Sunday, March 25, 2007


Related to class reading/discussion for March 26:
Colorado State University, An Introduction to Content Analysis. Retrieved April 22, 2004, from the Colorado State University Web site:

Assignment for final project

You’ll be writing at least a 15-page final project, double-spaced, for the end of the semester. The parts of your project should go together, like pearls on a string.

First, you’ll need to find a corpus of mass media texts (ads, films, news stories, editorial cartoons, comics, TV shows, music), following protocols discussed in class for ensuring a consistent group of texts. See your class notes for the discussion of corpus construction.

Next, you’ll conduct research to build a review of literature or review of scholarship, using outside sources to build context for your own original study. Be sure to include some theoretical work in this literature review, such as Lippmann’s work on stereotyping, Ong’s work on orality and literacy, van Zoonen’s work on the politics of gazing, or Tuchman’s work on the social construction of news.

Devise a list of possible research questions for your corpus, after reading scholarly work about your topic. Once you’ve considered your texts and your lit review, you’ll decide on which method will be most useful for analyzing these texts and answering your potential research questions. To develop your methodology, finalize your research questions and write up a protocol for analyzing your data (be sure this method will expose findings that will be responsive to your research questions).

Report your data and synthesize these findings with your literature review, mixing your results with insights you have and with theories that you’ve studied. These insights will form the basis of your discussion/conclusions. All parts of your paper should be like pearls on a string—all parts should be the same as to their purpose. In other words, tie things together and be sure your methods match your research questions, which should match your lit review and your discussion.

For your references page and in-text citations, you’ll need to use APA style, which will be discussed in class. There are also online resources for how to cite sources; be sure to use quote marks for all material quoted from sources other than your own brain. After indirect or directly quoted material, give the citations of where this information may be verified, by offering the author’s name, the year, and page number.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A link that we'll be discussing in the coming weeks. Here it is now, for an article titled "Metaphor and war: The metaphor system used to justify war in the gulf," by George Lakoff (a UC-Berkeley linguistics prof). His insights are especially useful in analyzing Bush's state-of-the-union justifications for war, especially in how they've changed over the last year.