You will select a topic from among those covered in the course (for example, “history and origins” or “creating audiences” or “technical production”/The Technical Production of Culture, or “seriality,” and so forth) and use it to provide an in-depth analysis of one entire season (or more, if you wish) of a television series of your choice that is no longer in production (How I Met Your Mother, 2005-2014). This expectation assures that you will be able to consider how successfully (or not) the season you are analyzing contributed to the series as a whole.
Keep in mind that you are approaching the series as a social and cultural artifact. Don’t get bogged down in the details of the episodes themselves. Briefly summarize the plot and then concentrate your discussion on addressing what the series illustrates about the topic you have chosen.
An important word about sources: Use all course readings that pertain to whatever topic you select. So, if your paper has to do with technical production, you should use the course readings from that week. However, in cases where your chosen topic veers a bit from the readings, you may augment your analysis with readings from course material from another week or bring in SCHOLARLY sources from elsewhere (e.g., another sociology class) that are directly pertinent to the topic.
As for a minimum, cite at least three readings from the pertinent week and at least five sources total.
It is not required for you to use sources outside class content, but if you find only three articles from your week relevant to your topic, supplement these with at least two additional sources, for a total of five. These requirements apply to everyone selecting this option, no exceptions.
Analysis: You will be held to a higher standard of argument and writing for these term papers than for the reading logs. You MUST have a clear thesis statement in the first paragraph of your paper that makes an analytic argument (not just summary or your own
Do not waste too much space summarizing the plot of the TV series you select; just provide enough background information to be able to understand your argument.
Formatting: Papers must be 5-7 pages, 12 point, Times New Roman font, double- spaced, with one inch margins. It is very easy to spot differences, and any deviation from that format will cause you to lose points. Title pages and References pages do not count toward the 5-7 page limit. In addition, any spelling/grammatical errors will cause you to lose points.
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