This assignment will be similar to the rhetorical analysis assignment. Instead of analyzing a commercial, for the research paper assignment you will analyze and contextualize a television show; specifically, you will select an episode of the television series Friends, which originally aired from 1994-2004. There are about 236 episodes to choose from, and they are approximately 22 minutes each.
Think about genre (situation comedy).
Examine the time period, social context.
Why was the show so popular? Who is the (intended) audience? What’s important about this
Examine this episode within the context of the overall series as well as the culture.
What rhetorical strategies or devices are used?
Support your points with secondary sources (sources written about Friends, and hopefully,
articles that examine the particular episode you are writing about as well as other sources that will
aid your analysis).
What is the theme of this episode?
MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting & documentation
MLA heading (no cover page)
Double spaced, 12 point font, regular margins
Unified, specific thesis statement at end of introduction paragraph
o thesis that carefully directs the ideas of the paper and accurately predicts the structure of the paper
o begins with an introductory paragraph that engages the reader, creates a bridge to the
main idea, and contains the thesis sentence
o body paragraphs that have a clear topic sentence, show unity in ideas (one main idea and
focus), show coherence of ideas (transitions, logical order), and use appropriate evidence
in support of the main idea
o a concluding paragraph that reaffirms main points, but is not too redundant and ties the
paper together with a thought provoking ending
4-6 pages total (at least 4 full pages of text plus works cited page)
Include an annotated bibliography (each source listed on the works cited page using MLA style
along with a brief paragraph summary of each)
At least 4 sources
o You may use Wikipedia for this assignment.
o You might also look at the references used on Wikipedia. (Read their sources.) o Look for academic journal articles in the Online Library as well.
o Try searching for the particular episode title for sources.
o Include research about the topic or type of conflict addressed in the episode.
o You might also research situation comedies as a genre or 1990s culture.
Synthesis of sources
o ability to contextualize a work or idea that involves research and the incorporation of
both primary and acceptable secondary sources, properly documented according to MLA standards
o does not rely too heavily on any one source in a single paragraph
o uses multiple (at least 2) sources to support each main point Quotations integrated appropriately
o Quotation becomes part of an original sentence Introduced
Cited in-text according to MLA guidelines
o Not dumped in o Not too long
o Not irrelevant
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