How to Write a Media Influence Research Paper

The effect of mass media on our society is colossal. From eating to purchasing habits, from deciding on a place for a day out to buying a house, we are influenced by the “opinion” of the media. While we might be alert to the media’s influence upon us, it is more difficult to delve deep within that influence and understand its connection with the way we behave and form perceptions. The purpose of the media influence assignment is to study the influence, its extent, nature and various other facets of media in a comprehensive way.


      In this article we’ll address your research paper writing questions. In general, a research paper is an original scholarly work drawing from multiple sources that develops an argument about a certain topic. Starting in high school, and sometimes earlier, a research paper is a frequently assigned task to assess critical thinking and writing skills. In college, the number and length of research papers increases along with expectations for quality. It is central to your academic success to become efficient at writing detailed and well-organized papers based on your research.
      o Choose your research paper topic. Pick a subject that is broad enough to find plenty of information, but focused enough you won’t end up writing a book.
      o Research your topic thoroughly. Look in scholarly journals, newspapers, books and the websites of respected organizations to develop your research paper ideas.
      o Stay organized as you do research. This will save you time in the end. Take notes on information you want to address in your paper and what source it’s from.
      o Use your research to develop a thesis. The research paper thesis is the main argument you want to make based on what you’ve learned about your topic. The rest of your paper is evidence to support your thesis.
      o Create your research paper outline before you begin writing.
      o Start by writing your research paper introduction. This paragraph should introduce your topic, give some background information, and finish with a clear statement of your thesis.
      o Write the body of your paper. Each paragraph should have a secondary argument that supports your thesis along with relevant details.
      o In the conclusion of your paper address why your argument is important in a larger context.
      o Always cite your sources. Use the citation style assigned by your teacher or professor.
      o Write your final draft. Proofread your paper for spelling and grammar errors or flaws in reasoning, and make corrections.
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      Media Influence Research Paper

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    Ideas for a Media Influence Research Paper

      A research paper starts with selecting and learning about a topic. The topic may be assigned or you may be expected to choose your own. Pick a subject you’re interested in and have questions about. This will allow you to develop your argument.
      • Media forms the public opinion- the media both reflects public opinion and also impacts their way of thinking. The ideologies, philosophies, and views of people in the media, such as newsmakers or interviewees on various programs, all influence public perception.
      • Media and children- children grow up surrounded by the media. It’s part of their culture, educating them and helping create their impression of the world. The media can also have a negative effect through its depiction and use of violence, sex, or bad language…
      • Media and violence- portrayal of crimes by the media is normal. The common exaggeration and amplification of these crimes and constant exposure and desensitization can have a negative influence upon the public, especially on young minds.
      • Media bias- the bias of the media with respect to the issues concerning the society can even change the perception of the general public. This bias and influence is especially apparent in controversial areas such as politics.
      • Recent trends- recent trends in the media are entirely different than what they were a decade ago. Internet, blogs and social networking sites have increasingly had an influence on public opinion. The easy access to vast amount of news and materials in internet has also had a profound effect.
      • Control of mass media- the government attempts to control the influence of mass media through various regulations. Censorship, penalty for offending materials, licensing, and limitation on the reach of certain materials are just some of the ways the government tries to ensure that mass media stays as honest and objective as possible.
      • Media and creativity- media and creativity go hand in hand. Interacting with different types of media is a way to develop one’s intellectual, philosophical and creative abilities. Reading our favorite writers and philosophers can influence our ideas heavily. Similarly, watching thought provoking interviews, documentaries and movies can also influence how we think about things we see, read and hear.

      Download Free Media Research Paper sample

      Doing an Outline for a Media Research Paper

      Doing a rough outline is useful in starting your media research paper. The next step is developing a more formal outline that provides a structure for your paper. Regardless of whether it’s an academic essay or directed at a more public audience, a well drafted outline will allow you to stay in topic and organized as you write your argument.
      • Your outline should start with your thesis statement. This is one or two sentences stating a clear argument or opinion.
      • Describe the major sections of your paper using short statements. Each section should have a similar level of importance to your argument.
      • The major sections of your paper should be indicated using Roman numerals. Subsections should be divided using capital letters, with numbers for topic subdivisions. For additional subdivisions use lowercase letters.
      • Read over your outline and make sure the organization and information is clear. If you have too many subtopics try to condense them. If a major section or subdivision doesn’t have at least two pieces of supporting evidence add more detail.
      • The research paper abstract is a summary of your argument and main points. This should be easy to write after you’ve finished a final draft of your outline.
      • In a separate document write about 200 words providing an overview of your research paper. This should cover your research paper title, thesis, results or evidence and your conclusion.
      • Below your abstract you may want to add a list of keywords in your media research paper. This will help others find the location of your paper and information.

