Short Media Analysis Assignment  

Write a paper no longer than one page or less (maximum 250 words per page-double spaced) observing the following criteria.  Choose a brief media sample worthy of analysis because it can be used to demonstrate significant concepts related to media literacy.   Semiotic principles are always at work when meanings are represented and interpreted, but that does not necessarily make the media artifact worthy of analysis.  Criteria for selection are based on observations that evoke questions about communication, power, social norms, conventions, stereotypes, or categories of identity such as race, class, age, or gender.  Provide evidence to support an analysis of a brief media artifact by using semiotic principles and concepts to identify how meanings are represented.

Your paper should be no longer than 250 words, so be concise and get to the point.  Your paper can be shorter provided that you meet the other criteria of the assignment.  Using correct citation style (either MLA or APA), include relevant sources of information and media.  Citations for the source of the media artifact and facts supporting the analysis are required. You may put citations on the same page as the essay or on a separate page if necessary.

Here is a sample of the organizational structure of a paper:

A. Introduction: What, Why, How

1.     Briefly describe the topic/ media artifact.

2.     Explain why the particular media is significant to your reader/audience.

3.     Tell your audience how you will provide evidence or demonstrate an analysis of the media artifact.

B. Body of evidence: Describe the media artifact and explain what the audience should notice.

1.     Provide a brief, denotative description of what the audience sees and hears.

2.     For a Presentation; Show the media to the audience; indicate the amount of time this will take; 30-90 seconds, 2 minutes maximum. 

3.     Isolate the most significant signs/sign systems/codes etc.  Explain how these observable signs represent meanings, values, or beliefs that are assumed (by the media producers or the audience), ideological silences, unintended by the media producers, or raise issues for some people in society who may be affected by those representations.

C. Conclusion: State how your analysis provides new insight about the media subject:

1.     Remind the audience why the media is important (as stated in your introduction). 

2.     Finally, explain how your analysis provides new insight, reveals assumptions, or unintended meanings represented by the selected media.



For more descriptions of the process necessary to complete this assignment, see the link to the Media Analysis Exercise: Broadcast Criticism COM 4640/6640 Analysis Exercise

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