Current Culture Research Project
"Current Culture." Just Between Us. Just Between Us, 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
Current Culture Research Paper
How do texts tell stories about the cultural values of their time? How do these stories influence our culture, and what might these stories suggest about our values and beliefs?
Imagine it is sixty years from now, and a group of 8th graders at Westminster are beginning to discuss their summer reading text. Now imagine that their text is a work that has been published recently, a text you have “read.” You will look at this text as a way of answering the driving questions mentioned above.
Step 1: Read and evaluate student sample papers. Determine differing qualities in last year’s work based on the writing traits. Gain an understanding of how to and how not to organize this research paper.
Step 2: Watch Mr. Meyer’s screencast to learn about Researching Tips for this project.
Step 3: Follow the Directions for Individual Research below
A. Learn about NoodleTools notecards and outline from Ms. Matteson in the GWL.
B. Pick any modern (2000 and beyond) text that you are familiar with. Your text must be AGE appropriate. Your parents will need to approve your choice. (Get letter signed by parents for approval.) Text can be a movie, television show, video game, fiction book, music (album), advertising campaign, Netflix series, broadcasting/social network, blog, podcast. ***You need to pick a famous or popular text so that there will definitely be criticism/commentary about it.
C. Research your text to decide on two issues presented in your “text.” According to modern critics, what values does your text reflect about our culture?
NOTE: You must choose four sources to use in your paper. However, you will make notecards for 7-10 sources before you decide on which four are the most useful/fruitful for your paper. You may use more than four in your paper if needed.
D. Use NoodleTools to make notecards regarding your sources. Document the bibliography information, bullet point your notes, and copy verbatim any quotations that you want to use in their entirety. Again, you will have notes from more sources than the required four. I will be monitoring your progress on research days in the library and you will receive a grade for staying on-task.
Step 4: Write the Research Paper
Consider these questions: What does your text reflect about our culture for someone who is not in it? What would an 8th grader from sixty years from now think our current culture values based on what is promoted or devalued in your text? What trends and values would the 8th grader see that hold steady over time? Why do you think those values hold true or not?
Sample thesis: The Dark Knight discusses the issues of violence to protect the innocent and society’s yearning for an artificial hero.
Note: You must use proper MLA format for the heading, header, and title. You must use parenthetical citations and have a Works Cited page. Just like in your Critical Response Paragraphs, you should use the literary present tense, avoid dead words, and be cognizant of punctuation usage.
Approximate Due Dates:
Intro to Research/Notecards
Seven Notecards Due
Introduction and Topic Sentences Due
Peer Editing of Entire Draft
Final Paper Due
1) Seven Research Notecards Reading Category Counts once
*This includes your notecards with direct quotes, paraphrasing, and connection to ideas.
2) Introduction Paragraph + TS’s Work Habits Category Counts once
*This includes a complete draft of the entire paragraph, including attention-grabber, background info, and thesis.
3) Peer Editing Writing Category Counts once
*This includes your peer’s paper printed with your four comments about each of the 6 Writing Traits (24 total).
4) Final Paper Writing Category Counts as two grades
*This includes the final paper complete with works cited page and citations.
6 Trait Rubric
5) Research Writing Category Counts as two grades
*This include the final paper with works cited page, citations, and notecards.
Research Rubric graded by Mrs. Kaplan/Ms. Matteson
Monday to Thursday
7:30 am - 3:45 pm
7:30 am - 2:45 pm
Closed weekends and school holidays
Hours subject to change in accordance with the school calendar