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Overview:
We are inundated with media messages and images telling us that weight, physical appearance, and clothing make the person. Success and happiness seem to be inexorably linked to waist size, body shape, hairstyle, and the proper fashion style. Many commentators believe that women feel under increasing pressure to be thin and that this pressure can generate eating disorders, among other problems. Although women were the first to feel media pressure to perfect their bodies, men are now affected as well—with growing numbers of men falling victim to eating disorders or becoming obsessed with working out. What, ultimately, are the implications of the media’s influence on body image?
Writing Task:
Focus on one media form (TV OR magazines OR movies OR internet, etc.), analyze its content and argue whether it affects the way we think we should look. Your argument will contain examples and perhaps descriptions of the specific media form and reasons that support your stance (thesis). Other argumentative techniques to consider include refutation (counter argument and rebuttal), concession (qualification), and a call to action.
Planning Steps/Prewriting:
Your first step is to choose a media form. Your second step is to analyze the content. Your third step is to decide that this content does/does not affect how we perceive our own image. Your fourth step is to begin prewriting/drafting your narrowed topic.
General issues that you should consider addressing include, but are not limited to:
the direct correlation between media images and how they influence our physical appearance and self identity, and whether this influence is stronger according to gender and/or race
the relationship between media images and an idealized standard of beauty, and whether this standard is equated with happiness and success
the effect that limited definitions of beauty have on self-esteem and self development.
Requirements:
3-4 pages (does not include Works Cited page). YOUR ESSAY GRADE WILL BE PENALIZED FOR NOT MEETING PAGE LENGTH REQUIREMENT.
THIS ESSAY MUST BE WRITTEN IN 3RD PERSON OBJECTIVE. Failure to do so will result in an “N/C” (no credit).
ATTACHMENT ONLY.
Source Requirement:
2 secondary sources in MLA format that support your opinion. Primary sources must also be cited and included on your Works Cited page. (Reference: Research: Primary and Secondary Sources)
Works Cited page.
***You will be penalized 10 points if you fail to provide in-text citations and/or a Works Cited page. Without proper documentation your essay grade will result in an “N/C” (No Credit).
What to Avoid:
Here are some major things to avoid in your argument essay, to receive a passing grade:
Relying too heavily on sources. Over using source material often leads to plagiarism and an “N/C” (no credit). Thus, you should never simply summarize reports, fact sheets, or any other form of source material. And, obviously, you should never fail to provide quotation marks when necessary. ONLY use source material for direct quotes and paraphrases when they support your own opinions or when you need them for refutation.
Writing about more than one form of media. The requirement is to choose only one form in order to provide an in-depth and specific analysis.
Using language from the essay assignment. Never simply copy and paste the language used in the actual assignment for any part of your essay.
Providing a general thesis statement with an unclear stance.
Repeating ideas throughout the essay. Do not simply rehash the same idea throughout the entirety of the essay.
Providing too general of a title. Ex. Negative Effects of TV. Use a title that is specific and ties in directly to your thesis.
Using informal/slangy language. You must use formal diction throughout the entirety of the essay.
Writing in 1st person. Ex: I think, I believe, In my opinion, etc.

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