Function Throughout this class we’ve focused on understanding a media franchise by digging into its media texts and ecology. Basically, we’ve turned a close eye to our topic to see its nuances and significances. Another way to highlight the nuances of a media franchise, however, is to closely compare that franchise with another franchise. The way the human mind operates, it is often easier to see nuances when two things are placed side by side. For instance, if I drew a line on the board you probably couldn’t guess its length to the exact inch. However, if I drew two lines on the board side by side, you could tell which was longer even if one was only longer by 1/8 of an inch. Using this principle, some of our best media analysis can be done as comparative analysis. Directions Choose a second media franchise that you think is related to your media franchise in a meaningful way. For example, I have compared LEGO to traditional building blocks, Barbie, and Star Wars action figures. Identify a key point of comparison. Ideally, this will be something that is meaningful to both franchises but is meaningful in some importantly different way. For instance, when comparing LEGO to traditional blocks, I talk about the educational value of construction play. When comparing LEGO to Barbie, I talk about the gendering of the toy marketing and characters. Explore this point of comparison in your article. Combining the techniques you’ve learned from your Media Analysis and Media Ecology articles, perform media analysis of texts from both franchises to substantiate your point and make an ecological argument that uses the similarities and differences between the two franchises to help explore a meaningful cultural idea. Constraints 1000-1600 words (does not count works cited page). Present a coherent comparative analysis: instead of listing a bunch of similarities and differences, focus on one point of comparison and develop it in depth using the techniques from both the Media Analysis and Media Ecology articles. Discover new ground: do not exactly duplicate the examples or arguments from your previous two articles. It’s fine if the topics overlap somewhat, but try to uncover new dimensions of your franchise or new layers to dimensions you’ve previously discussed. Cite all media texts that you use. Objectives Critical Position (The depth of your critical perspective on your media franchises) Strive to present a relevant, insightful, and innovative perspective on your media franchises. Try to go deep rather than broad. Maintain a balanced critical perspective that is neither naively optimistic or unfairly pessimistic about the media franchise. Comparison (The synergy between your two analyses) Strive to play the two franchises off of each other in a strongly synergistic way. Instead of feeling like two mini-articles back-to-back, a comparative article should give a 1 + 1 = 3 feeling. Readers should feel like they understand your first media franchise better because they understand the second and vice versa. Structure and Rhetoric (How you connect your ideas into a smoothly flowing, persuasive argument) Critical introductions need to be accessible and engaging. Professionalism and Polish (The quality of your writing, including style, tone, and grammar)
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