In this assignment, you will write a one-page description of a content analysis project that you plan to complete as a major component of the course. Content analysis can be used to examine any media content such as web sites, newspapers, advertising, magazines, YouTube videos, television programs, radio programs, billboards, pamphlets, etc. In your description, you must state a theory that you plan to use such as cultiviation theory, gatekeeping, or any of the mass media theories. You may also use other theories such as those pertaining to persuasion, rhetoric, etc. You will be responsible for examining a minimum of 25 media messages and your final project will require you to provide copies of those messages. Keep this in mind as you think about how your topic.
Content analysis topics are endless. Some possible topics to consider might be related to race or gender in media. For example, you could examine the ratio of news stories written by male reporters versus female reporters on the major news outlets on the web. You could examine photos on the covers of the major news magazines to determine the race of the people featured there. A theory that might support these topics would be cultivation analysis where the media may influence our perceptions related to stereotyping. You could examine a sample of 25 advertisements that appear in a major magazine to determine how many of them use humor as an appeal as opposed to other appeals. You could look at a sample of 25 or more Oscar winning films to examine the genres to determine how many were comedies as opposed to dramas and discuss why you believe one genre seems to win more Oscars. Determine what theory you will use for your project and how you can explore your research topic using this theory. You could select a random sample of 25 or more YouTube videos on pets that have 10,000 or more "hits", then examine the themes and comments to determine what makes these videos so popular. You could obtain a sample of 25 pamphlets about breast cancer from major hospital websites and analyze the themes included in those pamphlets. How many of them include a statement about male breast cancer? Again, there are many possible topics you can suggest for your research project.
Your one-page research project description should include:
A title page with the title of your research topic and your name
A brief description of your research question or questions about the topic
A definition of the theory that you plan to use to examine your topic and a reference list that includes the source for this theory A description of why you feel this theory fits well to explore your topic A description of what media messages you be examining, how many, how and where you will obtain them, and how you will submit them for the final project A description of what specific variables you will be looking for in the media messages A timeline for completing your whole project by the end of Module 7(April 14) Your reference list that includes at least one source for the theory you plan to use