      Formatting a Media Influence Research Paper

      • Anyone can have an opinion but in a research paper it is essential to back up your argument. You need to research and properly cite sources to support your thesis. Accurately referencing sources is important to the strength of your argument and the success of your paper. The American Psychological Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA) are the two most common sets of guidelines for writing and citation styles. The APA format is often preferred for research papers within the social sciences and the MLA format is common in liberal arts and humanities writing.
      APA
      • Your research paper should have a reference page where you list your sources alphabetically by the authors’ last names. Cite each source by author’s last name then the initials of their first name. If there is more than one author for the same source, their names should be placed after a comma. If there are more than six authors, don’t continue to list names. Instead use ellipses after the last author’s name.
      • The next line should have a one-half inch indent from the left margin. Start with the date of publication for your source in parentheses, followed by a period. Next state the title of the article ending with a period. Then write the name of the source’s publication and the issue number of the periodical or journal. These should be in italics and separated by a comma. Finally, use a comma after the issue number and list the page numbers for the article.

      • Reference list entry for your works cited page: Smith, C. (1983). More Lessons in Writing. Annals of literature, 13, 7-10.

      • More than seven authors: Smith, C. H., Perez, N., Homero, D. L., McGregor, A. T., Long, B. A., Tong, H. T., . . . Rubio, L. V. (1996). Web site usability for the blind and low-vision user. Academic Writing, 42, 723-729.

      • For in text citations use the name of the first author listed for a source, then the date of publication in parentheses. Within your paper if you use the title of the source make sure to capitalize all words in the title that are four letters or longer.

      • In text citation or short quotation: According to Smith (1982), “Writers often struggled to express their ideas” (p. 142).

      • A work by two authors: Studies by Smith and Homero (1982) indicate that….

      MLA
      o For your reference list start an additional page at the end of your research paper. Formatting should be the same as the rest of your paper including one inch margins and a header with your last name and page number. All citations should be double spaced without skipping spaces between entries. The second line of each citation should be indented one-half inch from the left margin.
      The citation consists of the author’s last name followed by the author’s entire first name and any additional authors, separated by commas and ended with a period. Next cite the title of the article in quotation marks ended with a period. Then the name of the publication in italics, comma, and the date of publication, colon and then the page numbers of the article. Finally list the type of source or publication.
      o Basic reference list entry on your works cited page: Smith, Caleb. Lessons in writing. London: Oxford U.P., 1987. Print.

      o Reference list entry for newspaper article: Smith, Caleb. “Alternative Ways to Think About Writing.” Washington Daily 22 Aug 1997: LZ01. Print.

      o Start in text citations by referring to the last name of the primary author. Then the quotation you’re using in quotation marks followed by the page number in parentheses and ended with a period.

      o In text citation: Smith argued that writing was “the work of a lifetime” (291).

      o A work by multiple authors: Smith, Homero, and Tong argue that writing programs should include grammar (83).

      Five Ways of keeping readers’ attention with your Media Influence Research Paper

      Research papers can be boring to read. They often contain academic language, facts, numbers or difficult concepts. To engage a reader it is important to grab their attention at the very beginning. These types of research paper introductions are appropriately called “attention getters”. Here are some strategies you can use to hook a reader right off the bat.
      • Ask a rhetorical question. This gets the reader thinking and wondering without requiring them to respond. You can then answer the question in your paper.
      • Start with an interesting quotation. It should be related to your thesis and draw your reader in.
      • Use a shocking statistic to surprise your reader. This will make them want to continue as you transition into the body of your paper.
      • Begin with a list of high impact words, separated by periods. Because it steps outside the standard rules of grammar it can get attention.
      • Use imagery to help the reader imagine what they should be seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting and hearing. Be careful not to use too many words and keep them relevant to your subject.

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