English 5, Spring '06

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Essay 1

The first essay will require self-examination. You will either look at your current life or reflect on your childhood in relationship to advertising and consumerism. The essay prompts are merely jumping off points and are intended to produce self-examination. . Do not simply answer the questions. The goal is to explore your personal beliefs and how/why they have formed.
Chose one of the following options to address.

Option 1
“The average eight to thirteen year old is watching over three and a half hours of television a day. American children view an estimated 40,000 commercials annually.”
- Juliet B. Schor, Born to Buy

Discuss your childhood experiences with advertisements and the products you owned or desired. Was there a certain item you coveted because of the ad campaign? Did your parents restrict your exposure to media? How are you affected today as a result of your childhood consumerism?
(Or, if you are a parent, you may discuss how you monitor your child’s exposure to media and his/her consumerism.)

Option 2
“You Are What You Own”
Is identity linked to the products you buy? Why or why not? Do you communicate your sense of self through objects (i.e. the clothes you wear, the food you eat, your home décor, your car)? Examine how marketing influences your purchases and your self-identity.

Remember to include a clear thesis statement, specific examples, transition sentences, and avoid generalizations, repetition and vague terms. Make sure to proofread!

3-5 pages
typed, double-spaced

Draft Workshop: 2/7
Final draft due: 2/14


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