Impacts of Social media on society


Your major, but not necessarily next, assignment is an argument paper in which you give your thoughts about something specific in the media (a person, a show, a company, etc.) and discuss whether it is propaganda or presenting actual arguments; it could also simply be entertainment or fit into some other category of media (unbiased information). You must also discuss whether it is harmful, innocuous, or perhaps, positive.

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While the subject can be anything, I would avoid the usual cliché health topics and anything that would involve research.*

This essay should be four full pages minimum (1500+ words). The amount of body paragraphs/points and their lengths are up to you, but I don’t suggest short body paragraphs. A general rule should be about seven sentences per body paragraph. Remember that you need counter arguments as well.

Your subject should focus in on something (or perhaps, someone) in or from the current media. It should be as narrow as possible. The “news” won’t work. ABC News would be better, but Good Morning America is narrower, and what I would prefer for an essay like this. The narrower the subject, the better.

Let’s be clear that this is about a subject matter. In other words, topics like “global warming” or “the electoral college” will be rejected. Now, if you want to focus in one someone who is presenting thoughts on said topics, like a Ben Shapiro or David Pakman, that would work. The range of possibilities for media figures or even organizations and channels is pretty endless, especially considering how many types of media there and how exposed we are to them every day.

You can use persuasion; however, the bulk of the argument should be stated with support and logical examples, not just trying to appeal to people’s emotions. You need to pick a topic you know enough about to give your knowledge in order to provide facts for the content.

Common knowledge can be used. Common knowledge most often refers to dates, but also includes information that is “accepted” (generally agreed upon, well-known facts and dates) but can also be extended commonly-read/heard phrases. Those types of common phrases can sometimes make great openers for your introduction. This, however, is not a research essay. The only thing you will look at is your main subject and you will state your ideas about it based on the principles of argument.

The thing to keep in mind is what information do you, as a critical reader, bring to the table bring to the table. First person can appear in here but only as anecdotal evidence of an experience. As a very simple paper asking for your reaction, this does not involve researching what others have to say about the topic. I am interested in your observations, thoughts, analysis and examination of the subject. I recommend that you do not write in first and avoid second person point of view. Simply state your information and be objective (third person) and add your educated opinion. Use examples, process, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, and description if applicable in order to make your point. Show your thought process clearly to the reader.

Argument isn’t totally separate from all those other types of writing. Illustration (also known as exemplification) is one of the keys to a good argument paper. Give examples to show your readers proof of your ideas. Explain your evidence and make sure that the reader understands the individual points.

-As stated early on in the semester, I do not want research. If any research is added, it must be formatted in MLA properly and should not go beyond more than two sources. I only recommend this if you have past experience with citation. This is NOT a research paper. You should only be interested in finding various media that show your propaganda.

-Using research poorly can result in a poor grade and not citing at all will result in a zero and failure in the class.

-Read chapters 13 and 38. See what pointers you can use from the information in the text. While persuasion can play into this essay since you might be interested in motivating a change rather than supporting something that is in place, avoid addressing the reader and avoid emotional appeals.

Required elements:

-More than four pages, 1500+ words

-A strong title that goes beyond just the subject (should be a combination of your subject and main point but cleverly worded)

-An introduction paragraph with a clear thesis statement

-Clear topic sentences for each body paragraph

__Strong, unified support that clearly references the opposing viewpoints (either in within each point or as a standalone paragraph).

There is not a set number of paragraphs, but clearly you will need to go beyond the typical three body paragraphs.

__*Other than finding examples of advertisements, or other miscellaneous media from your source of propaganda/argument, no research will be involved as I’m only interested in what you have to say, not the opinions of others!

__A logical conclusion that may involve persuasion (don’t just end the paper)

__Essay be typed in MLA format

*There will be a five to seven minute presentation on the last day of class. We will talk about it in more detail in the following weeks. You must show a short example of the media that you are discussing.

Due Dates (see online)


-Rough Draft

-Final Draft with rough draft process attached.

(While your topic must be approved before November )

*While you can do research to find cases of your propaganda, using others opinions and writings about it are not allowed/is consider research that I am explicitly not asking for this in this essay. Opinions should be your own, not those of others.

Propaganda: The art of persuasion.

It is the spreading of ideas, information or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or a person. Propaganda is intended to make us accept or approve something without looking closely at the evidence. Most of the propaganda devices utilize emotion and avoid critical thinking.

Transfer -The act of relating something or someone we like or respect with a product. Symbols are constantly used in this form.

Testimonial-The use of well known, respected people to endorse a product or service.

Glittering Generalities-The act of referring to words or ideas that evoke a positive emotional response from an audience. Virtue words are often used.

Plain Folks -The use of everyday people to sell a product or service. Speakers in ads appear to make the person to be one of the people.

Bandwagon -Attempts to persuade the target audience to take a course of action, “Everyone else is taking.” “Join the crowd.” This technique reinforces peoples’ natural desire to be on the winning side.

Name Calling -The use of names that evoke fear or hatred in the viewer. This technique links a person or idea to a negative symbol.

Card Stacking-Strategy of showing the product’s best features. Telling half-truths and emitting or lying about its potential problems.

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