad.
What kind of pictures does the ad use?
What language does the ad use?
Pick a few key words and explain what effect they create.
Step Three: What is the purpose of the ad? What is its message? What product or service is it trying to sell?
Step Four: Describe the target audience and include details from the ad that helped you determine each characteristic of the target audience.
Residential location (city, suburb, rural area)
Step Five: What is your evaluation of the ad? Is it effective? Is it clever? Is it offensive? Offer a judgment and explain why you feel this way. (4-5 sentences)
SONG with Video Brainstorming Worksheet
Step One: Select a song and attach a copy of the lyrics to this packet.
Step Two: Summarize the song. What is it about?
What kind of images does the song and the video use? Cite specific examples from the lyrics and the video.
What kind of language does the song use? Are there any words or repetitions of words that are particularly striking? Cite specific examples from the lyrics. Are there any repeated images?
Step Three: What kind of message does the song promote?
Step Four: Describe the audience for the song and explain why you think these people would be the target audience for this song.
Step Five: What is your evaluation of this song? Is it inspirational, relaxing, exploitive, offensive? Offer a judgment and explain why you feel this way. (4-5 sentences)
Now that you have completed some media analysis, use your worksheets to generate two potential paper topics. Just describing an ad or song is not the goal; you want to make an argument or explain an observation about one of your media choices. Pick the two ideas that have the most potential and fill out the concept with as much detail as possible. Feel free at this point to choose a topic that has not been explored yet or may be a little out of bounds of the original worksheets.
Subject A: Subject B:
FOCUSING IN ON YOUR TOPIC
MEDIA: PRINT AD(S)? TV COMMERCIAL(S)? MUSIC VIDEO?
LIST ALL THE PRIMARY VISUALS (things that you can see – include descriptions, colors, location, etc.)
LIST EVERYTHING THAT YOU HEAR / WORDS WRITTEN (Words that are printed that are predominate, focused or repeated; type of music used, lyrics, etc.)
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE FOR YOUR CHOSEN PIECE? (Age, gender, economic, etc.) Explain why?
Look at your brainstorming to select your best subject and locate your limited subject.
What is your limited subject?_______________________________________
Brainstorm at least six attitude words—Judgments-- for this subject.
What will your two focuses be? Focus A____________________________
Draft five versions of your topic sentence below:
Double Focus Topic Sentences
The double focus topic sentence contains the same key parts we have been discussing: limited subject, judgment, and sharp focus, except this time, two focuses.
For your limited subject: make sure that it is the right size for the assignment; something you can thoroughly discuss in about a page
For your judgment: this time around there are some definite pitfalls to avoid; mainly don’t make statements that you can’t back up with very specific details.
1. Don’t make sweeping generalizations. You can’t prove that all or every performer, tv show, ad fits your claim, so don’t say it. Name something specific or qualify statements with some, many.
2. Don’t oversimplify complex situations. For example, you can’t attribute violence in schools to rock music because the situation is more complicated; there are multiple contributing factors that you don’t have the time or space to explore.
3. Closely related, don’t make unsupportable cause/effect claims. For instance, the CK paragraph claims that ads promote sexuality which is an arguable claim, but if it said that the ads led to an increase in teen pregnancies it would be making unsupportable claims(at least without substantial research, which again, you don’t have the time to conduct).
Your focuses must:
a. be double
b. be unified in purpose
c. be grammatically parallel
d. be on the same level of generality
e. be free from overlap
f. avoid comparison/ contrast
Use the guidelines for a good TS to evaluate the following sentences. Circle the number of the ones that are good topic sentences. Pick out what is wrong with the flawed ones and try to improve them.
1. Rap shows sexuality in its videos and violence in its lyrics.
2. The rock group Mumford and Sons is popular because of their thought provoking musical themes and diverse musical styles.
3. The Jerry Springer show promotes crude humor through its offensive topics and its disgraceful actions.
4. The radio station 96.5 attracts listeners due to its choice of music and how the listeners are involved in radio activities
5. Automobile commercials use sexist appeals marketing minivans to mommies who want to protect their children and other cars to
6. The new anti-smoking Truth ad campaign insults teenagers by making the choice to smoke look like one that is based on a lack of intelligence or a desperate attempt to be popular.
7. The VW company tries to hook teens with their commercials by using humorous scenarios and popular music.
8. Although Gossip Girls appeals to some people, it really insults teens by showing them to be superficial and plastic.
ORGANIZING PREWRITING WORKSHEET
FOCUS A (first paragraph):
FOCUS B (second paragraph):
I. In describing a personal experience which you are using as evidence for your judgment, the 1st person is appropriate. However, DO NOT USE the first person in expressing an opinion. An opinion is almost always more forceful and convincing if it is presented without the personal pronoun. In the following pairs which statements carry more conviction?
