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I wrote my first paper on the reality TV show The Bachelorette and how the producers encode and the audience decodes the show. I also wrote about ideologies about the idea of love and marriage. I argued that The Bachelorette is a convincing example of a TV show that encodes unrealistic ideals to an audience who decodes with a dominant reading that perceives these ideals as achievable. I chose this media text because it exemplifies many of the topics we were talking about in class, feminism, masculinity, ideologies, political economy, etc. I admittedly watch every season of this show and when I had to think of a media source to analyze, it seemed like the perfect fit. I thought there would be plenty of examples from the show to choose from to support my argument. I chose the readings from class by Stuart Hall regarding encoding and decoding because this text supported by thesis statement. I also chose to use ABC's website (the network that airs The Bachelorette) because it had the premise of the show as well as the goals of the show which also supported my argument. While writing this paper I had a hard time narrowing my topic and argument because the show had so many examples to choose from that related to topics from class. I ended up choosing encoding and decoding, but I also had a hard time coming up with examples of all three types of decoding. It wasn't until after I had received my 'revise and resubmit' draft back from Melody where she had commented I could choose just one type of decoding and elaborate more on one to make my paper stronger. This helped my grade significantly and also the quality of my paper. My paper had started out very strong, with clear supporting examples but I ended up trying to rush through the paper and put confusing arguments at the end of the paper. I revised the end of my paper to focus on one type of decoding, the dominant reading, in order to argue a clear, thorough, argument with supporting examples. If I could change one thing, I would change the way I approached writing my essay. I just sat down and started typing due to poor time management. For my next paper, I would like to sit down and outline my points that I want to make with what sources I will use to support each part of my argument. This will make it easier to write my first draft. Also, what I have found helpful in the past is after making the outline and typing the paper, print it out on paper and read it through. It seems easier to me to see the mistakes and then I can write in the margins about what I want to go back and change. For people writing this type of analytical paper for the first time should make sure they really understand the analytical framework they are using as their argument, for example if you are arguing something related to feminism, make sure you really understand the topic first before you start writing your paper.


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I agree that it's hard to include everything you want in an analysis paper because there is so much that all connects with each idea. I found it very useful to brainstorm as much as you can before writing. Lists are my favorite. I usually make one list of everything I want to include from the course readings, then another list I want to mention from my media text. Then I draw a bunch of arrows to connect them all together. My brainstorm lists end up looking crazy but it's very helpful and will save even more time.

I also, for no reason, loveee watching The Bachelorette show =)

i really like how you are going to be out lining your next paper and i like how you structured it i think i will try to apply that also to my next paper.

I completely agree about the importance of making an outline-- especially to improve time management. Also, I can relate to frustrations about narrowing a topic-- sometimes it seems super hard to do because you must pick this narrowed topic and hope that you can expand upon it enough. I bet your paper on this show was really interesting. It would be nice to read more articles on "reality" tv.

you have some great writing advice in here, Lindsey. I too am a fan of printing out my paper and editing it that way. thanks for sharing your experiences!

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This page contains a single entry by Lindsey published on October 15, 2011 10:01 AM.

Using the term "rape" to describe something that is not rape was the previous entry in this blog.

Feminism and Sex and the City is the next entry in this blog.

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