Alternative Research Discussion Paper


The purpose of this assignment is for you to gain perspective on how others interpret the relationship between media and society, especially those considerably older than you. To complete the assignment, you must interview (yes, it can be virtual such as over Zoom or Skype) someone who is at least 65 years of age. You may interview a relative, friend, or acquaintance; it does not matter to me. Your interview will ultimately center on three questions (when you talk to the person, you can rephrase these if needed): (The purpose of this assignment is for you to gain perspective on how others interpret the the person, you can rephrase these if needed): YOU CAN MAKE THE PERSON UP AND HIS OR HER NAME)

The 3 Questions to ask:
How have the changes in media technologies (i.e., just the hardware—televisions, 
computers, phones, radios—not the media content) had an impact on your life over the years? 
[Note: Be sure to focus on the impact of these changes in their lives, not just the fact that “we have TV now and we used to just have radio.” What does/did it mean to them to now have TV when they used to just have radio? And again, avoid being satisfied with an answer like “well, it meant that we could see pictures instead of just hearing voices.” Focus on the implications of those changes.] 
What changes have you noticed in the type of material (be it entertainment- or information-
based) that is reported or carried in/by the media during your life? 
What effects on yourself and society have you witnessed because of these changes?
Your paper should then include: (1) an introduction, (2) a short summary of who you interviewed (title and last name only [e.g., Mr. Smith], age, relationship to you, where they live, (3) a discussion of their responses to the questions (you should devote roughly the same amount of space to each of the three questions; you should avoid direct quotes; paraphrase instead), and (4) your analysis of their answers based on the class material.
(Once again, you make up the name, and who you interviewed… etc.) Because everything else will be based on research and knowledge.

Your paper should be at least three (3) pages in length (10-12-point type, double spaced, 1” 

margins throughout, no extra spaces between paragraphs). 
Place your name on top of the first page ONLY. 

Do not include a cover sheet. 


Do not use block quotes; in general, you should avoid extensive use of quoting. Paraphrase 

where appropriate. 
In-text cites: If you take an idea from somewhere else—whether you directly quote it or 
not—you must cite the material. THIS INCLUDES INTERNET SOURCES. Use endnotes or parenthetical references. 
References: Include an endnote page or a reference list at the end of your paper (DOES 


Do not be overly conversational in your writing (e.g., do not use slang); but at the same 

time, do not try to impress me with your vocabulary (in other words, use your thesaurus wisely). 

The purpose of this assignment is for you to gain perspective on the extent to which merchandising tie- ins from media products are marketed to children. To complete the assignment, visit a local toy store (or their website). Peruse the store or online site for a few minutes looking at toys, games, video games, etc. Identify one children’s show/movie (for example, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Dora the Explorer, Shrek, Transformers). Then, go back to the start and systematically visit the store isles or online toy store website; 
1. List every toy and product tie-in associated with the show/movie you select (e.g. Sponge Bob Square Pants bouncy ball). This will probably be in the dozens (but should be a minimum of 10 products).
Then, answer the following questions.

1. What do you think about the marketing of merchandising to children in conjunction with a television show, book, or movie? Is it right? Wrong? Why?

2. What problems might arise (especially for parents) from the marketing of merchandising tie-ins to children?

3. Should advertising of this type of merchandise to children be allowed? Why or why not?

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