Objective: Write a 2-3 page essay (750 word min) analyzing a video from YouTube.
youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFkm1Hg4dTI
DISCLAIMER: Your analysis is an argument that comes from your personal perspective. You are showing your reader how to study this video. However, your personal views and experiences are not really important to your essay. In other words, it does not matter if you like the video or not, or whether it connects to your personal life. The point is to break down the video and to highlight “the message” in it. Always stay focused on the text when writing.
Things that must be included in the essay:
1.The actual title of the YouTube video.
2.The username/creator of the video (or user who posted it); background information, if it’s accessible.
3.Date the video was uploaded onto YouTube.
4.The actual view count as of a specific date of your writing.
5.The number of likes vs. dislikes.
6.At least one quote from a user comment—but if comments are closed for your video, provide an explanation for why you think this feature was disabled.
Suggestions: Start by picking a video that interests you on multiple levels; the more complex or sophisticated the text, the more material you’ll have. An ad of a bikini-clad woman holding a beer can, for instance, probably won’t get you very far because it lacks sophistication. Someone should be able to read your essay, look at the text, and be able to find new insights from your analysis.
You could write a standard essay by simply analyzing the different elements and issues presented in the text (using textual and contextual analyses). What message is the text conveying? Why is it effective or ineffective in getting that message across? Advertisements are one of the easier choices for this assignment because they already present a clear objective: to sell the product to their target audience. You could also take the assignment further and delve into social issues. For instance, you might explore the use of men and women in a particular text. What does this text say about the definition of gender roles? Or how does it speak to the construction of race?
Keep in mind that it’s ineffective trying to touch on every aspect of the text in your essay, so focus on an important few. If you choose a commercial that has a strong theme of acceptance, you might focus on its appeals for social conformity. Ask yourself: what about the commercial, textually speaking, connects to the conformity of the consumer? Or, what about the context of the commercial heightens this element of conformity? There are reasons why certain texts appear in one place and not others. Get to the heart of those issues. (Narrative and description may come also in handy.)
Questions to consider:
1.Why has this video generated at least a million views?
2.What kind of reaction has this video generated?
3.If there are more dislikes than likes, why do you think that is?
4.Does this video fit in with other YouTube videos? In other words, would it fall into a particular category?
5.Who would be the target audience for this video?
6.What’s the main message?
Research: You need at least one source for this essay (and a Works Cited Page)—this is in addition to your actual video. You can use websites (eg. Nike.com) as resources but they won’t count as a source. I want articles or essays from credible sources (Time Magazine, Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, etc.),