You will write TWO essays, one on each of the two essay prompts on the next page. Essays should be in proper essay format. Each essay will be graded out of 20 points, for a total out of 30 points for the whole exam. The exam is worth 40% of your final grade. • Essays should be approximately 1,000 words EACH, for an approximate total of 2,000 words for both essays. Please, do your best NOT to exceed 1,000 words. Think of this like an in-class final exam. How much information do you need to answer the question directly and succinctly, and reflect your knowledge of the course materials from the semester? • You may refer generally to forum discussions, assigned videos, readings, etc. without a specific citation if you are NOT quoting directly. You should, however, indicate where the information came from. (For example: “In module 2, we discussed….”; “In the feature video in Module 3, we explored the concept of…” “One of the readings by [author] in Module 4 included a discussion on…”; “In the discussion forum for Module 5, my classmates and I had a fascinating conversation regarding…” and so on.) If you do quote directly from any sources, course materials or otherwise, they must have an in-text citation AND an entry on your references list. o If you do quote from the module materials, do so sparingly. Instead, try to explain the course concepts in your own words, thereby demonstrating your overall understanding of our discussions this semester! o There is no minimum or maximum number of sources required for the essays. You may use outside sources, but this is not a requirement. All direct quotations must be cited both in-text and in a references list (a separate references list for each essay) in APA format. This includes any course module materials and assigned readings. • Both essays should be in one document with ONE cover page in your submission. 2 Essay Questions • Write an essay responding to each of the essay guides listed below. • In both of your essays, discuss the concepts in the topics thoroughly, complete with examples and concepts from throughout the course. 1. Discuss why it is important to apply critical thinking skills to examinations of the media. Why is it important to understand the connection between media, and social contexts and socialization? In class we discussed theories to help us to understand our social environments and interactions (such as the sociological imagination, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, and functionalism), as well as theories to help us analyze media content (such as the propaganda model, the Overton window, and the agenda setting theory). Why are some (or all) of these theories useful in analyzing media and the social environments in which media pieces are produced and consumed, such as through the news or social media? Provide examples. Draw in as many concepts from both the course modules and readings as you can to support your argument. 2. Discuss why it is important to critically examine the images and narratives of particular identities in the media. How are stereotypes, oppressive ideals, and power inequities reinforced through media presentations? In class we discussed concepts of racism and the Other, heteronormativity and discrimination against gender and sexually diverse peoples, the sexualization of certain bodies and identities, privilege and oppression, and how the culture of capitalism permeates through media in celebrity culture, advertising, and social media, reinforcing harmful ideals of success and failure. How might critically examining these and other related concepts intersect with our socialization process, and potentially improve media literacy? Provide examples. Draw in as many concepts from both the course modules and readings as you can to support your argument.