A. I believe that God exists.
B. God exists.
A. It is my opinion that smoking causes cancer.
B. Smoking causes cancer.
Obviously the second statement of each pair carries far more punch than the first. Whenever a phrase containing a personal pronoun is attached to an opinion, the opinion immediately becomes weak and defensive. It sounds vaguely apologetic. It is helpful to remember that "I think" and "I feel" and similar expressions are actually redundant.
The urge to use the first person is so powerful that few students can give it up without a struggle. Many try to take refuge in the impersonal "one" or the second person "you" or, as a last resort, a substitute second person. Surgery will no work in correcting these. If you cut them out entirely, the rest of the sentence won't make sense. So the thought must be rephrased.
NOT: One never knows what might happen.
BUT: Anything might happen.
NOT: You can't help liking this book.
BUT: This book appeals to readers with its comical characters.
NOT: A person should always have a good study plan.
BUT: A good study plan helps students succeed.
II. Avoid the word "there."
The trouble with "there" has nothing to do the grammar or with "correctness" of any kind. It's a perfectly proper word, and it moves in the best of circles. But the fact remains that it is one of the most insidious enemies a beginning writer faces in his search for style. It is the enemy of style because it seldom adds anything but clutter to a sentence. Look at this sentence:
There were two cluttered book shelves in the corner.
Compare it to this:
Two cluttered bookshelves stood in the corner.
Two cluttered bookshelves sagged in the corner.
The greater urgency of the second sentence should be obvious. Sometimes you need only to cross "there" out and juggle the words slightly to create a better, more direct statement. Sometimes you will have to rephrase your sentence and add an appropriate verb which will give your sentence more life and vigor than the flabby and colorless "there was" construction.
III. Do not use the indefinite pronoun "it" at the beginning of sentences. "It" is like "there" -- weak and lifeless.
IMPROVING STYLE: Underline the part(s) of the sentences that are weak in style, and then write an improved sentence in the space provided. Make sure the improved sentence does not change the context of the original sentence. Errors may include use of vague words choices, weak verbs, unparallel construction, and first or second person.
1. I think that the Hatfield Franks commercials convince you not to buy their product.
2. There is a woman in the commercial, and all she does is stare lovingly at her boyfriend.
3. The ad leads you to believe that the use of their product will help you lose weight quickly and easily.
4. One can see the blatant sexual-overtones of the advertisement through the under-dressed models.
5. People in the commercial ask for “thunder thighs and a ba-donka-donk butt”.
6. Some of the things in the commercial brainwash you into believing that they could have the same skills just by drinking Gatordade.
7. There are three cavemen in this commercial, and the ad campaign has now progressively gained a storyline.
8. It is not the only time that the song praises the use of drugs.
9. I believe the Eminem videos overflow with self-glorification and he is too arrogant.
10. It was the worst of the five commercials in the campaign due to its ignorance of the health concerns of the product.
Self–Editing for Grammar and Style
_____1. Read your paragraph in reverse from the last sentence to the first sentence. Check for complete sentences; you should have no fragments and no run–ons.
_____2. Check subject–verb agreement; be particularly careful with subjects like teens, students, everyone. Check pronoun–antecedent agreement. Make sure that every pronoun has a clear referent(EX: if you have four he’s in a sentence and you have been talking about two men, is it clear which he refers to which man?) and again be careful with collective nouns like everyone, nobody, the team etc.
_____3. Check your verbs for consistent tense. Make sure that you do not switch tenses unless you intend to show a shift in time.
_____4. Check your verbs to make sure that they are the strongest choices possible. You should have no passive verbs and minimal linking verbs or other weak verbs.
_____5. Check ing words for dangling participles and to+a verb for split infinitives.
_____6. Check commas and make sure you can justify the job they are doing in your sentence. Make sure that they are not just thrown in and that they are not joining two sentences (run–on).
_____7. Check for garbage words.
_____8. Check the beginnings of your sentences. No sentences should start with “it is”, “there is” or “this is”. Check for variety. If several sentences in a row begin with the same word or pattern, try to add some excitement and variety by adding clauses.
_____9. Make sure that you do not use “you” , “me”, “our”, “your” or “I” anywhere in the paper (except for in direct quotes)
_____10. Make sure that you do not have any typos or misspelled words.
_____11. Check analysis sentences to make sure that your limited subject is the grammatical subject of the sentence.
If you have any questions about any of these items, ASK!!!