Capstone Project Assignment on Gender Communications

Capstone Project Assignment on Gender Communications

The analysis section of your paper should be 12-14 pages long.

Since this is not a methods-focused class, you will not write a formal methods section. However, please use the first page of your analysis section to explain how you did the analysis. You’ll need to state that method is thematic textual analysis. You will also need to describe what show you selected and why, what season(s) and episodes you selected and why, how many times you watched each episode, how did you do the analysis (e.g., take notes during each viewing), and how did you come up with the themes that you’ll analyze below (e.g., informed by previous research, or emerged from watching)? Please use the first person, “I,” throughout.

 

After the methods section, you’ll move into the analysis. Here you will begin by providing a brief overview of your impressions of the show and your findings. Then, you’ll explain your findings, which will likely take the form of themes based on patterns of interpersonal interaction that you observed in the episodes. For example, in the Big Brother example listed above, themes might wind up being: “racism in what is said,” “racism in what is unsaid,” and “racial power shows itself in conflict.”[1]

 

I recommend including three themes, but two could work in certain cases as long as you give enough depth for each one. Four themes might work in some cases as well, but be sure that you provide enough depth otherwise your analysis will be superficial. You must provide examples from the show that illustrate each theme. Be sure to use your examples carefully – do not simply describe the show or a particular scene/episode. You will briefly describe and contextualize an interaction, and then you must analyze it and explain how the example relates to the concept(s) you’ve selected and the theme.

 

Four key things to keep in mind:

  1. Quotes. Remember to contextualize quotes (see above for more detail).
  2. Labels. Use the following labels accordingly: Method, Thematic Analysis (with subheadings for the overview and your theme titles), and Conclusion. This helps with organization.
  • Tense. Use the past tense. For example, “I analyzed all episodes in season one.”
  1. Use your literature review. Refer to the research discussed in the literature review when you do the analysis. Make sure each in-depth example you provide has a “so-what?” answered – explain why the example is relevant and provide depth of analysis. Referring to the literature will help in providing greater depth of analysis.

 

When writing your analysis, include the following:

  1. Method (brief). Describe what show you selected and why, what season(s) and episodes you selected and why, how many times you watched each episode, how did you do the textual analysis (e.g., take notes during each viewing), and how did you come up with the themes that you’ll analyze below (e.g., informed by previous research, or emerged from watching)?
  2. Provide a brief overview of your impression of the show and of the themes that you found in the interpersonal interaction patterns.
  3. Themes and Examples. Provide an explanation/definition of the theme as well as examples from the show that illustrate the theme in action. Give 4-5 examples for each theme, while providing in-depth analysis for 2 or 3 of those examples. You can provide a lot of examples but give detail on only a few while also keeping in the page limit – it’s all in how you write.
  4. End your analysis section with a summary of your findings, a discussion of their importance, other things that struck you about the show, limitations of your study, and one or two ideas for future research in this area of interpersonal communication research.

[1] Examples adapted from a student’s paper for this course.