WRTG 101S –
COMPARISON/CONTRAST ESSAY ASSIGNMENT
GENDER PORTRAYALS AND STEREOTYPES IN ADVERTISING
One of the most common activities we engage in is comparison. We compare, for instance, products we may want/need to buy; opinions, promises and claims made by politicians; information we receive about weather or traffic. We look for similarities (called comparisons) and differences (called contrasts) and make, in the cases mentioned above, buying, voting, dressing, or driving decisions based on what our comparisons/contrasts tell us.
This assignment asks you to look at the way advertisers appeal to us as men and women and compare how they define the roles of males and females in our culture. By examining and comparing a pair of commercials, one for a product aimed at men, one for a product aimed at women, you should be able to write an essay that discusses the similarities and differences in the way advertisers attempt to appeal to men and women – and how they reinforce gender roles and stereotypes (a stereotype is a widely held but often oversimplified view of a subject that usually reflects a lack of analysis or research and thought and that can encourage prejudice – an example of gender stereotype would be something as seemingly innocent as the colors associated with the birth of children – blue is for boys, pink is for girls).
As you prepare to write your essay, be sure to take notes on each ad’s presentation of gender roles and stereotypes. Note similarities and differences in these presentations – these will be the basic material of your comparison/contrast essay.
This assignment calls for you to write an essay 1000-1200 words in length, double spaced. The essay should have the following standard academic essay elements:
1) a clear introduction, body, and conclusion;
2) a clearly identifiable thesis statement;
3) a title;
4) evidence (based upon your review and examination of the material from the ads that you wish to compare or contrast) that you might find relevant to include in your discussion.
You will want to review the two following TV ads. First, here’s a commercial for a product both men and women use, deodorant:
Second, another product both men and women use, “body wash” – i.e., soap:
What You Must Do:
You must write an essay of approximately 1000 words that compares and contrasts the portrayals of males and females in advertising using these ads as evidence of these portrayals.
How You Might Do This:
Since your essay uses a traditional structure for academic writing, you could try the following technique:
1) Decide what your thesis should say and design your introduction to lead to your thesis. The thesis might begin with a phrase such as, “A comparison of ads aimed and men and women shows that advertisers use standard gender role presentations….” Your introduction can, of course, briefly describe what gender roles and stereotypes are and how and why they occur.
2) For the body of your essay, consider the following:
a) decide (with input and guidance from your instructor) whether you will use a block or alternating pattern to discuss the notable information you find in the two advertisements;
b) present the gender portrayal information you find and compare and contrast how the ads are similar or different in their portrayals – don’t hesitate to take advantage of the resources at the end of this assignment to help you identify the gender portrayal information
3) The conclusion of your essay should reflect on what you have discussed and look towards future comparisons that others may make. You may mention further areas for comparison (such as race, age, etc.) or other areas where gender might be compared (movies, TV shows, etc.).
Here are some resources that you will find helpful as you review the ads and work towards identifying gender role portrayals:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~commstud/resources/GenderMedia/advertising.html (The University of Iowa offers an excellent set of academic articles that you can review which will help you understand how scholars identify gender portrayals in ads and other areas of media)
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=gender+portrayals+in+advertising&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart (Google Scholar offers a list of articles in this same field – be sure that you tale advantage of UMUC’s “One Search” to locate more academic/scholarly articles to develop your understanding of this topic)
Here are some resources on writing comparison/contrast essays you may find helpful:
Your instructor will also offer more resources as well as discussion and guidance of this assignment and ways in which you may successfully complete it
|Due By (Pacific Time)||11/03/2013 02:00 pm|
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