PSY 227 Final Project: Research Essay Directions


Question Description

  • Media’s Portrayal of Death: Explore how media treats death and shapes how we view death.

Watch a few hours of programming, including one media source from each type: news, drama/sitcom and movie

Supplement your thoughts and ideas with academic research. What are the experts saying about how death is depicted in media? How has it impacted our view of death? Use examples to illustrate what the various portrayals in media tell us about death in terms of gender, race, social class, and religion. These are to be addressed specifically. What do they tell us about the grieving process and about what is appropriate versus what is not appropriate? How does portrayal change with regard to the target audience?

The final paper must be written in a formal and academic voice, be well-edited for both grammar and spelling, and be between 1700 and 2000 words in length, (the body of your paper; not counting reference page or title page).

The paper must include an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, followed by a main body with supporting arguments, a summary conclusion, and an APA formatted reference page at the end.

Word document using the following convention: PSY227_M#_FinalProjectEssay_firstnamelastname

Use a standard font in size 12 and double space.

Include a title, heading (name, date, class number), and page numbers

Provide five sources, including three sources from peer-reviewed journals, on the Works Cited page in APA style

Use in-text citations in APA style

Carefully proofread for proper grammar

1,700-2,000 words

Tutor Answer

School: Duke University

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Media Influence the Perception of Death Outline

 The uncertainty surrounding the period after one’s death makes it one of the most
mystical concepts of humanity and as such, is the subject of some of the intense
discussions of faith, humanity, and the basis of various forms of human belief
 Thesis Statement: Consequently, the perception of death as created by the media
in a particular demographic is the culmination of a cycle in that media reports
according to the popular opinions and trends on a subject. Its coverage is
reinforced by the various forms of media transmissions as the initial trends and
opinions on the said topic.


Depiction of Death in the Media
 News bulletins, for instance, rely on the factual representation of information to
make the transfer of the information from their studios to the various outlets
through which they reach people
 Sitcoms TV shows, on the other hand, have a different reason for including death
depiction and reporting as part of their media package. Unlike news houses, the
two forms of media are purely entertainment-based and may seek to include death
scenes in their presentations to entertain or educate their respective audiences
 In the recent past, mortality has become an issue of interest; hence, there has been
increasing media reports on the same as a response to the rising mortality rates
due to a variety of factors including increased violence, chronic illnesses, and
depression, and suicides.
 Contemporary drama shows, for instance, are usually characterized by instances
of individuals dying of cancer and depression as well as a host of other chronic

illnesses, which have become of major concern for the inhabitants of the United
States of America in the contemporary world.
a. Gender
 In a recent news report on December 3rd that documented the death of a
Nashville woman, the suspect is painted as some kind of a beast with a
criminally violent past and the victim, a helpless victim of the actions of a
 The gender narrative in regards to victims of violent deaths is not limited only
to news houses as there are instances of the same depiction in Power and 13
Reasons Why as well
b. Race
 Regular reports in news sections of young black deaths within the country are
more often about violence and crime with unfair police brutality constituting a
significant portion of the deaths of young men as well.
c. Social Class
 Media depiction of an individual’s death and the response of the family and
friends toward that occurrence shapes the notion that people with access to
such media have regarding the concept of death. News coverage for
unfortunate death instances of members of upper social
d. Religion
 News media outlets, for instance, seek to reinforce the notion of an afterlife
with the invocation of religion and calls for devotion and wakes in the
aftermath of high profile or controversial deaths.


The Grieving Process
 Media influence the perceptions and opinions of the public are attained when they
transmit a process, idea, or option to people in a manner that invokes positive
emotions that persuade people to try out the idea.


Changes in Media Presentations according to a Target Audience
 News, movies, and TV shows depict information dependin...

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