Your first research essay should be a fully completed work of 5 pages. Your topic may be related to the development of any idea that has already been expressed as part of the course; your thesis should be a synthesis of carefully documented research and critical analysis of this topic. The essay should incorporate the general parts of an academic essay—an introduction and thesis, a body of specific evidence/support/analysis, and a conclusion that emphasizes the answers to questions you may have asked within your research.
Your writing should address the Core Learning Outcomes of the course and the Instructor Specific Learning Outcomes, as specified on the syllabus. I have included them here for your convenience:
- Analyze the disciplinary content in its own context and in relationship to the issues, questions, and positions of other disciplines.
- Compare and contrast differences and similarities among the disciplines in terms of central concerns, values, methodologies, and relationships to public life.
- Synthesize diverse perspectives to achieve an interdisciplinary understanding.
- Analyze the relationships among academic knowledge, professional work, and the responsibilities of local and global citizenship.
- Interpret and critique the possible “real world” connections or behaviors associated with the viewing or playing of media violence.
Instructor Learning Outcomes
- Identify, discuss and critique the representations of serial killers as heroes, celebrities, and icons in modern media forms. Explain the characteristics of the media forms, genres, and methods for each subject.
- Describe and analyze the popular culture forms that encourage audience identification or participation through violence or vicarious experience.
- Evaluate multiple perspectives, modes of inquiry and expression, and processes for decision-making in the disciplines.
Your essay should conform to the MLA format for citations within the text and in your works cited. Therefore, your writing should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins, in a 10-12-pitch font. The grading of this essay will be based upon the objective skills we have focused upon in our course lectures and discussions—incorporating your research sources seamlessly within your own writing, building upon your skills as a “close-reading” expert and analysis of your topic, and answering the larger questions about “why” we are studying serial killers as heroes (as well as, “why” your topic is popular? important? significant? worthy of study? definitive of its audience?)
You should carefully construct your essay by looking at the examples we have studied within our course—the popular culture essays that have been part of your reading assignments, our in-class examples, and the writing process that has been investigated in our class assignments (Reader Response Essays, Discussion Postings, etc).